Leverage Your Past for Future Success

career self-reflection Nov 30, 2022

Life is easy if you get a little better each day at living it. Focusing on making small enhancements that could make our life more fulfilling can be difficult. We tend to get stuck doing things a certain way and sticking with them. Consider that, if you were to learn something each day that you could apply to tomorrow, how it could accelerate your career. 

Your past is a goldmine of information about yourself and how life works. It would be a shame to allow this information to go to waste.

So, what if you did it a little differently? What if you learned from your experiences and made small adjustments along the way? Imagine how powerful you could become!

Use your past to your advantage with this process:

1. Review your life from the very beginning. Start with your earliest memories and work your way forward. Think about your family, friends, and your career journey. What are your strongest memories? Pay particular attention to your fondest and not so fond memories. They will be the most important.

2. Review the pivotal points in your life. Pay particular attention to the most important decisions and transitions in your life so far. Did you go to college? Where? How did you make that decision? What was your major? How did you decide on that? What would have happened if you had chosen something different? 

Choosing a job and the places you worked. How did you choose your first real job? In retrospect, was it a smart choice? What were the ramifications of choosing that career and job over the long term?

3. What were your mistakes? After all of that pondering, what were your mistakes? What were the causes of those mistakes? 

4. What were your successes? There’s more to your past than just your mistakes. There were successes, too. Consider why you were successful and apply that information consistently.

5. Examine your life in the present. What could you be doing differently based on what you learned from examining your past? Go through your current challenges and choices. Now, relate your present to your past mistakes and successes. Can you resolve a current challenge with a lesson from your past?

6. Make some changes to enhance your life. Make some new decisions that are based on your past experiences.

Continue this basic process for the rest of your life, only with one small change. Instead of reviewing your failures and successes from 20 years ago, stick to just the last week.

Choose a day where you look back over the last week and follow the above process. What did you do well? What did you do poorly? How can you learn from the past week and apply it to the present and future?

Leverage your past to create the future you desire. You already have all the information you need.