When you bring up bad memories about that part of your life or tell yourself the same story over and over, you are assured that this area will not go well. Unwittingly, you have a GOAL to do badly in that area. Because you ‘choose’ to bring up a bad memory or thought, you are chained and controlled by the past. Isn’t that scary?
In the brilliant Japanese bestseller, The Courage to Be Disliked, authors Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga explain that when you use past misfortune as a reason or excuse, you will always need it again – that if you focus on past causes, you will take NO steps forward. The meaning you give something will always determine your outcomes.
If you want to regain control of any area of your life, you must choose not to bring up disempowering thoughts and instead choose to attach a positive meaning to this area from now on.
Decide to use your past for whatever suits your purposes rather than live on an unhelpful autopilot!
For example, Dani, a sales manager in Romania, was struggling professionally to find purpose in her work, and her repeat-cycle thinking was: “I am alone – no one else wants what I want. If my team does not share the same goal and vision as me, it is hard to achieve a big dream” – so she continued to feel soulless.
After a challenging physical ailment left her bedridden for four months in 2017, she chose a positive, different meaning for a part of her life that had been stagnant for 14 years:
“I am a role model for those who feel alone and without a team to support their vision.
My purpose/destiny in life is to find the right team with the right values to protect 100,000 families with 100 advisors.” This is how she found purposeful leadership and has gone on since to global awards in her field.
If you’re struggling professionally and/or have felt on a plateau for some time, your repeat-cycle thinking is: “I hit a roadblock (bad memory), and I can’t get past it.”
Choose a positive, different meaning, and feel free to use this format for your new thinking:
“I am a role model for those who are stuck in business; I’ve been there.
My purpose/destiny in life is to scale my business increasingly on an upward trajectory because I am a caring, intelligent person of integrity who is hard-wired for purpose-centric work and consistent growth – and I can mentor others to do the same.”
If you’ve almost always struggled with being fit and healthy, your repeat cycle thinking is: “It’s really hard for me to be in shape.”
Choose a positive, different meaning to this life area:
“I am a role model for those who are out of shape; I’ve been there for far too long.
My purpose/destiny in life is to be fit and healthy and to feel strong and energized – and help others do the same.”
This step is the most important of all in pushing you to find the courage to change.
Face your fear and rewrite your future now.
Your past does not have to determine your future if YOU commit not to let it!!!
If you need one more reason to create new inspired meaning from past misfortune, I’m not sure it can be put any better than this:
In Italy, for 30 years under the Borgias, they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo,
Leonardo da Vinci and the Renaissance.
In Switzerland, they had brotherly love; they had 500 years of democracy and peace – and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.
Orson Welles as Harry Lime in The Third Man (1949)
– In other words, your hardship can teach you something and lead to making your life your own work of art.
To legitimately transform your life!