Can Your Past Define Your Future?
Can your past define your future? Maybe. The answer is maybe because your future is determined by your determination. In other words, your past can only define your future if you allow it to stop you. For example, my past consists of being shot, living on welfare, attending failing schools, and growing up in a single-parent household. Considering my background, research and statistics suggest that I am supposed to be either dead or in jail. However, none of these experiences stopped me from achieving my dreams thanks to GOD and my ability to plan.
For example, when I was a youngster I wanted to play college basketball so I created a weekly schedule to develop my game. Part of my plan consisted of doing 150 push-ups, taking over 200 jump shots, and executing dribbling and layup drills. Because I followed my plan, I became not only a student athlete at the collegiate level but also a First Team All-Conference player. Consequently, my ability to plan signifies that success is not instantaneous it’s something you must plan ahead.
Although I was able to uplift myself from some unfortunate situations and achieve my dreams by planning, there are many people that allow their past to determine their future. They let their parents addictions influence them to participate in criminal behavior. They let their unsuccessful relationships lower their confidence. They let their family’s educational background influence their enthusiasm for learning. Moreover, they consider developing an action plan to achieve success as an afterthought. As a matter of fact, when they reflect on the past they usually describe an experience similar to a remark made by John Dewey. According to John Dewey, “almost everyone has had occasion to look back upon his school days and wonder what has become of the knowledge he was supposed to have amassed during his days of schooling”. Dewey’s statement suggests that individuals are usually skeptical of their life learning experiences. At the same time, Dewey’s comments imply that planning can prevent such uncertainty.
In any event, most people do not plan because they believe when they plan, GOD laughs. However, social justice leader, Malcolm X declared, “the future belongs to those who prepare for it today”. His message suggests that planning provides structure to a bright future. It points out that preparation and success are synonymous. Therefore, what do you have planned? Have you ever made plans for your future? Are you a person that just likes to go with the flow? Well if you do, just remember that going with the flow is the ocean’s responsibility.
Granted, creating and executing a plan does not always unfold like you envision. However, it does provide you with the foundation for pursuing your desired outcome. For example, when I planned to go to college, I wanted to go away. My plan was to attend colleges outside of New York but my mother vetoed my decision and told me I had to stay in New York for financial reasons. Under those circumstances, I found a college that was 10 hours away (by bus) from New York City. I share this story because when you create a plan you can always adjust it. That is to say, the purpose of a plan is to establish some goals and boundaries.
Another reason having a plan is beneficial is because it allows you to schedule time for tasks. Planning helps you shape how you spend your time. When used properly, it is a valuable resource that can be as powerful as money. According to research successful people use a monthly calendar to plan their next steps. However, I can testify that planning is even more effective when you write down your daily task at the beginning of every morning. By being task orientated you will see that you accomplish more in life and you will become highly efficient. As a result, your past will never be able to define your future because your constant planning assigns you an extraordinary future.