I was listening to my son Finn a few days ago talking about ‘when’ it is the school holidays everything will be great… and it got me thinking about the tyranny of when, and a great post that Dr Happy wrote a while back which I thought you might enjoy.  I love the last line at the end of the blog…perhaps it will resonate with you too.   Siwan

I’ve written before about the tryanny of when; that self-defeating tendency to delay happiness until…you have more money, a bigger house, a faster car, a better body etc. This is clearly unhelpful as it stops us from ever experiencing happiness because we never, ever reach our destination or even if we do, we acclimatise, get used to where we are and readjust our expectations thereby increasing our sense of disatisfaction and disappointment.

Although there’s no doubt that we’re influenced by our early learning history (our developmental experiences) and although there’s little doubt that we’re at least partially motivated by our future (our goals and aspirations) we have much more control over our lives and over ourselves that we often realise.  In short, you are not your past and you can shape your future. You can, you really can…

So how do you shake your past and/or create your future? Well, I fully acknowledge that it is, for some people, easier said than done but I strongly encourage you to try the following:

  • practice forgiveness
  • cultivate acceptance
  • rethink episodes from the past and consider what you can and have learned from them
  • look for the best in your history
  • use adversity to build resilience
  • for those of you suffering higher than normal levels of distress – try this

Learn to live in the moment and be more mindful

And there’s more…

  • Work to discover your life purpose
  • set specific and measurable goals
  • ensure your goals stretch and challenge you
  • learn to break bad habits and think more optimistically
  • try new things
  • don’t define yourself the way your parents or teachers did (unless you want to)
  • you might like to consider this and/or this

So there it is; the past is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, today is a gift…that’s why they call it the present.