Time for a Fresh Start

Happy New Year everyone! It’s 2019 and time for a fresh start!

When one has the opportunity to sit down and reflect on the course of the past year, it’s amazing to realize everything one’s experienced over the past 365 days. New friends. New places. New thoughts and ideas. New opportunities!

All too often though, we bog down in things we didn’t do well, our missed opportunities, conversations that went astray, wrongs done to us, and so on. It’s easy to let the negativity of these override the positive things the past year has brought.

It’s not to say these negatives should be ignored – it’s ok to be critical about things that didn’t go well! In fact, critical self-reflection is an important part of learning and growing – Ryan Van Poederooyen said it best in this RVP Health, Body and Mind post here:

The trick, as it were, is to learn from these mistakes and missed opportunities and move past them.

All too often, though, this doesn’t happen. Many issues I’m working on with communities and organizations all focus around things that happened in the past.

And not just the ‘past’ as in last week or last month. In some instances, the past as in 10, 20, even 100 years ago.

The narratives surrounding events of the past create deficit mentalities, which, in turn, limit what people think can be done and who they think they can work with.

Buddha once said ‘Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.’  Dwelling on the things of the past and letting them control the narrative of what is limits one’s ability to see the opportunities in front of them.

Because of this, we waste a lot of time and energy trying to change things we can’t: the past and the future.

Wait a second, you might be thinking, what do you mean we can’t change the future?

You can, to a certain extent, help the future to emerge. As the quote here so eloquently states, changing the present sets the conditions from which the future emerges. This can’t be done by focusing on the past and letting it drive one’s expectations of outcomes in the future.


Many of our communities and organizations need to break out of these narratives of old. Let’s set some New Year’s resolutions to kick out our deficit mentalities and resolve to create mentalities derived from the abundance around us.

It’s time for a fresh start. Have a Happy New Year everyone!

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