Where are you looking?
“If what you have done yesterday still looks big to you, you haven’t done much today” – Mikhail Gorbachev
Are you still focused on what you did yesterday, are you basking in the glory of what you achieved, or are you rueing yesterdays failure?
If you are basking in the glory or yesterdays achievement, what is it stopping you from doing bigger and better today with that time?
If you are rueing yesterdays failure, are you wallowing, or are you actively exploring it to learn something that you can apply today and beyond?
Do you think Mikhail Gorbachev achieved what he did by focusing on yesterday’s achievements or failures, or by focusing on today’s possibilities? Based on the quote above you would have to say by focusing on today’s possibilities.
Like all of us not everything Mikhail Gorbachev did was ultimately successful and may have had some unintended consequences, but he has certainly had his share of success, and he did not get there by resting on his laurels or letting a failure stop him from moving forward.
From a man who has achieved a hell of a lot in life, including such awards as the Nobel Peace Prize, 4 Honorary Doctorates, A Grammy Award and a host of other honours and awards, the opening quote has a very challenging concept.
But this post is not about Mikhail Gorbachev it is about YOU!
I want you to think about a truly successful person that you admire and respect…… (go on…. I’ll give you a minute…. queue thinking music in your head.. … … .la lala la la)
(Music stops….OK your minute is up) What is it about that person that earns your respect and admiration?
Surely it is not because they are a person who is gloating about what they achieved in the past (as they say for all investments….. past results are no guarantee of future returns…and think about it, if you are giving someone respect and admiration you are investing your energy, time and focus in them to some extent… ), and anyone who is busy constantly reminding you only about their past achievements is a has been.
Surely it is not because they are a person who is always boasting about what they will achieve in the future without a track record of actually doing something… these people are referred to as life’s gunners (…. I’m gunna do this, I’m gunna do that…).
I would hope that if you are investing your energy, time and focus in someone it is because they have demonstrated that they have achieved things that are truly worthy of your admiration, that they are showing you (even if they failed yesterday) that they are still moving forward, growing and actively working towards something bigger and better than they have done in the past and that their past achievements (or failures) are stepping-stones to a brighter future. I also believe that if they have your respect and admiration then they are a person who is not fixated on the past, not fixated on the future, but fixated on doing what needs doing, and are doing it NOW.
If you have followed a few of the posts here, it brings us to a relatively constantly theme……. being present in the here and now…… the past is what it is…. and the future will be what you make out of today. So this leaves only one question…….
what are you going to focus on today, and regardless of whether you succeed or fail will that still look big to you tomorrow, or the day after?