“Life is not happening to you. It’s happening BECAUSE of you.” – Dr. Benjamin Hardy.

Do you ever consider your past when you think of planning and achieving goals in the present and future? Or does reminiscing cause you pain and heartache?

Rarely do we enjoy reflecting on our past. Mistakes we’ve made or certain choices may feel embarrassing or make us debate alternate routes we could have taken in our lives. And positive decisions get glossed over and discounted for our present state. Instead, we like to discuss our futures—where we want to go next year, all the money we want to earn, or the successes we want to achieve.

What if I turned the framework of past experience around to create a better present and future? What if we looked at our past experiences in a positive light or took the bad experiences as a lesson learned? Sometimes, we need to take ownership of the past to achieve bigger and better things in the future. We must reflect on our choices and reframe them as positive experiences despite their outcome.

Consider this story from Ed Mylett, famous author, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker:

I’d go 0-4 in a baseball game; I’m 12 years old—just crappy game. And you get in the car with a normal dad, and he’d go, “Hey, what do you think happened in that ground out to short? Did you roll your hands over? Did you swing at a bad pitch?” and then you’re reinforcing the ground out to short. My dad was incredible. I’d get in the car afterward, and he’d go, “Hey, let me just tell you something, man. I don’t know if you heard the other dads. Could you hear them?” I’d be like, “No, Dad.” He goes, “You hit that ground ball to short. No one could stop talking about how hard you got down the line, how fast you were. They thought you were going to beat it out! They’re like, ‘How’s this kid run like that?!”‘ And I’m like, “Really?” And he goes, “Yeah! And then, that one in the gap where you caught it. Same thing, the dads are like, ‘Look at that kid run!”‘ Within about 10 minutes of being in the car, he completely reframed the entire ground out to short and my experience. And I’m leaving there; the experience served me, and I pulled something that I could reference later when I look back at my past.

So now, now I’m in a game. I’m in college. We’re playing Fresno State. I’m 0-2. I ground out to short. And I’m like,” I flew down the line!” So now that reference to my past was a favorable one, the frame. I get up the next time I hit a home run over the right field fence. Normally, you’d go, “I hit another fricken ground out to short. I bet I rolled my hands over.” So, this framing means EVERYTHING in your life. In fact, it’s your matrix. You are currently living in a frame of your own design. Or, worse, the designs of other people that you’ve just left up to their interpretations about you, your life, your product, and where you’re going.

To have mastery over our past, we first need to realize that we control our view of what happened in the past.  We dictate what our past is and apply it to our present self. Through our mindset, we can decide if our past experiences were useful or useless, frustrating or liberating, mistakes or learning experiences. Life is happening FOR me, not because of what I’ve DONE in the past. Instead, it’s how I FRAME the past in the present story I tell myself. So, to create a better present, we have to reframe our past experiences with the mindset that these were either amazing stories or opportunities for growth—never mistakes.

When you are considering your goals for the future or taking a moment to admire or admonish your present, here are a few ways to reframe your thinking to create positive experiences (taken from Dr. Hardy’s book “10x IS EASIER THAN 2x”):

  1. Express gratitude daily – Write down 1-3 things you are grateful for each day. If you can’t think of something, write down that you’re grateful to be alive today. That’s worth something. Expressing gratitude releases dopamine, which triggers positive emotions like happiness, excitement, and motivation.
  2. Reflect on past successes to gain confidence – Reframe your past experiences and reflect on where you were one year, three years, or five years ago. Are you better today? Did you learn important lessons? When you practice this, begin to look at your past daily. Ask yourself this question: How am I better today? And write down at least one area where you improved.
  3. Evaluate unachieved goals to adjust your path – Not everything will be perfect. You will have unmet goals and unaccomplished tasks. Use these moments as learning experiences to adjust your future goals and present experiences.

Today, take a moment to write down and reflect on some past experiences. How can you reframe them to make the outcome positive to your present? Can you learn something from them? Use these tools and techniques to frame your past to create a better present and ultimately create a Revolutionary future.