“It is always important to know when something has reached its end. Closing circles, shutting doors, finishing chapters, it doesn’t matter what we call it; what matters is to leave in the past those moments in life that are over.”
Paulo Coelho (Author of The Alchemist)
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
Walt Disney (Co-founder of The Walt Disney Company)
“Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward.”
Maxwell Maltz (Author of Psycho-Cybernetics)
“Do you have a daughter that lives in the dorm?”
No, I don’t have a daughter in college.
Thanks for asking.
By the way, you look ridiculous.
This is what I wanted to say.
I was on a university bus with over 50 drunk 18-year-old college freshmen trying to get home.
It was my first year of graduate school and there was no parking on the graduate campus.
Okay, there was parking, but it cost $30 a day.
I was eating beans out of a can every night so paying $30 a day wasn’t happening.
My apartment was over an hour away from the campus too.
So I was stuck.
I had to take the bus.
The only problem was I didn’t know which bus to take.
I looked at the confusing routes at the bus stop that night and did my best to get on the right one.
But it was 10PM and I was exhausted.
I knew I’d made the wrong choice when the bus starting merging onto the highway away from my house.
A few minutes later, we got off the highway and pulled up to a freshman dormitory.
50 kids dressed in either short dresses or skinny jeans were lined up at the bus stop waiting to go downtown.
I was the only passenger on the bus as it pulled up.
This is going to be awkward.
I sat there like the nerd I was with my lab notebook open as a herd of inebriated teenagers trampled onto the bus.
By the time the stampede was over, it was standing room only on the bus.
The dorm was in the middle of nowhere so getting out and walking was not an option.
Just as the bus started to take off, two of the kids who were holding hands turned around.
They wobbled from side to side, then the girl asked…
“So, do you like live in the dorm?”
“Okay, so, do you like have a daughter that lives in the dorm?”
I get it—I’m too old to be on the campus bus.
I didn’t get dressed up to go downtown every night anymore.
I had moved on.
But not everyone moves on in life.
A lot of people stay stuck at a certain level, or in a certain phase of their lives forever.
Why You Need To Move Forward In Life
Too many people hold on to the past.
These people experience a loss that they refuse to get over.
This loss can be a negative event, such as a divorce or losing a job, or it can be the loss of something positive, like an enjoyable experience or phase of life that’s now over.
In the latter case, people get stuck in the past, wishing to relive it.
These people are holding on to what they consider to be their glory days because they’re either too afraid or too unsure of how to move forward.
They’ve experienced a traumatic loss—the loss of a cherished season of their life.
This loss, and their focus on this loss, is what keeps them from climbing higher.
Studies published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology show that focusing attention on prior life experiences (also known as past temporal orientation) is associated with elevated levels of distress, long after losing something has passed.
The negative effects of this are highest in people who have their identities threatened by the loss.
For example, if you used to be the prom king or queen in school and now you’re nobody, you’re much more likely to get stuck in the past.
These people feel powerless because they lose their sense of self.
They lose their identity.
3 Strategies For Moving Forward In Life
The more you try to relive the past, the less you’re able to forward.
Too many look back on an enjoyable time in their lives and, instead of trying to improve on it, try to go back and do it again.
You know these people.
They’re the ones who used to be the most popular kids in school, but now they’re just average.
No matter how hard they try, they can’t get back to those good old days when everyone adored them.
Or, they used to be young and hot, and everyone showered them with attention, but now they’re old and plain.
No matter how hard they try, they can’t get the adoration they think they still deserve.
Or, they were in a passionate relationship that was right at the time but is now over.
No matter how hard they try, they can’t rekindle the fire they used to have.
If these people would just let go of the past, they could rise above mediocrity, find a new, classy look for themselves, and meet someone even better than before.
Regardless of where you are in life, you need to get over the past.
There’s nothing wrong with revisiting the past, but you should never fall into the trap of trying to relive it.
Instead, you should move forward and work to make your future even better than your past. Here’s how…
1. Eliminate people who try to keep you in the past.
Don’t be fooled—most people want to keep you in the past.
They want to keep you right where you are, or right where you were, so they can control you.
You’ve probably experienced this in your life already.
The family member who still treats you like a child.
The boss who acts like you’re still an entry-level employee.
The friend who reminds you of all the mistakes you used to make.
There’s no room in your life for these people.
The first step to moving forward in life is to get rid of the people holding you back.
This is harder than it sounds.
As long as you are who you’ve always been, everyone is comfortable.
But as soon as you start making fresh progress, as soon as you start becoming someone new, people go bananas.
Your growth magnifies their lack of growth.
Your transformation fills them with uncertainty.
How can they control you if they don’t know who you are?
Start eliminating the manipulative people in your life who keep you in the past.
Pay special attention to those who make you revert back to a past, worse version of yourself.
You must eliminate these people first.
2. Get curious about what’s possible for your future.
It’s easy to give up on your future.
After all, the present is busy.
You have urgent deadlines to meet, bills to pay, and a never-ending stream of obligations to fulfill.
On top of this, preparing for the future is hard work.
Imagining what’s possible for your life takes real effort.
This is because imagination requires uncovering opportunities and stepping outside your comfort zone.
It requires defining the undefined.
Daydreaming about the past is much easier.
Replaying the good old days in your head is simple, which is why so many people get stuck on repeat.
If you want to start moving forward with your life, you need to start imagining what’s possible for your future.
You need to rediscover the child-like curiosity buried deep inside of you.
Remember—anything is possible.
No matter how old, poor, or isolated you are—you can change your life right now.
The world is a big place and it’s more connected now than ever.
If you’re unhappy in the little town you’re currently in, imagine what it would be like to get on a plane and move 3,000 miles away.
Imagine what it would be like to get a completely new job in a completely new city.
Imagine what it would be like to start dressing differently and acting differently.
What’s stopping you?
You could create a new persona and surround yourself with a new group of real friends right now.
The only person holding you back is you.
You don’t have to make a great change right now, but you do have to start imagining it.
Get curious about what’s possible for your life.
Only then will you be able to start making new things happen for yourself.
3. Hit the reset button on your life and create a fresh start.
Nothing is more exciting than a fresh start.
Nothing is more invigorating than finally making a decision to live your life the way you’ve always wanted to.
Once you’ve eliminated the people holding you back and started imagining new possibilities for yourself, it’s time to take action.
You need to define WHAT you want and WHY you want it.
But don’t get stuck there.
You also need to figure out WHO you want to become.
Look—you don’t have to stay who you are right now forever.
The biggest obstacle most people face in life is getting past who they are now or who they used to be.
They want to change but are afraid of becoming someone new.
What if the new me fails too?
What if the new me succeeds and can’t handle it?
Both of these questions are filled with self-doubt and linked to the limiting belief that your future self is not better than your current self.
Identity is a powerful force.
If you want to move forward in life, you need to break up with your old self.
You need to become someone new.
You need to reinvent your life and yourself.
Don’t limit yourself to what’s possible for who you are now or who you used to be.
Open yourself up to what’s possible for a limitless you.
Step outside of yourself to see things from the point of view of someone who cannot fail, or someone who has already succeeded.
Hit the reset button on your old ways of thinking and living.
Be bold enough to change who you are and start a new life as a new person.
The time to hit the reset button is now. Break off the stale relationships that have been holding you back and go out and start imagining new possibilities for yourself. Refuse to stay stuck in the past. Instead, look ahead to the new victories in front of you. By reinventing WHO you are, you can move forward and change your life for the better. Do this and you’ll live a more confident and focused life.
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