Contemplating on the past is a way for us to reflect on our experiences. Although there may be many good and bad emotions that are linked to it, we should learn to put them in perspective. Our past experiences are a way for us to learn, a history lesson, where we pick up the good points to strengthen ourselves and we work on the bad points to improve ourselves. Below is a post from our Mentor Mr Patrick Liew on how reflection has helped him Join the Dots in his life.
“I found myself wandering back through time…back to those moments that will forever be etched in my mind. Moments that changed my life and help defined me for who I am.
Growing up in a poor family… Having little but enjoying much.
Studying, but knowing full well that my family could never afford me a tertiary education. Completing it nonetheless, but struggling through it on my own account and as an ADHD-blessed student.
Putting on an army uniform…knowing full well I’ll never be a soldier at heart. Not knowing if I’ll ever put a bullet through even my worst enemy. Still, I spent some of the best times of my life in green.
Walking out to the working world…and what a ride! Running the rat race like many, climbing the career ladder without truly knowing where the rungs could and should lead me.
Holding on to senior executive positions… without realizing I was too young for the jobs. Not knowing there is much more to life than earning a monthly salary, carrying titles that were far more important than they should be.
Becoming an entrepreneur after being pressed to a corner…desperately clutching the last entrepreneurial straw and pressing on forward to make it work.
Building businesses from scratch and listing two of them. Growing from a niche market to a national one and then reaching out to the global market.
Doing my part for charity… Joining a youth organisation from 1972 till I was way too old for it. Pioneering a few altruistic initiatives and doing my part to make our world a better home.
Then, there were those difficult moments… Going broke, being kidnapped, facing death, getting lost in a jungle…
There were also beautiful moments too…Making a difference, getting married and raising a family, breaking records, having friends, traveling, influencing lives…
While spending the evening alone at home, my mind went around the world and throughout time.
I am an ordinary person who has been blessed with many out-of-ordinary experiences. A simple man, who received a divine calling to play a supporting role to inspire others to greatness. I realised why I had to go through the peaks and pits of life.
Through constant reflections, I have been able to re-think past experiences and their significance to me. I have learnt that every experience happened for a reason and purpose, adding new meanings to my life.
Experiences are like lampposts that helped me travel through the highways of life.
Looking back, some of the painful experiences are some of the best learning experiences and turning points in my life. Critical self-reflection is one of the best ways for me to learn and improve. It helps me to change myself and get better results.
In the process, I went through a healing process and came to terms with past events. It brought peace to my heart and helped me reach out to others who were undergoing similar situations and challenges.
As I endeavour to blog about the highlights in my life, I realized that miracles happened every day – if only I look out for and are mindful of them. I became more grateful to our Creator for being alive. I am thankful for all the beautiful moments that added colour and spices to the tapestry of life. Through posting my reflections on the Internet, I found a 24/7 friend that can help me bridge and build relationships. I can build a stronger bond with them.
In my heart of hearts, I hope one-day, my daughters, nephews and nieces will read my postings and understand my innermost thoughts. They will avoid my follies and foolishness and will not repeat my fears and failures. Prayerfully, they will find nuggets of wisdom – purified through the crucibles of life. They will be able to go farther and faster on their journey to reach the stars in their lives.
Through reflection, I relearned that all of us have a past that we can never change. We can decide to sink or soar as a result of it. Unfortunately, many people are trapped in the past. They constantly relive hurts and carry emotional baggage from the past.If we are not at peace with the past, we will never be at peace with the present. Contempt of the past will eventually condemn our future.
Past experiences happened for a reason, purpose and significance. When we join these dots in a meaningful way, we will realize they can be unique blessings. We cannot change the past but we can choose to learn from and build on it. We may not be able to forget a negative experience but we can forget the negative emotions associated with it.
The more we remove the pain from the past, the more we will increase the gains in the future.
When we choose to turn every negative experience into a positive experience, it becomes another beautiful memory. The sooner we do it, the larger will be our treasure cove of beautiful memories.
At the same time, we should continue to capitalize on the ‘here and now’ so as to further expand on this treasure cove. It will inspire us to live on a higher plane in life.
We should not only accept our past, we should also be contented with it. We should not only come to terms with it, we should also be grateful and thankful for it. We need to fall in love with the unique blessing of our past, so as to love the present and to design a brighter future. When that happens, there will be a greater sense of serenity and pride and joy in our lives.
The past acts like a signpost to direct our path to the future. How we make use of it will influence our direction in life and its ultimate destination. The past can be a working tool to help us find true meaning and fulfillment and help us rise to our highest calling.
It does not have to be a pitfall, it can be a powerful platform to propel us to an awesome future.”
You can read more on his Inspiration blog at http://liewinspiration.wordpress.com/