Time Travel

Time passing

Every morning, I travel back in time. I go back to the exact same day the year before, and the year before that. And the year before that. I live it like I was there again, in that time and space and circumstance.

I relive the emotions, the hopes, the anxieties and the dreams. I examine the minutia of my thoughts as they play out in the complex arena of what we call real life.

I can time travel because I keep a journal – a page of thoughts and emotions as I start each and every day. What surprises me is how similar my thoughts are over the years, and how much energy I waste on the trivia of things that only matter in that moment. A minor altercation at work. Whether the subway will be running on time. Gaining a pound from eating too much ice cream. Fretting about the repetitive issues of life that never really change and in the long run don’t mean a thing.

How much time do we waste every day on needless worry and anxiety? How much of the thinking power of our amazing brains do we spend on the detritus of life that is ultimately meaningless?

Anyone can time travel. Just write your world down. I don’t try to manipulate my thoughts. I just say how I feel, the things I am thinking. So make a start and soon you will be traveling back to the week before, the month before, the year before. And then to a decade ago.

Eventually, something even more incredible happened to me. l was able to travel into the future.

With the realization that so many of my thoughts were wasted, I could begin to change the way I was actually thinking. I could stop obsessing over life’s noise and begin to focus my thoughts on things that make a difference to my quality of life.

In the end, it means nothing that someone bumped into us on the street. It’s unimportant that the weather is grim. It’s irrelevant that our Facebook posts were ignored. The energy of thought should not be wasted on any of this nonsense. So what should we be thinking about? The things that do matter. Health, friendship, loved ones, freedom. A dream.

And then we will find that by traveling back in time, we can travel into a better future.

I’m Living with a Fool

Droopy DogThere is a fool inside my head, but I have repeatedly denied knowing him. He knows everything about me—my hopes and dreams and my deepest fears and anxieties. But he never listens to me.

We grew up together, me and the fool inside my head. We were there in the blackness of the cellar, where my sister locked me as a small boy. We were both there when my dad said he was just going out for a drink and never came back. And we were together when we were cold and hungry in the dark of the night.

The fool inside my head judges people and holds onto regrets. He harbors thoughts of revenge and retribution. He lives in the past.

He is a fool and I’m not.

I am looking for the positive things I have learned from all the bad things that have happened to me. I am forgiving everyone and I’m moving on. I am building a terrific future that is based on what I have learned and how I can be a better person.

From abandonment, I found the loyalty of friends and the commitment to my family. From the hunger of poverty I found a burning ambition to succeed. From insanity, I found the comfort and joy of living in the perfect moment.

That’s why I deny knowing the fool inside my head.

Maybe there’s a fool inside your head, sapping your energy with negative thoughts, destroying your hopes and dreams with the belief that they will only end in failure.

There is no weakness in forgiving. There is no gain in retribution. There is no future when you live in the past.

Not all of the people from my past will be with me in the future. The one I am sure I am going to leave behind is the fool inside my head.

We may learn from the past but the greatest future is made in the positive beliefs of the present.

I’m Living in a Box

Window BoxesIt’s no fun living in a box, but we all do.

We imprison ourselves in the box that people think we should be in, eventually believing that it is where we belong. And the box has labels on it: mother, sister, executive, homemaker. Other labels are far more destructive: loser, failure, stupid, boring. And when we try to be something that is not labeled on the box, people remind us of where we belong.

When it says on the box that you don’t make decisions, someone else runs your life. When it says on the box that you are not creative, no one listens to your ideas. When it says on the box that you are a failure, no one expects you to succeed at something new.

Others doubt what it is that we are trying to become because it’s not on the label. So, we begin to doubt ourselves—perhaps before we even start to do something new. People enjoy reminding us what the label says, “Why are you doing that? It’s not who you are.”

As we go through life, we shut the lid down tighter, we make the box smaller, we often reduce things to a single label­—and that’s where we stay until the end. Every aspect of who we are sits within the box. But outside, there is a world of ambition, hope and joy.

When I tell people that I have written a book, some people smirk. I can see from the look in their eyes that they are thinking, “You are not a writer. That’s not who you are. No one will read it.”

And for the longest time, I listened to my inner critic and that internal voice was fueled by those smirks. But if I didn’t write that book, I knew that the label on the box would read, “Wasted Life.”

So I started writing and I silenced my inner critic. I posted my writing here and on Facebook and I waited. When people first started to “Like” my Facebook page and my blog and comment on my writing, I was frankly amazed. They didn’t know what the label said on the box I was in. I was encouraged to continue and more and more people found my page and told me to keep writing.

Today, I received my 100,000th Like on my Facebook page—more Likes than many best-selling authors. And on July 1st, my book will be published.

I’m changing the label on the box. Forever.

Don’t let someone tell you what or who you are. Don’t accept that you live in a box. And don’t let others keep you in there. Make a start. Do something today that’s not on the label.

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