Everything you’ve done in your life, from the moment you were born, has led you to this very moment. Your successes, your failures, your experiences, your family, your friends, where you live, what you do, what you refuse to do…all of it, everything. It has all led you to be the person you are at this very moment. Think about that for a minute. Sit with it. Every decision, every choice, every path, thousands of them, hundreds of thousands of them, all lead to here and now.
Would you change anything? Would you make any different choices. If you are like the other 100% of people in the world today, you’ve said and done things that you wish you hadn’t. But it does you no good to dwell in the past. The past, your choices, don’t deserve your energy, because they don’t exist. They aren’t real. The only thing that is real is this very moment. And it doesn’t matter if the past has led you here. If you made choices you regret, that’s ok. If you said things you wish you hadn’t, that’s ok too. What matters is what will you do now? What will you say now?
I have a lot of regrets in life. I’ve abandoned people that needed my support. I’ve fired people I wish I hadn’t. I’ve also kept people around I should have gotten rid of sooner and hired people that I shouldn’t have. I don’t dwell on it, mostly. There are times the thoughts start to enter my mind, and I have to remind myself that they are just that, thoughts. They are not real, they’re a movie I’m watching and I can get up and walk out.
I noticed in my recent interviews for jobs that I’m being radically honest. You have to understand, I’m a pretty cerebral guy. I watch what I say. I weigh my words. I gauge what their impact will be. Maybe it’s from my law school training. Maybe I don’t want to upset people. I naturally want people to like me. But lately I’ve noticed that I’m caring less and less about my words, and caring more and more about being honest. Not to other people, but honest with myself.
There is an old adage that says, “Your best thinking is what got you here.” If you like where you are, great. If you don’t, then you have to change the way you think because it’s just not working for you.
As a Zen student you are asked to, “throw your mind out.” I bristled at this for a while because I’ve spent 20 years in school to hone my fantastic, beautiful mind. I mean, look at it! It’s magnificent. And that’s when ego starts to creep in, and we start to judge, others and ourselves, and compare, and struggle. Life a rat race? No! It’s not, that’s the thinking of the mind. That’s the thinking that got you and me here.
Throw your mind out. I’ve done it many times. The damn thing is a boomerang and keeps coming back. But I’ll keep throwing it out and see things in a new way, to live life differently. Will you join me?
Thanks for taking this journey with me. It wouldn’t be the same without you.
Dean – Let’s chat @talksouk