“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”
Whether you’ve been making bad decisions your entire life or good decisions, that next decision that changes your life takes the same amount of energy and commitment. Either way, you just have to take that first step. I’ve made a lot of bad decisions, but when I made the right decision, it was like a bird who never knew he could fly until he decided to try flapping his wings.
I’ve conversed with many people who continually told me tales of their background, lack of opportunity, mistakes, and hardships that they believed made it too large of a hurdle to change direction at this point in their lives. I call it all hogwash. Your future starts right this second and is determined by what you do…how you spend your time going forward. The more you procrastinate, the more likely you are to lose your sense of urgency. Without urgency, you will never achieve your goals. If your dream was placed in your lap, you would allow it to fall.
You have to break with your past. You have to take what is good and leave the rest. Learn from your mistakes, and try not to repeat them. You will continue in a dysfunctional cycle until you learn from those mistakes, so you might as well learn right here and right now. Either you get it or you don’t, so a person who has made a world of bad decisions without learning from them is as far from success as that person who has sat statically and never attempted anything. Both have poor habits that keep them from their goals. The person with more mistakes may have more scars, but when he sits back and does a little self-evaluation, he has a lot of experience to learn from.
For about five years, actor Robert Downey, Jr., was one of Hollywood’s biggest bad boys. The actor was arrested several times during these years for drug-related charges involving possession of cocaine, heroin, and marijuana. Downey has battled substance abuse for the majority of his life and was unsuccessful in his drug treatment programs. He was constantly on probation and spent a year in the California Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison in Corcoran, California. Downey eventually overcame his addictions and made a highly successful comeback, starring in several blockbuster hits, including the Ironman movies and Marvel’s Avengers.
Marion Jones was a world-famous Olympian who won five medals in track and field at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. Later she was stripped of her medals when she admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs for the competition. She was convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice for her use of steroids and her involvement in a check fraud scheme. She was sentenced to six months in prison and turned it around after her release. In 2010, Jones made a sports comeback as a point guard for the WNBA Tulsa Shock.