Guest post by Adam Legas, CEO of Nanohydr8
We’ve all been through challenges. Some of us might be dealing with addiction, been through a divorce or even experienced the unexpected loss of a loved one. Those are pretty extreme, but we all have challenges and these challenges and mistakes all affect each of us differently. The key to happiness and success is how we take these challenges and move forward and use them to strengthen us in the future.
One thing I’ve seen in my own life is that dwelling on the past and feeling sorry for myself has never helped me accomplish anything and it for sure never made me happier.
Dwelling on the past gives things that we can’t change, the power to hurt us over and over. It reopens old wounds. It brings back heartache and pain and is a form of self-sabotage. It will be a huge barrier in keeping you from moving forward.
I have let mistakes haunt me and all it does is make me feel like terrible. Letting go of pain isn’t always easy, but the first step is being willing to try.
Becoming aware that it is time to move on is the biggest step in making a positive change! We must welcome change. Change and constant modification and improvement is what life is about. It’s also where the most joy is found.
-You are Responsible for Your Attitude
As we go through life, each day presents new challenges and new opportunities. These can come in many different forms. It’s totally up to us what we do with the circumstances we find ourselves in.
What one person sees as a challenge, might be a tremendous blessing to another.
I was just watching a story about a blind young man who had supernatural musical abilities. It turns out that the part of his mind that is typically used to process the visual world was being diverted to help him process sound and resulted in his remarkable musical talent.
So he thinks of his blindness as a blessing because of the remarkable joy he finds and brings to others through his musical gifts.
-Own Your Mistakes
The best to remove the power of a weakness you have or a mistake you’ve made, is to own up to it.
I was reminded of this just the other day when i was watching a political ad. During his commercial, one candidate discussed how he had learned some hard lessons and even experienced bankruptcy. It wasn’t 10 minutes later I saw a commercial run by his opponent that talked about how the first guy was no good because he had filed bankruptcy. I remember thinking, “Wow, that guy already admitted that and is moving on.” He totally took away the power of that mistake by owning up to it and taking responsibility for it.
The best way to own up to something is to take total responsibility for your role in it. Adding a caveat that brings other people or factors into the situation as an excuse for why you made the mistake only diminishes your ability to get the full benefit of taking responsibility for yourself. It can be hard to do, but powerful people are able to do this.
This can be very hard to do, but studies show that forgiveness leads to lower stress and anxiety levels.
Holding a grudge just gives someone else space in your head and is a distraction from you being truly happy. Countless times in my life, once I made the decision to stop blaming someone for something, a weight is immediately lifted from my mind and it is almost immediately filled with peace and a sense of relief.
This also goes for stupid little things that our spouse may have done or said. Life is too short to give the people you love most the silent treatment, waiting for them to apologize. This type of pride is such an easy trap to fall into, but it is also such a total waste of time and energy! One of the most powerful lessons you can learn, is to forgive others and yourself!
-Sometimes Trials End Up Being Your Greatest Blessings
When I was in college, my dream was to play pro football as a quarterback. So when I injured my shoulder, it seemed like the worst possible thing that could happen to me.
However, if I hadn’t hurt my shoulder, I would have never transferred to a different school and would have never met my wife.
So now, looking back, what at the time seemed like my biggest trial, ended up being my biggest blessing.
So it’s important to move forward with a positive attitude, because we never really know what may lie ahead. And dwelling on what we perceive to be a trial might be keeping us from some great opportunities!
-Great Things are Ahead
There is only so much time in the day and we can only think about and accomplish so many things during each one. So remember that when you think about negative things, lose your temper or dwell on things that are out of your control, you are directly taking away from positive thoughts and actions that you could be pursuing that will bring you closer to your goals.
-Look for Inspiration
Make time to learn about the lives of people you admire. Find out what things they overcame along their way to greatness. I can’t think of a single incredible person that didn’t overcome some huge challenges in their life.
Abraham Lincoln lost 8 elections before he became president. Imagine if he let those failures cause him to give up.
Michael Jordan missed 26 potentially game winning shots in his NBA career. But all we remember are the incredible ones that he made.
Billionaire author, JK Rowling was on welfare when she began writing the Harry Potter series.
-Focus on the Future
The best way to stop dwelling on the past is to focus on the future. As we live in the present and focus on what positive changes we can make, we get another step closer to our potential and achieving our goals and feeling joy. Having specific daily tasks is the best way I’ve found to keep moving forward. For me, I really enjoy pushing myself physically every day. So, regardless of how many things go wrong in any given day, if I have made time to go to the gym, go on a hike or a hard bike ride, I am always able to go to sleep at night feeling like I accomplished something positive.
We all have made mistakes and done things we regret. Remember that what you do with those mistakes is part of who you are today. Focus on using everything for good. A famous world champion fighter once said, “I never lose. I either win, or I learn.”
So focus on how you can learn and how you can improve and everything, including your mistakes can only deepen the joy you feel as you move forward and succeed!
Photo: By Enoch Palmer of my daughter Mia Legas