As I look back over my life, and as I play back my nearly 39 years on this Earth, I see many defining moments that have taken place in my life.
As I look at the video of my life on the movie screen of my mind, I can see that there were many successes, failures, challenges, disappointments, joy filled moments, happy times, sad times, good times and bad times.
All-in-all, out of everything that I can vividly recall, I can honestly say that I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. Now granted, there are many things that I can look back and say to myself, “Jeff, you know that if you had the opportunity to do things over again, you could have made a better decision or a different response concerning that.”
But see that’s the thing. You can’t turn back the hands of time. You can’t have a do-over. The only thing you can do is learn from your past and apply it to the life you are living at this very moment.
Speaking of things that I remember vividly, I can’t help but remember my dad and many of the things he would say that I haven’t forgotten to this day. He was truly a funny guy.
Whenever someone would use the word “IF” around my dad, he would say, “If ‘IF’ was a fifth, we’d all be drunk.”
The point that my dad would make to anyone who would listen was simply that a person couldn’t do anything about the things they had already done in the past. In his mind, the only thing a person could do in their life was deal with the consequences of their actions and be prepared to accept the results of their decisions; nothing more and nothing less.
How often do you find yourself wallowing in the past, seeking to blame that past on your present situation? I know that I’ve been guilty of it in my life.
I quickly realized that if I wanted to progress in life, I had to change my way of thinking. I had to come to the realization that if I chose to keep that same paradigm my growth and my future would be stifled, and I would forever be a voluntary victim of my past.
Anybody remember that guy named Michael Jordan? It was in 1978, that the 15-year old Jordan was not selected to make the Laney High School varsity basketball team in Wilmington, N.C. Jordan ended up being placed on the junior-varsity basketball team, allegedly because he was an underclassman. The coach did, however, make an exception to select Jordan’s 6’7” friend and fellow sophomore Leroy Smith, to make the varsity squad.
Jordan was hurt, but he played that entire year on the junior varsity basketball team with the goal of showing the coach, the following year, that he made the wrong decision. He never allowed that temporary setback to deter him from greatness. Jordan made the varsity basketball team the following year and went on to become, arguably the greatest basketball player to play the game of basketball. Could he have given up? Yes!
The difference between him and many people is, he didn’t give up on his goals and kept going in spite of the setback. He didn’t whine and complain about what he could have done better or possibly what he had done wrong. He had to stay focused on the prize. He sucked it up and went after what he wanted.
He didn’t allow the setbacks to keep him from his future greatness. He allowed his actions on the court and his passion for what he loved to do, to drive him towards that greatness. Now Michael Jordan is forever celebrated for what he accomplished after moving forward.
Sometimes I talk with people who are always looking to provide an excuse for why they are in the situation they are in. They keep experiencing the same recurring setbacks over and over again and keep making excuses. I don’t like listening to it honestly.
Well, I take that back. I don’t like listening to it, if the people who are expressing themselves want to remain a victim and don’t want to be an overcomer or a winner. Losers are common and typical.
Winners are rare. I choose to be a winner and hang around winners. I love reading about winners. I love talking to winners. I love hearing from winners. I love watching winners. There is something about people who have a winning mentality that motivate me.
Losers bring you down. Losers are always whining and complaining. Losers blame everyone and everything else for their failures and shortcomings. Losers suck! Yeah they do. They will suck the life out of you if you allow it.
I refuse to and I strongly encourage you not to let them do it to you either. If you have made mistakes in your life or gotten off to a rocky start, you can overcome. You can straighten up and fly right, if you choose to. Once you make that decision, you need to begin making the right decisions without excuse. Stop making excuses and live life to the max today.
The things you do at this moment in your life will make a difference in your life. Your commitment to your growth and future will also benefit those closest to you and those who don’t even know you.