Disclosure: I am an unabashed fan of the great band Steely Dan. I travel to see them all over the country when I can, and I enjoy every minute of every show. I love their music and the quirky highbrow lyrics.
Life Isn’t Fair — News flash! This just in… life isn’t fair! Sometimes things don’t turn out the way we hoped they would. Sometimes things don’t go our way, and life deals us a kick in the shorts. Learn to deal with disappointment and to accept defeat with serene dignity. It’s OK to let past disappointments go. In fact, it is imperative to do so, rather than to get disgusted and begin to let resentment and regret build into a problem. Focus on the future, not on the past. As my mother used to tell me when I was growing up, the smart man knows this: “When life hands you lemons, the best response is to gather up a large container, some sugar, some water, and some ice. In other words, it’s time for lemonade!” My mother was a pretty smart cookie because I found out the hard way that getting ticked off when things don’t go well and obsessing about the past, comes at a tremendous cost.
There is Nothing Heavier Than a Grudge — Decide right now, and refuse to carry a grudge around with you for the next twenty or thirty years. It will become an all-consuming burden if you aren’t careful. Don’t let that happen to you. If you are stuck in the past, worrying about something that happened weeks ago, or worse, years ago, you will not be able to be open to future success. The cost of obsessing about past disappointments is this: Being stuck in the past means you’ll miss your opportunity to make the future that you’ve dreamed of. Forgive and forget. Move on! Focus on the future and the many terrific opportunities that can be yours if you are intelligent enough to remain positive and constructive, anything is possible. If you’re stuck in the past, reeling in the years, you will miss out on the next great thing!
In addition to being an unabashed Steely Dan fan, Michael Beach is an Executive Development Coach and Business Consultant on Leadership, Culture, Motivation, and a great number of business topics. Michael Beach Coaching & Consulting works with medium-sized companies building great teams of leaders who make a difference and deliver ambitious results.