I was going through some old thumb drives today and found a post I had done right at the start of this blog – which explained the general theme of what I hoped to write about, at least occasionally. The timing of finding this post is kind of funny, and I’m sure not a coincidence, given my most recent post and subsequent comments that followed. So here it is again:
Every Day is a New Beginning
The state of your life when you woke up this morning is the sum total of EVERY decision you’ve made since your brain was developed enough to make decisions for itself. You were EXACTLY where you were supposed to be this morning, based on all those decisions.
Some big ones (where to go to college, who to marry, which job to take, whether to move across the country or around the world) and a lot of small, seemingly inconsequential ones. But in total they all add up to who you are today.
Accept that you can’t do anything to change the past. Focus your energy instead on how to shape the future to your vision of what you want it to be. And get off your ass and start making it happen.
This may sound like a bunch of trite, self-help, pop psychology bullshit, and it probably is. It also happens to be true.
Most of us live in denial of this simple fact. Or we’re too busy worrying about all the STUFF we absolutely NEED to get done today to think about it. And another day passes us by.
Regret is a huge waste of time and a huge drain of energy. We should all know this, intuitively. But our greatest asset, the thing that distinguishes us from every other living thing on the planet, our brain and its ability to provide us with self consciousness, the capacity to think and learn and to create lasting memories, is also sometimes our greatest curse.
I didn’t wake up on December 18, 2001 thinking about the future. It wasn’t a new beginning. And even though I eventually moved on in my life, I didn’t learn to let go of the past for quite some time after that.
It wasn’t like I had an epiphany. I can’t tell you a date when I woke up, took full ownership of the state of my life, and decided to look forward rather than backward. But when I finally did, it made all the difference.
Today, nearly 7 billion people woke up on this planet. Some for the first time. Some for the last time. Most will mindlessly go through the daily motions of their life, not all that differently from the sheep or cattle in the field. There are as many people that fall into that category on Wall Street as there are in the slums of Calcutta (proportionally speaking of course).
I don’t claim to be any more awake than anyone else. But I’m trying.
I’ll finish with a Buddha quote:
To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.