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There have been thousands and maybe even millions of suggestions about how to become more successful. I think most of them boil down to three things: Learning from the past, looking at the future, and being present while you’re living your life.

Start with being present.

Too often we spend time living in the past or thinking about the future. Both have their roles. When you don’t learn to just live in the present life passes you by. One day you wake up and find out you’re fifty, sixty, or seventy years old. You might wonder what’s happened to your life. If you’ve been living in the past, your best days have gone by. If you live in the future you’re hoping for better days ahead.

The best days you’re likely to have are the ones that you’re living today. Isn’t that what it’s all about? Living a full life where you get to enjoy every morsel of life. Start living in the present and let the past be your teacher. The future will probably take care of itself.

Learn from the past.

A definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and expecting a different result. We do need to pay attention and learn from the past. We don’t need to beat ourselves up about what we did wrong.

One of the reasons I love mistakes is that they get to be my teachers. Learn to embrace the mistakes you’ve made. Let go of the pain and think about how your present can be better because of the mistakes you made. You’ll find your life just got a lot better.

What’s your perfect future?

Thinking about the future has its place. That place won’t be a positive one if you’re only thinking about tomorrow is going to fix the problems of today. Unless you’re present for what you’re going through now the chances are your future will be about the same as today.

A positive future can be a great motivator. It can give you a sense of what the difference is between what’s going on now and what you want to have go on in the future. The gap is what’s important. If you focus on making the gap smaller, when the future comes you’ll be able to enjoy it.

Make it a big future.

Whatever your future holds, make it a big one. Find a core reason for what will make your life better. Just for some general information, a core reason isn’t making more money, it’s not about having a bigger house, and it’s not about the stuff that we have. It’s about the relationships we form and the quality of what’s going on NOW.

It really isn’t very complicated. It might be hard. It all depends on your worldview. Are you willing to let go of the stuff that you’ve done in the past? Are you willing to only let the future be a guidepost and not an obsession? Both will help you focus on what’s important and what will make your life better. That’s living in the now.

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Topics: cultural change, learning experiences

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