If you keep living in the past and keep beating yourself up over bad decisions, regret, and anger then this letter is for you.
To my friend,
I know life isn’t how you want it to be right now. You feel stuck. Things haven’t changed for the better in a long time. You just want to be happy. You want to move forward with your life.
You wonder why can’t you be happy. Why can’t you have the things that everyone else seems to have in their lives?
I know you feel like a failure, feel worthless, and hopeless about your future.
The reason you feel stuck and are always unhappy is because of this way of thinking all the time.
Thinking of all the things that are wrong in your life just brings more negativity into your mind. You go back into your past memories and dig up everything bad that’s happened to you. You think about how wish you had made different choices. You’re angry at yourself for the choices you made or didn’t make.
You think about all the failures that you’ve had. It seems like your life has been one failure after another. That isn’t true though, but you choose to ignore what you have done well and only focus and amplify what you’ve done wrong.
You think about everything that has gone wrong for you. You remember all those unlucky breaks you had. Nothing lucky has ever happened to you.
You may still not have gotten over a breakup. Your heart still hurts. You still don’t understand what happened. That person was the world to you and that person decided that you didn’t fit anymore into their lives. It’s been years and you still haven’t moved on. That breakup has kept you in the past.
You live in the past and think about the times in your life when you were happy, motivated, and hopeful. You just want to get back to feeling like that, but in your mind you believe that will never be possible.
Bringing back these thoughts and feelings to the present over and over again keeps you stuck in life.
I want to help you to start to move forward in your life so that you can start enjoying life again.
But you’re not going to be able to do that if you constantly live in the past.
If your mind is always filled things that happened years ago, you’re not giving your mind a chance to be filled with what will actually help you have a better future.
Imagine your mind as an empty bowl. You are taking negative thoughts, past memories, regrets, mistakes, and failures and filling up that bowl.
So when you reach into the bowl, what will you pull out? You’re going to be pulling out one of those things.
Every time you go to your mind that’s all you keep pulling out. When you’re alone with your thoughts you keep pulling out one negative thought after another.
If you fill your mind with negativity, you’re going to get negative results. You’re always going to feel crappy.
You’ve got to start replacing it with positivity if you want to change your life.
So that dream job you wish you can have, finding true love, having great friends, or just being happy is not going to happen unless you first let go of your past.
Imagine if you were driving in your dream car. It could be a Ferrari, Mercedes, BMW or whatever dream car you have. You open the door and smell that new car smell. You get in the seat and start the engine. This is going to be your first time driving it and you can’t wait. You’ve been waiting a long time to have your dream car.
You start to drive, but instead of looking forward you stare at your rear view mirror. You can’t look anywhere else but behind you.
If you try to drive while looking at the rear view mirror, how fast will you go? You won’t even move forward because you’re afraid you’ll hit something.
You’re going to be so scared of moving forward because you keep looking back. How will you ever enjoy driving your dream car? You never will.
This is what it’s like to live life by always looking at your rear view mirror.
You will never get anywhere. You will never move. You will never enjoy what lies ahead of you because you are so focused on your past.
So what is it going to take for you to start to let go?
First you have to accept that what happened in the past has happened. You can’t go back and change it. Yes you’ve made bad choices that got you where you are now, but all that thinking you do about it isn’t going to change anything about what has already happened.
You have to stop beating yourself up over bad choices you’ve made. It’s impossible for you to go back and change the past. There is no time machine. You’re constantly wishing and hoping for something that’s never ever going to change. You’re wasting time, energy, and focus on something that does nothing good for you.
What you need to do is learn from it. If you made a bad choice in the past, learn from it and move on. If you are in a similar situation in the future, then you know how to better handle it.
Instead of looking it as a failure, look at what positives you took from it. You have to understand that everyone experiences failures in life. No one gets through life without experiencing something that they hoped would turn out well only for it to turn out not the way they expected.
If you live your life so carefully to avoid any failure, you will live a life full of regret.
So don’t think that you’re the only one that fails. What’s different is how successful and happy people react to failures. First of all they don’t see it as a failure. They just see it as a learning lesson. They see it as a chance to grow.
They see it as feedback. They see what they need to improve on. They see what didn’t work out for them. They get up and try again.
You fall down and you stay down. You cry. You pout. You complain. You blame everyone and everything you can.
While you’re feeling sorry for yourself, life is moving on with or without you.
So if you can’t do anything about the past, what should you do?
The only thing you have control over is what you do right now. Right now you’ve made the decision to read this. After you read this, you make another choice about what you’re going to do.
Your day is made up of a series of choices. At each moment you decide what to do. At every meal you decide what you’re going to eat.
If you’re overweight, who’s fault is that? The food’s fault? Your mom’s fault cause of her cooking? The fast food restaurant’s fault? Nope it’s your fault. The food doesn’t just jump into your mouth. You’re not two years old and being forced to eat something you don’t want.
You’re an adult and you choose what goes into your mouth. If you only have time for fast food, it’s up to you to choose a low calorie option or the number one combo super sized with a large Coke.
When you get home after another miserable day at work and you have four hours left before you go to bed and start your day all over again, what will you choose to do?
You can choose to spend those four hours on the couch with your super sized combo with the TV on while on your phone going through Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat and seeing other people’s fake perfect lives.
You do this for weeks, months, and years. And you wonder why you’re not able to get unstuck in life. You wonder why you have no motivation to do anything. You wonder why you dream of changing careers, finding a new job, or finding love hasn’t happened yet.
It’s because of the choices you make. It’s not your parents, boss, boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, or family’s fault. It’s not the government’s fault or who’s president now. It’s not the companies that you are applying for that aren’t hiring you.
It’s all because of what you’re doing every single day.
So instead of four hours on the couch glued to your phone, you can choose to do something that will actually help you. You can exercise. You can learn a new skill from an online class. You can go to a local meet up on a topic you’re interested in. You can volunteer your time to help others. You can work on a business plan. You can do so many more things than you are doing right now, but you choose not to.
It’s not the big choices that have the biggest impact on your life. It’s the small seemingly unimportant choices that eventually added up.
One night of being a couch potato, eating fast food, and spending four hours on social media isn’t negatively impact your life. However if you’re doing that every night, it will negatively affect your life.
I used to live in the past. That’s why I felt stuck in life. I kept beating myself up for past choices that led me to where I was.
I hated my job. I hated being there for even a minute. It was torture every time I had to work. I had no idea what else I wanted to do with my life.
I thought if I never made that choice to work in the restaurant right out of college, my life would be on a happier different path.
So I would beat myself over that. How did that help me? It didn’t. It just made me feel worse about myself.
Holding on to anger about something from your past only hurts you. What good does that do for you? How does that help you? Think about it. Nothing good ever happens when you keep doing that.
You never beat yourself up then five minutes later feel a huge sense of relief.
I never did. It just made me feel worse about myself.
You have to have closure with your past. That includes past experiences, past mistakes, and past relationships. The only person you’re hurting by holding on to the past is yourself. Everyone is moving on with life, but you’re still stuck in the past.
It’s like running full speed into a wall. Do you think you’ll feel great after you run face first into a wall? No way. It’ll hurt.
As crazy as running full speed into a wall sounds, it’s just as crazy as living in the past every single day, constantly focus on failures and regrets, and expecting all your dreams to come true.
I want you to make peace with your past. You can’t go back and change it. It’s useless. You’re wasting your time and it only makes you feel worse.
When you think of one negative experience, then you think of another one, then another one, then you’re in a bad mood for the rest of the day. How do you think you’ll feel the rest of the day?
That’s what you have been doing every single day. That’s why you feel stuck. That’s why you feel so lazy and unmotivated.
I want you to understand that your past doesn’t determine your future.
If you’ve been living paycheck to paycheck, it doesn’t mean you will for the rest of your life.
Remember it’s up to you to decide that through the choices you make from now on.
If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, but still spending $200 a week on eating out and $100 on alcohol at the bar every weekend, who’s to blame for living paycheck to paycheck?
If you’re buying clothes and shoes every weekend, who’s to blame if you don’t have money?
If you’re lonely, but every night you spend it at home watching TV cause you don’t feel like being social, who’s to blame?
If you’re unhappy, but you keep thinking about how unhappy you are, who’s the blame?
I’ve read interviews with ultra successful people and if we knew them when they were a teenager and young adult, we’d think they’d be in jail as adults or delivering pizzas for the rest of their lives.
They did poorly in school. They hated to study. They got into trouble with the police. They stole. They did drugs.
But you know what? Their past didn’t define them.
They turned their lives around. They became focused on making a better life for themselves. It didn’t happen overnight of course. It took many years, but my point is that what they did in the past didn’t determine how their future would be.
They decided they wanted a better future so they took control of their lives and began making better choices.
That means choosing better people to hang around. I’m sure if they were getting into trouble with the law it was very likely cause they were hanging around other people who were also getting into trouble, they may even need to get a firm as McKoon, Williams, Atchley & Stanley, PLLC, to help them out of trouble.
That also means taking massive action. They didn’t achieve their dreams by sitting on the couch all day.
You need to understand that to make your future better you must focus on the present. What are you going to do today to move yourself closer to where you want to be in life?
The present is the only thing you can control.
You can’t change your past. You can’t predict your future as much as you try. You can only control what you do right now.
You have the power to choose positive thoughts. Think about that. At any moment, you have the power to choose what you think about. Thoughts don’t take over your mind unless you allow it to. If you don’t like a thought that’s entered your mind, you can switch it instantly. Your thoughts don’t have power over you. You have power of them.
When a negative thought enters, let it enter, but don’t give it the power it seeks.
If a thought enters your mind like “My future is hopeless” you then have the power to choose what you will think about next. Will you continue to feed it with more negativity or replace it with something that will help you?
Here’s what you can replace it with.
“What I’ve done in the past doesn’t dictate my future. I will turn my life around. It will take time and work but I’m willing to do whatever it takes. I look forward to it and all the opportunities that will come my way.”
Do you see the difference in the two ways of thinking?
Don’t try and completely stop negative thoughts. Stopping them just makes them stronger. Instead acknowledge them and then replace them with a thought that brings you a positive emotion.
Another way to let go of the past is writing a letter and burning to release the pain and anger you hold. Sometimes the anger you have is inside of you and you just need to find a way to let it go.
Write down whatever has been bothering you. The thoughts, the memories, the people that keep coming into your mind like a broken record. The ones that bring stress, anger, and regret.
Write it on a piece of paper. Let it all out. When you’re done, find a safe place outside away from anything that can catch on fire.
Take the paper and light it on fire. Watch it slowly burn and turn to ash. As you see the smoke go up, let that be all the negative emotion going away. You see it go away.
You can also take that letter instead and tear it up into tiny little pieces.
What worked for me was a simple letter I typed to myself. I called it my manifesto and in it I spoke the truth to myself. I told myself what I needed to hear every single day. I told myself to stop wasting my life. Start taking massive action each and every day. I put this on my wall so I could see it every single day. It was my reminder to do whatever it took.
You have to make peace with your past. There’s no going back now to change anything about it.
You have to take back control of your life. Your life didn’t spiral downward because you were in control of it. It did because you gave control away. That’s why you point fingers and place the blame on others.
When faced with decisions to make, you let someone else decide for you. Or you let them influence what you decide to do.
Then when it doesn’t turn out the way you hoped, you blame them.
All the blame has to be put on you now. That means from now on when something doesn’t go right, you are to blame. That may be tough to handle at first but only when you are in control of your life will you get what you want.
That’s exactly how I’ve gotten what I’ve always wanted which was a way to make money online and freedom to do what I want and when I want. That was my ultimate dream.
Only when I began to take responsibility for my life and everything that happens to me did my life change.
That meant if I wanted to be successful and happy in life it would be up to me.
Change didn’t happen overnight either. I had to take it day to day. I didn’t want the positive changes in my life to be short lived either. I wanted them to be a part of me for the rest of my life.
That’s why it was important to approach it like a marathon and not a sprint. Slow and steady will always outperform working hard infrequently.
In one year from this moment, you will be much better than where you are right now because you took control of your life.
In order to do that though you have to first let go of the past. You must make peace with it so you can focus on the present.
I hope you can begin to do that right now so that you can begin a new chapter in your life and create the type of life you’ve always dreamed of.
I believe in you. I know you have the ability to change. It’s inside of you so I hope this letter is first step towards a happier life.