As we live life, we come across many different teachers. Some come from our formal education in the classroom, but most come outside of academia. We learn from our friends, from our neighbors, from the media, from books, and from seminars. The world is filled with teachers who have exactly the information you need to achieve your goals.
But do you know the #1 teacher that most people simply never pay attention to? The teacher who can reveal the most valuable life lessons? The teacher who knows you better than anyone else? So who is this mystery teacher?
That’s right. Your past is the perfect teacher to show you how to build a better present, and a better future. Your past is filled with valuable insights, lessons, and pieces of information that could drastically change your life for the better. But you have actively seek the lessons your past can teach you.
If you can learn from your past, then you can ensure your future is one you’ll actually enjoy living. This exercise of learning from your past also ties in perfectly with creating a vision for your life. And when you use both, you’ll be able to create a life plan that motivates and excites you.
You Must Understand the Value of Your Past
You have to learn from your past and think about your life experiences because they give you insight into what it is that you really want in life and into where it is that you really want to go.
Your past teaches you two, very important things about yourself: What you should do more of and what you should do less of.
Once you have stock of all your important life events, you can ask yourself, “What are the major takeaways from those life experiences?”
This step is important in creating a vision for your life because it provides you with a framework. It gives you the foundation you need to start building up this bigger picture you have for yourself.
The 4 Questions to Ask About Your Past
Think back on your life. What have you learned about yourself that can act as a guide for the future?
By answering the following questions, you will force yourself into think about your past and pulling out all of the valuable lessons. And it’s these valuable lessons that will catapult you into future success.
1) What have you learned about yourself that can act as a guide for the future?
What general things have you learned about yourself? What preferences have you developed? What over-arching ideas or beliefs have guided your decisions in the past?
2) What have you enjoyed in life? What haven’t you enjoyed?
Your life is really just a collection of activities and experiences. Think back to your past, and all the different things you’ve done and experienced. Which of those activities have given you joy? Which experiences have filled you with life and excitement?
And on the other hand, which activities and experiences have been less enjoyable? What have you done or experienced in the past that drained the life out of you, or that you just dreaded doing?
3) What you’ve lacked. What you’ve had too much of?
It’s too that you can have too much of a good thing, but’s also true that you can have too little. Think back to your past and try to identify things that you enjoy having or doing, but just haven’t had enough of. This could be material items, it could be relationships with people, and it could even be experiences. But what is it that you’re longing for, but just haven’t had enough of?
You’ll also want to ask yourself what you’ve had too much of. I know, this may seem counterintuitive, but it’s true that you can have too much of something. Maybe you’ve had too much debt. Or maybe you’ve had too many rocky relationships. Or maybe even some combination of both.
The point here, is that you must identify what you’ve lacked, and what you’ve had too much of, so you can move forward with the proper balance.
4) What were you successful at? What have you failed at?
This question may seem similar to question two, but they’re completely different. Question two was asking what you enjoyed, while this question is asking you what you’re good at.
It’s common to be really bad at something, but receive a lot of joy from doing it. And it’s also true that you can be really great at something, but hate every second of it.
So what you must do here is identify the areas of your life where you’ve had success and where you’ve failed. Look at your relationships with people, look at your career, look at your
Understanding Your Past Will Create a Better Future
Once you’ve taken the time to really learn from your past, you’ll have the insights and information you need to build out your life plan.
This step is important in creating a vision for your life because it provides you with a framework. It gives you the foundation you need to start building up this bigger picture you have for your life and what you want to achieve. If you’re ready to take the next step and create your own life plan, you can pick up my free life plan template by clicking here.