Lately, Bruce Springsteen has been popping up with improbable frequency on my playlists, singing “Glory days, well, they’ll pass you by … in the blink of a young girl’s eye.” If the universe is trying to tell me something, I’ve decided to ignore it.
Don’t get me wrong, I can get nostalgic too, especially when I look at my old running times. It can be fun, and even eye-opening, to remember who we were at different times of our lives. But nostalgia can become toxic if we dwell in the past and prevent forward action. If I believe that my best years are in the past, then I can justify not trying, settling for good enough, and even cynicism. When this happens to us at work, it kills creativity, innovation and any sense of fulfillment.
But what if we believe that the best years are yet to come, no matter what our starting point is? What is then possible? I’ve never found a way to turn back time or change the past, so I prefer to focus on the present and set inspiring and motivating goals for the future. What if I can be better tomorrow than I am today? I may not be able to run as fast as I did when I was 30, but there are an infinite number of ways I can be better. Here are a few that inspire me:
• Knowledge of my area of expertise
• Impact on others
• Growth of the people around me
The only place I have any choice is in the present – and those choices create my future. So if I focus on always being better, always learning and thinking about how I can best use my skills and abilities to help, support and grow the people around me, then my future days will be truly my best.
What do you do to inspire yourself to be your best?