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Monday, June 24, 2019

All You Can Do is Start From Here.

I've been thinking about this so much lately. Most of the time, when we realize we've made some kind of mistake, or we have some kind of regret, or we didn't achieve something we really wanted, we spend a most of our time in and set most of our focus on the past. 

We re-live the moments leading up to that big mistake, thinking of all the things we should have done differently. We replay our regrets over and over, thinking about all the things we wish we would have done instead. We put our failure on a pedestal, bowing down to it daily, building a little altar of all the things we could have done if only we'd been better. 

But that's silly, isn't it? Because you can't go back. 

We live in a culture loves to bring up past mistakes. How do you explain this?! They cry. You need to change this! They say. 

But that's silly isn't it? Because you can't go back. 

You can't go back. 

All you can do is start from here and go forward. 

Have regrets? Cool, me too. Wish you'd handled some things differently? Same. Wish you could have completely skipped some chapters? Me freakin' too. But we can only start from where we are and do better, or do different, or do at all. 

What's this look like for you? Maybe you've spent way too much of your life chasing perfection, stressing over tiny details no one else will ever notice, feeling constantly disappointed by inevitable imperfection. All you can do is start enjoying your imperfect life right now, today. You can't get back the time you've wasted being unhappy that you weren't perfect enough, but you can save whatever future time you have from being spent the same way. 

Maybe you're the biggest procrastinator the world has ever seen. You've been planning to and talking about and meaning to write that book forever now, but somehow years have passed and there's no book in sight. All you can do is sit your butt down in that chair and start writing now. You can't go back and crank out pages on all those days you promised yourself you'd write, but didn't. But you sure can make sure you write today, and tomorrow too. 

Maybe you've spent way too many days drowning in anxiety. All you can do is get help now. You can't get back the days anxiety stole from you (trust me, I wish you could. It's taken a lot from me, too). 

Maybe you're a bully. Maybe you're a doormat. Maybe you're incredibly unhealthy, or maybe fight your poor body image by spending an unhealthy amount of time in the gym. Maybe you're a workaholic, or maybe you're the laziest employee there is. 

All you can do - all I can do, all any of us can do - is start here, right now, today, and move forward. Whether your past is filled with huge, giant, life-ruining mistakes or just littered with minor, stupid, really shouldn't have done that mistakes...all you can do is start from here. 

So start. 

No, you can't go back. 

But you can start. 
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