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365 Ways to Start Over: Day #36 – Don’t Get Lost in “Or so it seemed…”

Do you find that sometimes you get lost in memories of the past? Those memories are so rewardingly vivid that you long to have them back in real time. You can feel the tranquility or the continuity of a “better” era. And the present seems to pale in comparison to it. Of course it does. It always will – because you are focused on comparing your perception of history to today.

Your past experiences are what molds your character and forms your personality. The challenges and the good fortune that have come your way both tangibly and intangibly try your patience and test your values. How you deal with joy and pain is what shapes who you become.

In my experience having coached a number of people experiencing life transition, unless someone is grieving the loss of a loved one, most of the time getting stuck on the past is due to a skewed vision of what was really going on.

Four Question Reality Check About the Past:

1.) What about this memory do I truly miss? Is it the person? Or is it the perception of how I saw that person at the time. Is it that I was living my dream? Or was the vision of my dream what I was focused on perhaps at the exclusion of reality?

2.) What one thing was I able to contribute to my fulfillment then that I still have to contribute now. Are you able to laugh at yourself? Do you have an open heart? Do you have incredible passion for the things you love? Are you able to motivate yourself and others to take action?

3.) What is the one pearl of wisdom you would share with others about what you have learned? Write it down. Post this where you will see it every day to remind yourself how far you have come and how you want to live today and tomorrow.

4.) Five years from now, where do you want to be? This is where your dreams and joy coincide. Not in mourning a loss of the past. Many things about the past may have been fulfilling. But there is nothing there but wisdom that will bring you fulfillment for today and tomorrow.

You can’t create new dreams while you are mourning lost dreams of the past. Embrace them. Learn from them. And plan how you will apply what you have learned from them to create your dream for today. Start now!

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Mary Lee Gannon is the president of Gannon Group – an executive coaching and consulting firm that produces higher individual and organizational performance through Executive Leadership Coaching, Fundraising Coaching, Organizational Development, Board Retreats, Visioning, and Planning. Mary Lee’s personal turnaround came as a stay-at-home mother, with four children under seven-years-old, who endured a divorce that took she and the children from the country club life to public assistance from where within a short time she worked up to the level of CEO. Her book “Starting Over – 25 Rules for When You’ve Bottomed Out” is available in bookstores or at Amazon. Get her FREE ebook – “Grow Productivity – A Leader’s Toolbox” on her web site at www.StartingOverNow.com.