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  • James McNeil

Leaving yesterday in the past; why it's so important

“Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”

Chapter 3 of Finding Your Personal Mission is about forgiving, and it’s not just about forgiving others. It’s about forgiving yourself. It’s about refusing to beat yourself up for what’s happened in the past and pushing forward. It’s about getting back up after you fall and not berating yourself for the fall.


If you’re reading this and wondering why you shouldn’t do these things, I ask this. Has berating yourself for failure ever worked? Has beating yourself up for mistakes ever prevented you from making them again? I’m going to venture that the answer to those questions is a resounding negative because it simply does not happen.

The most powerful lesson I ever learned was to allow myself to be human. Humans are imperfect. We mess up just as often as we get it right. We fall just as often as we stand. But if we remain focused on where we messed up in the past, we’re doing nothing more than setting ourselves up for more of the same.

Did you mess up yesterday? Forgive yourself and move on. Work to not mess up the same way again, but don’t dwell on the past.

Did you have a great day yesterday? That’s fantastic! But don’t dwell on that either.

Will Rogers said it best with the quote that led off this post. “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.” Remember it. Learn from it. But live today. You’ll be glad you did.

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