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While the past can be a predictor of the future, it doesn’t have to be that way. The past will predict our future when we are not aware enough of our past experiences to learn from them.

I believe that the universe has a funny way of predicting the future. We are all given tests throughout our lives and if we fail those tests, we get to repeat them over and over again until we learn the lesson hidden inside. The good part of this is that we are given endless opportunities to make different choices.  The bad part is that we are given endless opportunities to make different choices. If you are stubborn like me, you get to repeat them lots of times.  However, that was before I started looking at every setback as an opportunity for growth. Almost immediately I started passing those tests and haven’t had to relive them again.

So, how do you not repeat the past? Here are a few tips to get you on the right track for creating a future filled with love, joy, peace, and happiness.

1) Inventory Your Past – Take a few minutes to identify as many setbacks as you can. After you make that list, look for the hidden message held within. Just writing the setbacks down can be liberating as it is acknowledging that there is an opportunity for a lesson to be learned. If you look at the situation long enough, you will see the opportunity.  If you are struggling with finding the opportunity, ask the following question to yourself, “What lesson is in this [situation] for me?”

2) Look for Repeats – After you make a list of the setbacks, take a few more moments to see if they are related to others on the list. I can almost guarantee that there will be. For me, I had a job when I was in college and had a lady there that was negative and challenging. I changed jobs and sure enough, the same person appeared, just a different face. After several years struggling with that relationship, I got a new job in a big city. Within a couple of months, sure enough, the same person appeared in my life. Although she had a different name and face, the traits were identical. I decided to do something different this time and as a result, that personality hasn’t shown up again since and it has been over 16+ years!

3) Change Your Beliefs – A lot of times I see that that the lessons to be learned involve our negative self-limiting beliefs. I wrote an entire blog post about that one and you can click here to go to that post for several ideas about how to change beliefs.

4) Practice Forgiveness – The main reason we are put on this earth is to practice forgiveness. If you think about it, there are many opportunities for forgiveness every single day. When you look at a struggle, offer forgiveness versus blame. When you offer forgiveness, remember to offer forgiveness to yourself. When you do, your life will open up in ways you never thought possible.

5) Take the Kindness Challenge – One way I have been able to change my future is to practice kindness regularly. I even schedule on my calendar! I also update the Kindness Challenge on my website so click here to check out the latest Kindness Challenge. You can log them into your very own kindness meter and are also offered over 200 kind deed suggestions when you register for a free account.

The key to a successful and happy future lies within our ability to acknowledge the past, look for repetition in setbacks, change our beliefs that hold us back while practicing forgiveness daily. Once you have those mastered, practicing kindness daily helps to keep you creating a new, powerful future filled with love and happiness.

With peace and gratitude,
Bill

Yesterday I posted how we should start the year off with forgiveness.  I find it quite interesting that often when I teach about a subject a perfect opportunity for me to learn from it comes on the very day.  I do not believe in coincidences but I have learned that those who teach also learn what they are teaching.  I discovered this quite some time ago as I was delivering workshops to young adults and adolescents.

With the theme set up from yesterday, let’s continue for the next 6 days to practice forgiveness.  Decide on one person each day to do this on.  It can be the same person or a different person each day.  It can even be yourself.  Imagine that!  Join me in freeing our minds from hurtful, nonsupporting thoughts of unforgiveness.  Forgiveness is not just a one time event.  It is a daily process that can deliver you peace, happiness and joy.

With gratitude and forgiveness,

Bill

Earlier today, I drove to my wife’s work to take her out to lunch.  While on my way, I kept having cars driving way below the speedlimit and keeping me from passing them.  There was a 3-lane road with 3 vehicles driving approximately the same speed all lined up side-to-side.  I didn’t pay much attention to it.  Then, on the way back home more cars were driving even slower.  I was now starting to get a little frustrated.  Just when that happened, I got behind 4 bikers riding no more than 10 MPH.  I safely changed lanes and then a tractor was in my lane going even slower.  I still hadn’t done anything to address this growing frustration.  Still on the way home, I was on one of the interstate highways when everyone was slowing down abruptly for some reason I could not see.  When I got there, I saw a person talking on the cell phone and obviously not paying attention to the fact she was driving 20 MPH below the posted speed limits.   This was starting to bother me more and more.  Believeit or not, this happend a few more times before I got home.

When I got home I realized that I could have avoided the frustration by practicing forgiveness.  So to answer the question, “When is a good time to practice forgiveness?, practice it while you are in the car.  Anytime something frustrates you at all, do what I typically do (except for today) by practicing forgiveness.

Here is what I “normally” do when I am in my car.  If someone cuts in front of me or acts like an idiot or something and it gets me even slightly frustrated, I say the following: “I forgive you for ______ and I forgive my self for having to forgive you.  Thank you.”  In the case where someone cuts in front of me, it might sound something like this: “I forgive you for cutting in front of me and I forgive myself for having to forgive you for doing it.  Thank you.”  I have done this for years but every now and then I have a brain freeze and forget to do it.  When you make practicing forgiveness a part of your routine, I promise, you will feel much better about the commute and yourself.

Peace, gratitude, and forgiveness,

Bill