Be kind to the past versions of yourself that didn’t know the things you know now.

Be kind to the past versions of yourself that didn’t know the things you know now.

How could I have possibly been so stupid??!!

I think all of us have thought that at one time or another. It is almost inevitable if you are out in the world, trying things, attempting things, pushing yourself to do and be more than you currently are. We take leaps of faith. We make assumptions that are invalid. We follow a hunch and in many cases…. We are totally wrong and things implode.

So what?

So when you lose, do not lose the lesson… but even more important, be kind to yourself. Presumably you were doing your best when those decisions were being made. You had options, even if they were limited, you made a choice and even if it did not play out as hoped, you are a different person for the experience. And honestly, that is what matters.

You may have lost the deal, or the relationship, or the opportunity, or the experience, or the award. 

So what?

Life happens. 

If you have substance and determination, then your persistence and your tenacity and your ability to evolve are far more important than any of the other variables that you may be lamenting after such a chapter in life. Even if these qualities do not stand out to you as the options you wished to have as a result of your efforts, they are what you are holding. So at that moment, your cup is either half full or half empty.

If you waste time regretting and feeling shame and disappointment, you are aging yourself needlessly. It is normal to feel the disappointment, and sometimes the despair that comes at chapters like this. But at a certain point, the pity party must end and action towards next progress must begin. 

Surprisingly, I have found that in my darkest chapters of disappointment and regret, the chink in the armor that needs to be found to cure my ill feelings is to awaken into the new reality that has been created post the loss or mistake at hand. When I can recognize that it is time to climb back upon the horse that threw me (metaphorically speaking), then I have found the footing to take the steps to leave the wallowing in pity and self doubt behind me and instead focus on what am I going to do to be stronger and even more on top of my game going forward. 

If you do not take the big risks in life, you are destined to live in mediocrity. That is a choice that works for many, but if you are one who wants to attempt the much bigger things in life, then part of that journey is being kind to whom you once used to be. That is the hero who catapulted you to where you are now, and you are standing on the shoulders of that giant who loved you enough to deliver you to this very moment.

Happy Thursday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!