Improve Your Future By Changing Your Past

Nov 29, 2023

Are you clear on what you really want in life? I mean, do you ever stop to think about the kind of life, in accordance with God’s will and blessing, you would like to intentionally create?

I’d like to encourage you to take a moment to really think about this one. It’s easy to be so busy that we don’t slow down long enough to figure this one out, yet it’s critically important in order to avoid simply going through the motions of life without living intentionally with purpose.

In order to get really clear on what you want, according to the desires of your heart, and the people that you’re called to serve with your gifts and talents and God-given desires, you need to get crystal clear on your “why” - your purpose in life.

A clear purpose makes for a life worth living and transforms the mundane into something that can be eagerly anticipated.  With a clear why, great things can happen, but to create a better future we must choose a better past. Here’s how. 

I was reminded of our need to change the view of our past by what my dear friend (and cousin), Chad Johnson shared during a recent talk he did at one of our weekend retreats a couple weeks ago.

So often we view our past as concrete, set in stone, and unchangeable, when the reality is we get to choose how we view it. 

Rather than viewing it as unchangeable, immovable and fixed, I suggest viewing it as a canvas on which you have the ability to paint a better narrative than the one you may have been telling yourself up until now. No longer should the negative narrative of your past hold you back from realizing a much bigger and brighter present and future.

The most valuable real estate in the world is the six inches between your two ears. If you haven’t already, it’s time to free yourself from the shackles that may have previously defined you…past mistakes, regrets and burdens you may be carrying…that may be negatively affecting your present and future.

Thankfully, we have each been created with the phenomenal ability to transform our thinking. A renewed mindset, one that involves a better view of our past, is liberating, empowering and a much more effective way to live. 

This concept may seem unconventional at first, but it revolves around the idea that our past experiences, even the most challenging ones, can serve as stepping stones toward future growth.

No matter what has happened in your past, no matter how bad it was, with the proper perspective and some intentional thinking, something about it can be viewed as positive…it made you stronger, you learned something from it, you can help/teach/encourage others as a result of it, and so on. 

Try creating a list of past trials, failures, and burdens, and for each, ask the question: What was positive in that bad situation? How did I get stronger as a result? What can I learn from it? What can be seen as something I could use to help others?

By acknowledging the benefit of the experiences, even in failure, we can transform our past from a burden into a gift.

There is no greater joy than to walk though life in freedom from our past, in order to be free to pursue what God has called us to accomplish. By examining our past, extracting the lessons, and choosing to see it as a gift, we have the ability to get free from our past. Then, rather than it being a hindrance to our lives we can allow it to serve us in the present and positively shape our future.

I encourage you to do this exercise of seeking the positive in the pain of the past and use it to improve your experiences moving forward. I think you’ll be glad you did. I know I sure am glad I made the choice to do this.