When my umbilical cord got kinked as I was being born, it gave me a lifelong membership into the club of “people with disabilities”. This membership is not quite the same as having a membership to a trendy health or country club. But it does come with possible perks. For example, when it came time to graduate college, instead of discussing my career path, my guidance counselor strongly suggested that I use my membership to apply for Social Security Disability.
When we are born
sometimes we get lifelong memberships
to things we wouldn’t necessarily choose
if we had the chance
to go shopping at Lives R’ US.
From now until the day we die, each of us can debate wether we were dealt an excellent or less than excellent hand at birth. But the bottom line is we were dealt the hand we were dealt.
At least, we were dealt a hand. Can you imagine if we hadn’t been?
Still, I would have loved to have been born with natural guitar playing talent. If I had that talent, I would stay up until all hours of the night playing and singing my favorite ’90’s country songs. Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Brooks and Duun . . . Sawyer Brown anyone? On the other hand, the neighbors in my apartment building should thank their lucky stars that I wasn’t born with many ounces of musical talent.
What natural talent do you wish you’d been born with?
Such questions can be intoxicating, but in lieu of having a Back to the Future-like-reality and a DeLorean, spending countless hours trying to answer them will not accomplish much.
To live by the motto, “If only I had been born better looking, with more talent, into more money… I would have lived my best life,” is to hold your best life ransom and demand a level of perfection from the past that will never be provided. Living by this motto is also a wonderful excuse not to dare to create the life you want to live, because nobody can ever take this excuse away.
And an excuse no one can take away from us is a very splendid excuse.
If one of the laws of the universe was that we could go back in time and rewrite what we believe didn’t go right in the past, I’d say by all means go for it!
BUT that law, plain and simple, DOES NOT EXIST.
I want to spend my time exploring the life I CAN LIVE. Each day, I can take micro steps towards my dream of speaking to tens of millions of people. If I choose, I can travel to Shanghai, Antartica and thousands of other places. I have so much freedom!
And you do too!
When you stop
disabling your potential
by attempting to rewrite
the past, you have much more
energy to live
the most dynamic,
rewarding life you can.
If you devote your life
to doing all that’s possible
for you to do
that’s a wonderful
and ever expanding life.
Maybe I’m beating a dead horse here, but it’s actually appropriate (well as “appropriate” as beating a dead horse can be) because I used to spend great amounts of time wishing that I had more luck and had made better choices in the past.
Well my friends, I declare that it’s time to be humane
and kind to the dead horse of our past
and stop bothering it,
so we can focus the power
we have to create today.
A few questions for you to contemplate:
How much time do you spend in a day wishing your past had been different?
How much time/energy do you spend using what happened in the past as an excuse?
What are 1 – 3 small ways you can refocus your energy on what you HAVE the power to create from now, moving forward?
JASON FREEMAN is a Professional Speaker and the proud owner of a Speech Impediment. He is also the author of “Awkwardly Awesome: Embracing My Imperfect Best” and a Perseverance Coach.
He excites and encourages his audience to break through the barriers of their own limitations using a method he created, called “doing your Imperfect Best ™”.
His Imperfect TEDx Talk can be viewed here.
Photo by Audi Nissen on Unsplash