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Let Go of the Past - Embrace the Future

I remember distinctly when I went off track. It was the spring of 2004; a fine Sunday morning. Just the previous Sunday I had been warned of impending doom but on that Sunday morning I willingly walked straight into a nightmare that would last several months. Have you ever felt like that? Like despite all the best teaching, training, and experience you find yourself marching straight into a ditch? It might be one of your own making or one just waiting for the next victim. Either way, the results can derail or forever keep you from reaching your intended destination. That is, if you let it…

Fast forward to today the fall of 2014. Ten plus years have passed since one poor decision led to an off road adventure that changed the trajectory I was on previously. Would I do it again? Definitely not but hindsight is 20/20 they say.

So what to do when a suboptimal (life, business, professional, personal – fill in the blank) decision is made? Well, I can tell you what I did not do. I did not stop life and give up. I did not blame anyone else and I certainly did not give power to fear, depression, or denial. Nope. Instead I used the open window of time caused by the “choice” to complete my Ph.D. and move on with life. I should mention that doing so took me past the county court house each day on my way to study at the library. That’s the location where the case would eventually be heard (oh yes, I did take the perpetrator to court). Take that poor choice!

Today I can look back over the past years with gratitude for the professional assignments I’ve executed, those I’ve counseled with compassion, and yes, the amazing travels I’ve experienced around the globe. To be sure, my path was “rerouted” that Sunday morning but I have a sneaky suspicion I’ll ultimately get to my prescribed final destination. After all, life’s occasional reroutes would be pointless if not used to our ultimate gain. A few tips for those who may be currently musing over their own time in a ditch:

1. Get out NOW! One poor decision does not have to negate numerous positive choices.

2. When a circumstance or person shows or gives you a “heads-up” take notice.

3. Use the experience to grow and expand rather than shrink and give-up.

Bottom line, let go of the past. Don’t spend anymore time replaying or repeating it. Move on and show up – embrace the future. You deserve to reap the rewards of effort you’ve put towards the vision you’ve been given for your life. Please don’t delay; please start today. As you go about your day at work or play find the message in the mess and shout “take that poor choice!”


Excellence At Work with Dr. Marilyn combines faith and tenacity to help individuals achieve excellence through keynote speaking engagements, individual and corporate coaching, training, meeting facilitation, and retreats. Whether working with an individual client or a team, the focus is on the achievement of personal and professional goals that facilitate individuals’ abilities to create positive outcomes within their households, organizations, places of worship, and/or communities.  Through motivational speaking, life coaching, and corporate interventions, Dr. Marilyn has developed a “just do it” style that motivates and encourages clients to achieve higher levels of personal and professional effectiveness. She is the author of Running Away for Three Weeks, an inspirational autobiography designed to prepare readers for maximum effectiveness in the workplace; creator of Discovering Your Workplace Gifts, an assessment to help individuals identify the gifts they were motivated to discover in Running; and author of Six Steps to Excellence for Leaders, a roadmap to personal and professional excellence for all leaders.