You are driving your car and you get to this crossing with so many exits… you look around and questions flood your mind – “where the heck am I? where do I want to go? which exit should I take?”
You realize you are lost, and you don’t know the way to your destination…
Luckily, nowadays, we all have navigation systems on our mobile phones. The phone’s GPS is active, and your phone knows your location – “OK, that’s a start, someone here knows something about where we are!”
Still not knowing which way to go, you open the navigation app and immediately the phone asks you to “Enter your destination…”, Just that!
Wait a minute! How come the navigation system is not asking you “where do you come from?”
Because it doesn’t bloody matter! That’s it!
For the navigation system to find the best route from your current location to your desired destination, it only needs to know two things: where you are and where do you want to go. Of course, you can put additional constraints about optimizing the time to get there or fuel consumption or passing by a particular place on the way to the final destination. But it doesn’t really matter which route took you to get here. It will not affect the best strategy for navigating the future.
Now listen this. I don’t know what path brought you to this point in life, but I know one thing: your past is not important for you to decide your future. Maybe you have collected some damage and you are still feeling pain. Maybe you had some ups and downs on your way here and you feel like the fuel is running out. All that history is a part of who you are, your experience, and can help you deciding on the best strategy. But “who you are” is now! The past is gone. You can lose all hopes for a better one. That’s forgiveness!
Our past does not have to condition our future… unless we decide to do so. Our future does not have to equal our past… unless we decide to do so. At each moment we can press the reset button and find new paths for our lives. Maybe we have to pass by a gas station on our way. That’s OK! Take a sip! Maybe we have a flat tire and need a pit stop to change it. That’s also OK! Maybe the driver needs to take a nap before proceeding… take a pause! But it doesn’t really matter anymore where you have spent the gas, why the tire is flat or how many hours you have been driving to get here.
Decide your destination, find the best strategy and put your focus on the road ahead!
If this message resonates with you and you want to explore these thoughts further, feel free to contact me for a conversation.
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Featured photo by Jon Flobrant on Unsplash