Monday 30 December 2013

Letter to my past

I’m no advocate of focusing on the past; in fact I strongly believe that one should keep the past in the past, live in the now with your eyes gleaning on the future. However, I do believe that reviewing your past can be essential to helping you progress in life.
Identifying and learning from past mistakes can be a better teacher than anything you will ever hear or be advised.

I saw a video 'Note to Self' by Tyler Perry where he was advising his younger self. I decided to do something similar, and write a letter to my younger self (I have written this letter in a ‘tough love’ style – as this has been the most effective way of getting me to think about making progressive changes):

Dear Me,

Do you remember this conversation?

A Person: So what Uni would you like to go?
Me (in a half-joking manner): Oxford would be nice
A Person (now addressing a group of us): Umm…You are all destined for greatness, it’s in each and everyone of you. However statistics show that based on your geographic location, your up-bringing and ethnic background, it will take a miracle for any of you to achieve much in life or fulfill your dreams.... Don’t try to stretch yourself, because the odds are against you and you will only raise your hopes which will eventually get dashed”!

Yet again you allowed what others thought of you to shape your future.
Why did you never question this statement? Why did you allow it to take root deep within you and subconsciously grow, spreading its tentacles and affect the way you perceive your potential and what you are capable of?

Believe me when I say that its often well-meaning people who will say the worst things to you, and can be very discouraging when it comes to accomplishing your dreams or goals.

You do not know it now, but by accepting this statement to be a fact; you have set yourself up to living mediocre in certain areas of your life and accept it as the norm.
Your thought life is SO important. Do away with comments like that, because it really isn’t going to do any good for your confidence in the long run.

Don’t go through life thinking that statement is true because although stretching can hurt or feel uncomfortable; stretching yourself is good, as it will enable you to discover those hidden treasures and potential locked away.

How many successful athletes fail to train before a race? None! So in the same light, the training you may be going through now may seem difficult or even painful, but you cannot let that phase you! Don’t let it stop you! Don’t allow these precious years go to waste!
You’re allowing hurt from past experiences to hold you back. Don’t get to the stage where you will regret not making a move into the unexpected, because risk taking is part of life!

You may feel that life has dealt you some wicked blows at such a young age, but you need to know that this is not all life has to offer, and all of these experiences only make you stronger; helping shape your future and who you become.
Start to develop a positive vision for your future, because believe it or not, a lot ties into this and as you think so you will become.

You are currently investing too much of your time and energy into pleasing people and hoping they don't think bad of you, when in reality; no matter what you, do good or bad, people will still talk.
So why waste your time on what doesn't matter?
Do yourself a favour, and just LIVE & ENJOY your life; focusing on what’s important.

Refuse to use the race card as an excuse for anything you have not pushed yourself to try to accomplish. You will soon see that a black man can become president of the free world, so nothing is out of your reach – diligently apply yourself and don’t give up on the first hurdle.
You have a wealth of role models and aspirational people making things happen, so you have no excuse.

Finally, stop worrying so much. Things always initially seem a lot worse than they actually are. That situation that you think is the end of the world…really isn't. Things will always work out in the end, they always have and they always will!

With everything said, don’t be too hard on yourself because everything you are going through now is shaping who you will be in the future. So chin up and walk with your head held high and remember that you are what you think, so intentionally think positive thoughts and do things with ‘PURPOSE’ in mind!

All my love.

Your Older Self.

P.S: Don’t cut up those pictures of yourself that you think you look bad in, because you will look back and wish you had never destroyed those precious memories. Just because you have low self-esteem now, doesn’t mean you always will.

I hope this inspires both young and old alike to focus living a more purposeful life as we step into the New Year.

Watch the accompanying vlog below:

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