In Action, Change, Leaders

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending.” – C.S. Lewis

Last week in this space I made the point that as human beings we have a tendency to get stuck in the past.  We can learn from our past mistakes, which is great, but we can get so enamored with our past successes that we’re slow to try new solutions when needed.

Along those same lines, I was meeting with a leader this week who used the phrase, “If I had to do it over again…”, and then he proceeded to tell me how he would do things differently back in 2018, if he could.  There isn’t anything wrong with that phrase or that conversation, unless it stops there.

Unfortunately, it quite often stops there.  We talk about how we would do it differently if we had the chance, and how we made this or that mistake, etc.  At worst we end up beating ourselves down or wallowing in self-pity.  We allow that “should have been” to define us.

Don’t sit there and feel sorry for yourself, or tell yourself what a terrible job you did.  Think about what’s next.  You can’t go back and do it over again, but there is a lifetime of days in front of you, and those days are a huge opportunity.  And like all opportunities, they need to be actively and purposefully grasped.

Think about an opportunity facing your organizations.  Maybe it has to do with a new product or service, or maybe there is a potential customer, or maybe there is some kind of strategic alliance or acquisition.  Whatever it is, think about that opportunity and what it would mean for you and your business if you took advantage of it.

What are the steps that you need to take to make that a reality?  Where do you need to start?  Maybe you can’t see all fifty steps towards success, but if you can see the first handful then start moving.  You have the ability to impact outcomes.  You don’t just have to aimlessly drift, and you aren’t a captive to your prior mistakes.

You can change what your future looks like by starting with the present.  Don’t get stuck in the past.  Start creating the future today.

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