Past, Present, and the Future

The Past, The Present, The Future

Actions of our past do not make us who we are today. This is what I believe.

I do a lot of work in the start up field and when you look at what the successful startups are doing it is rapid prototyping and shipping products quickly. The quickly shipping products however is where the problems can be. Sometimes pride get’s in the way and the mistake of the past becomes the present. How we deal with this makes a mark on who we are and our long term code of ethics. We see a lot of companies make a choice to take the past and make it better. This choice leads to better businesses. When we make a personal mistake in life with those that love us we can do the same thing by owning up to it and trying to make it better.

If we are to be looked at who we are today then we need to take a look at the past and not dwell in it. Personal reflection is the mark of successful people. The personal introspection though can lead to self doubt and that is where the present comes in. This present is what we make of it today. Does this past create the reality of what a new future looks like, or do we choose to relive the errors of the past? It has often been said the definition of insanity is doing something over and over again and expecting a different result. In order to change this we must realize that our future is predicated on choosing to change today and make a difference in tomorrow.

All of this is predicated on our priorities and our core values. What are your core values? Sometimes the value in the today is the moment and the stillness of the now. My own experience was helping my wife when her son was in the hospital recently with viral pneumonia. The drive for the future was suspended by the now and that is ok. My wife and “bonus son” needed me. My wife needed someone to make sure that she was getting what she needed as she took care of her son. What this says is my family is worth it and for all of us this should truly be the case. I feel life really is to short and that the stress of life gets in the way of the love of life. The experience of the day and those that love us that are around us.

Our future therefore is unwritten. We get to make a choice in how we make it better. Our values dictate something about those choices. I know for me I am choosing the ones around me that care about me.

This is even true in business as Rabbi Lapin puts it, every dollar you earn is a “certificate of appreciation” from your customers. Take a look at your business and if you are to serve instead of receive how would your business change? I guaranty customer service becomes priority number one and you get rewarded for it.

By looking and learning from the past, stepping out of the present, and serving for the future we will have a better life in business and personally.

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I have a confession

For quite sometime I have been dealing with a huge problem, but I had no idea. The bizarre thing about this problem is that most would think how could that even be a problem. It seems like it would be something that we all would want and even strive for. The challenge is when this problem kicks into overdrive it causes serious problems including self esteem, and for me just even dealing with the world. The problem stems from one word, and many people today have no clue how big of a problem just one simple word creates. That word is yes.

While yes by itself is not a problem, what stands behind it can be. If all that yes means for you is people will like me more, then you can relate to where I have been for most of my life. I sought out approval. I sought out the yes. You see for me it started at an early age, and is a story for another time, but in todays reality it has been a barrier. I lost my voice in the process of always saying yes. I lost my sense of balance. When you are always saying yes it becomes such a struggle to not get to such a high level of overcommitment that you have no where to turn. You begin to feel paralyzed at even calling a client and telling them of delays because you feel they won’t like you. You feel like you will have let them down. In reality you just are letting yourself down.

Saying no is tough because someone may not like us. In reality though we are just kidding ourselves. I struggled with this. How is it possible for someone to like us if we say no? I just did not understand it. Today I still struggle with it, but the reality is something that most of us forget about which is boundaries. We want to do so much that we get lost in the everythingness of just doing as much as possible, but in reality it is not a life worth living. It is living someone else’s life and not our own.

Enabling yourself to be happy and facing the dreaded no starts with your foundation. Who and what are you? Why do you exist? Why do you go to work? Why do you do what you do? Why are you?

For me the balance was shot. More work would be great. More income and better success. The reality is most of the time less is always more. Imagine if you are able to focus on just one thing today how much better you may be able to complete that task. Imagine if all you did today was focus on your relationship with your spouse, kids, relatives, or friends it will change your life. Saying no can help create balance and when you tell people that truly care about you that you need to think before you give them an answer it helps build respect.

I am not suggesting you say no to everything because remember your balance. Remember what matters most. Remember that life is not worth living by yourself, but with others around you and you certainly have to give back to whatever makes you who you are. The challenge for me though has been realizing that as long as I am treating each person with dignity and respect the no becomes less personal. My personal worth rests inside myself and not with others. I believe that for everyone. Find who you are and stop letting the no be so personal.

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