You are who you are today because of every step that you have taken to get to here. You are who you are today because of every choice that you made and every choice that was made for you. Your yesterday determines your tomorrow, but only you choose how.
A lot of people like to say “my past does not determine my future”, and in theory that’s great, but fundamentally that statement isn’t true. The battle of what creates the human consciousness dates beyond Plato and Socrates. As soon as humans could think they asked why.
Some believe who you are is created by nature, others nurture, and even others by both. I am not here to debate psychology. I am here to tell you that contrary to popular belief, your past does dictate your future. Regardless of what your past is, it completely and totally is the reason for your today and your tomorrow.
Step One : Responsibility
This may not be something you want to hear: if you are stuck in a situation you are not happy with, take responsibility. The only person fully responsible for where you are today is you. If you run around blaming everything else and never taking responsibility, you will never grow past that situation.
Every choice you have made and every thing that has happened to you is why you are where you are today. Your past choices and experiences have shaped who you have become and ultimately who you will become down the road. If you don’t want to be defined by your past, it’s too late.
Your past can either be a launching pad or quick sand; you pick what it is to you. We all know the drug addicts who had a rough childhood, and we also know the mega successful entrepreneurs who had equally rough childhoods. Both kinds of people had a choice to make, to use what they had experienced as a tool or to be used by it.
Step Two : Lessons
How do you make quick sand into a launching pad? You are a shuttle, made to be among the stars, but you have to get there first. But how? As I already stated, the first step is to take responsibility. The second step is to look at what you can learn from it.
Every thing that has happened in your life can teach you a lesson. You learned what to do and what not to do when you learned to ride a bike. Life is just like learning to ride a bike, you are learning what to do and what not to do.
Step Three : Vision
Once you have taken responsibility for your life and figured out how you can learn from the situations of your life, the next step is to have a vision for your life. Your past does dictate your future, but you determine how. Will you be dragged down by it or will you use it to drive your dreams?
Having a vision for your life is key because what you focus on — you get. If you focus on a future where you achieve great things and influence people in a positive way, that is what you will get. If you focus on all of the negative things in life, that will be all you will get.
You have full power over your future. You may not be able to control every facet of life, but as long as you take responsibility, learn your lessons, and have a vision you will achieve great things.
Originally published at medium.com