“Even though there are days I wish I could change some things that happened in the past, there’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big, where you’re heading is much more important than what you’ve left behind.” Unknown
I am proud to say that this is show 200. Really. 200 radio and podcast shows, along with 200 newsletters.
If you had told me a few years ago that I would stay with this project, I am not sure I would have believed you because it is a boatload of work each week, working to create and produce a product of value. But here we are, 200 shows later, and I am happy about the work I’ve done.
My theme today is right in line with my thought and celebration of my personal success of 200 shows with more to come. (Not sure how many more to come, but for now we’ll stick with more to come.)
“Even though there are days I wish I could change some things that happened in the past, there’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big, where you’re heading is much more important than what you’ve left behind.”–Unknown
I’ve had this quote on my desktop for a few months now, and while I like it very much, there never seemed to be the right time to turn it into a show…until today.
I have been forthright through the years with you about my desire to have been the perfect person, but alas, that was not to be. And even though there are days I wish I could change some things that happened in the past, there’s a reason that the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big, where you’re heading is much more important than what you’ve left behind.
So, friends, I have to ask, where are you headed?
The New Year is upon us, believe it or not. It will come very quickly now that Thanksgiving is within sight, and then we will speed into the Christmas holiday and end up in the New Year. So, as I spend these next few weeks encouraging you to start on your New Year’s plans and organization, I want to be very clear about the most important thing: where you’re heading is much more important than what you’ve left behind.
I have spent enough time this year pushing you to leave behind anything and everybody who is not good for you–heart and soul, mind and body. I am an equal opportunity people-kicker-outer when it comes to friends, co-workers or even family who do not respect your boundaries or your rules, primarily because it is not fair that you are asked to walk for miles to accommodate others who wouldn’t walk across the street for you.
I know that some motivational speakers, preachers and Sunday school teachers are always talking about the importance of looking back to see how far you’ve come, but I am not one of those. It’s okay to glance back once in a while to measure how far you have come, but I subscribe to the concept that there is no need to waste precious hours correcting your weakness. Consider, instead, strengthening your strengths. You’ll get better with practice and purpose, and so the idea of straining to look in the rearview mirror, where most things are distorted, might not be your best bet for a lifetime of success.
Let’s turn around and look ahead through the big windshield of life, so you can choose the way you would like to go by as you leave some things behind.
No doubt there are days we all wish we could change some things that happened in the past, but remember the inspirational quote you wrote in your high school notebook, The past is behind, learn from it. The future is ahead, prepare for it. The present is here, live it. That is still good advice, no matter what age you are.
Not to dwell on memories of high school, but for many people, their emotions were shaped by the challenge, fun or pain those days held for them. As a coach, it is amazing for me to hear stories from clients who can tell me, to the most finite detail, of their success or failure in those most formidable years of their life. And as a friend and coach, it is my job to pull, push or carry them from the past into the present, because as the quote for today says, there’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big, where you’re heading is much more important than what you’ve left behind.
Last week’s newsletter quote by Leymah Gbowee said you can never leave footprints that last if you are always walking on tiptoe. I know it was a tough-love message, but if you truly want to live your best life ever, you need to set a plan and start walking or driving towards your life goal instead of tiptoeing, never leaving a mark of your presence.
Looking out the front windshield of life, let me touch on a few ideas of about where I think you should consider heading. I have spent enough newsletter themes on not looking back because you’re not going that way, so let me redirect so we’re all on the same course of action.
I’d like to talk about three ideas that will help you as you move forward: I’d like to encourage you to let go of the idea of perfect (whatever that means to you), and I want you to trust and follow your intuition (allow it to work) and, finally, stop choosing to be so busy–you’re making everyone crazy with your chaos.
The first point: The reason I want to encourage you to let go of the idea of perfect, is that the ideal of perfect is different for everyone, so don’t wrap yourself up and hold on so tightly to your self-imposed belief of perfect that you miss the joy of just about right.
You know the famous quote from Voltaire, “Perfect is the enemy of good,” so if that is the truth in any sense of the word, consider for a moment what amazing opportunities have you not pursued or left behind or didn’t take full advantage of because you waiting for the “perfect” person, or the “perfect” time or the “perfect” event for something you assumed might be better, but while you were waiting, life went on without you and most likely gave that amazing opportunity to someone else who was ready, all because you let the chance go by, just sitting around waiting for “perfect.”
Please stop thinking that the perfect time will come. Take action, and make the current time the perfect time to do what you feel is needed. You must find the strength, time and resources to do what you’ve been waiting to do because life is too short to wonder what could have been had you just made a move on “almost perfect” instead of waiting for “perfect” (which rarely is perfect in the end).
My second point: Let me touch on the idea of why it is important that you follow your intuition and stop doubting and second-guessing yourself. Following your intuition is a personal and physical understanding of your true self. You know when something feels wrong–you experience a funny feeling when things are out of sort, and your energy feels the joy of a new baby and sadness of great loss. Stop ignoring these telling signs. I have always believed your intuition is a muscle and that you must agree to let it work, and by work I mean you need to allow it to alert you, and then you need to honor or act on that alert.
Many of us have walked into a home and said quietly to ourselves (so as not to alert the Realtor), I could live here, and then you bought the house. Or, as some of my friends have told me, they knew the minute they met their better half–it was an instant connection. Or, more often than not, something just feels right, no explanation given or needed. That is your intuition working.
When it comes to intuition, when in doubt, trust yourself to take the next step. Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life if you will honor your internal guide.
My last point is this: You’ve got to stop making yourself so busy. Seriously. For your health, emotional strength and physical energy, stop with your self-made need to always be busy. Busyness is not a benefit and here is why: when you allow yourself to be pulled in every direction but the one you really need to go in, you are not only dishonoring yourself you are also dishonoring those who really need you.
Dr. Lissa Rankin says in Psychology Today, “It seems to me that too many of us wear busyness as a badge of honor. I’m busy, therefore I’m important and valuable, therefore I’m worthy. And if I’m not busy, forget it–I don’t matter.”
If there is one lesson I have tried to hammer home this past year, it is the idea that YOU MATTER, you always have and you always will, so you do not need to make yourself so busy to prove your value or to cover your vulnerability about other aspects of your life. The truth is that your busyness is not a virtue–it is a vice. It is the one drug you have chosen to take and flaunt to others, thinking it makes you look good when in reality you don’t look good at all; you look like your life is out of control, and you’re running to catch up. I hate to break it to you, but no one is impressed with your busyness. Don’t let your “To Do List” be a cover for other issues you are refusing to face in your life. Being busy is just stalling the inevitable of the crash that is coming. And deep inside you know it–your gut instinct is yelling at you to get a grip on your life–so set aside your ridiculous need to be perfect and just slow down and look through the windshield so you can see where you’re heading for your amazing life
Because, even though we all wish we could change some things that happened in the past, there’s a reason the rearview mirror is so small and the windshield is so big. And when you incorporate the idea of letting go of the false ideal of perfection, trust and follow your intuition and then stop choosing to be so busy, you will see clearly that where you’re heading is much more important than what you’ve left behind.