It has been a while since I shared a quote or thought from my mentor Zig Ziglar, and as I prepared for this column I was reminded of something that Mr. Ziglar used to remind us of all the time. He would say, "We cannot make any more yesterdays, but we can make all of the brand-new tomorrows that we possibly can."
I was thinking of this because I found myself in the "woulda, coulda, shoulda" trap as I thought about the ways I handled things over the past 12 months, opportunities I might have missed, activities I wanted to pursue and challenges I needed to overcome.
Have you ever been there? We ask ourselves things like, "Why didn't I say this?" or "Why didn't I do that?" "Life would be so different if I only did things differently." And many other such statements and examples.
Zig used to also say: "Failure is an event and not a person. Yesterday really did end last night." So when we can separate ourselves from what we could have or should have done or said, and realize that tomorrow is a brand-new day, our entire view of the world would shift. Optimism and hope would replace our regret and fear.
Tomorrow is filled with promise. Tomorrow is filled with hope. We are in control of how we see our future and what we choose to do in the pursuit of our life goals, our careers, our relationships and our health. Tomorrow has distanced itself from yesterday when it comes to our errors, poor judgment and mistakes. Tomorrow offers encouragement and builds upon the successes of our yesterdays. When was the last time we took an inventory of all of the great accomplishments, achievements, and goals where we exceeded our own expectations? Looking at past successes builds confidence and serves as a launching point for our next journey and path forward to greatness.
So we talked about yesterdays, and we talked about tomorrow. What about today? What can we do today to remember or successes of yesterday, learn from and overcome our prior mistakes, and ensure that our tomorrows are filled with hope, encouragement, opportunity and achievement? Mr. Ziglar talked about the fact that we cannot create any more new yesterdays, but we can create all of the brand-new tomorrows of our life. And it starts with today. We can actually create the next brand-new 30 seconds of our lives, the next brand-new five minutes, the next new hour, and all we have to do is start.
We can start to let go of the past or build upon our past, and the choice is ours. Today, as you read this column, think about where you are. Think about your own story - are we still living in the glory days or many years ago? Are we living and feeling the hurts of yesterday? Or are we placing our stake in the ground today and committing to our future, the best and brightest future that is waiting for each and every one of us?
Life is a series of choices. Are you choosing to live or learn from your yesterdays? Are you planning today for your successes of tomorrow? Either way, I would love to hear all about it at firstname.lastname@example.org, and when we plan today for greatness tomorrow, it really will be a better than good week.
Michael Norton is a resident of Highlands Ranch, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation and the CEO/founder of www.candogo.com.