The past cannot be changed, forgotten or erased. However, the lessons learned can prepare you for a brighter future.
This is something that seems to be very difficult to learn and live by. If we look back across the ghosts of events past, we often see that they repeat throughout human history. We still wage wars against each other, still hunt animals to extinction, still seek to one up one another at every opportunity.
But still all those lessons from the past sit there just waiting for us to learn from them, all we have to do is look back and remember them, learn from them and move forward into that brighter future.
The same is true in our businesses, often you leave a corporate world to seek a better balance in your life, or because you do not like the traditional ways of working in the corporate world, but then in building your own future, your own business you adopt many of the same attitudes and practices that made you move on in the first place.
Why is that? What holds us back from accepting the lessons that are there waiting patiently for us to learn them. One of my favorite axioms is that we should work smarter, not harder. Yet every day, I see friends and colleagues working all hours in the same roles, doing the same thing over and over, never moving forward or upwards.
As people with the entrepreneurial mindset we will often see a situation or circumstance and automatically visualize a way to improve it, be it something simple like a buffet line, or something much more complicated like project planning.
Project Management trainers would have you believe that this is a large and complicated task requiring specialist and expensive trainer to get right, you might’ve heard of phrases like ‘agile project management methodologies’ and ‘Prince 2’. It’s all a myth so much of it is simply common sense and by learning lessons from past successes and failures.
Every day in our lives, we do things a certain way, the ways that we have learnt work for us. We learnt this through trial and error, through experience. Yet we still refuse to learn from some of the most fundamental mistakes made in our past.
We still hold on to too much fear in those specters, rather than accept them as having happened and choose to learn and move forward. Each day in your lives and as you build your businesses, don’t be afraid to look into past failures and learn the lessons that are there waiting for you. So you can move into that brighter future without the fear that you have gone wrong somewhere, every bit of your past ‘failures’ have served you, I assure you.
Just look for the lessons, not the mistakes.