Get Stronger Using “Yet”

"The Future," Robert Aiken's statue outside the National Archives, reminds us "The Past is Prologue."

Your history is history.

As you continue to grow, there will be times you are confronted by the events of days long gone. Greeting those memories can be frustrating and painful.

Play your cards right and it is liberating.

There are two options when the time comes: 1) sink into the emotion or 2) raise your heart understanding it’s “prologue.” Picking the first forces you to slide backwards, to regress into your failures and slink back to darkness. Choosing the second puts you in a position to use preceding circumstances for elevation.

The difference is the color of your belief.

How can you tell what hue you’re in? Simple: your words. What do you say and think? Is it a reflection of shadowy past or bright future?

I received an email from a student apologizing for her score on this week’s quiz. I’d hardly got home from class and found the message had already arrived. She explained she’d studied the wrong material and dropped a bomb. Mind you, I had yet to even look at anybody’s answers, let alone grade them.

I sent a quick reply to assure her it was perfectly fine to have an off night. Who hasn’t walked into class, sat for an exam and been thunderstruck by the realization you reviewed other stuff?

“It seems I fall short more than just sometimes,” she said.

She’d actually done pretty well, especially considering she’d gone over different information. I told her so and wrote something back everyone must learn:

“You’re very capable and you put in the work, two things that–coupled with sheer determination–will make you successful in this class and life.”

When you focus on what you’ve done, you’ll keep yourself from doing what you can do.

Here’s a simple way to give your statements a lift: rephrase your sentences in terms of “yet.” In the early days of building faith in yourself, and as you continue growing upward, using that little word breathes possibility–even conviction–into what you tell yourself and everyone else.

Here’s are some examples:

“My business failed.”  OR “I’ve yet to build my best enterprise.”

“I’m cursed when it comes to relationships.”  OR “I’ve yet to find the right person.”

In both cases, the latter acknowledges rough times while also exhibiting confidence in an upcoming positive result. Though there is work to do, you have strengthened your resolve to travel a higher path in the future.

You must live today for results tomorrow instead of being weighed down by yesterday.


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