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Leave the Shadows of the Past and Keep Looking Ahead

Written by: Mark Sephton, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


We are all guilty of it, and yet I believe it's permissible for one reason. Just one reason, otherwise, I encourage you to stop looking backward to what you once had and how life used to be.

We should only look back on how our lives used to be when we compare to how it is now. It is purely to see the growth — measuring where you were to where you are now, otherwise don’t do it.

If you feel life was better in the past or you were better compared to your present, it won’t actually help you or aid you. It will just depress you and damage the plans you have in mind.

The reality is often our situation, and circumstances change over the course of time. Therefore, it's not fair to compare yourself to your life when you were 18 years old than when you are 39.

But allow me to do it, so you'll see what I mean.

When I was 18, I had very little responsibility. I had a job, but I lived with my dad. I didn’t have anyone to worry about but myself. I was on my own schedule. I had my own money, and other than car expenses, I didn’t have the financial or relationship responsibilities that I do now. It was when all I had to think about was me.

It's easy to fall into the trap that life was easier, and I was happier than I am now, purely because my situation was different. It’s not useful or helpful to compare how we were and how our life was back then because our life can be so different now.

At some point, we all try to go back to how things were, but...

the magic is in what’s ahead, not what is behind.

Once you grasp this very concept, it will set you free.

You keep trying to go back to the person you were, the way you used to look, the way you used to feel, the way life was easier, happier, more simpler. You’re trying to retrace your steps in the hope you can tap back into that one moment in time, where life made sense, and you felt great.

I remember when I was 18 and I had all the time in the world. I could pray for hours. I could play computer games for hours. I could sleep when I wanted. I could eat when I wanted. I could do what I wanted. Now, I have 3 amazing children. I have clients. I have responsibilities, although I still have time freedom due to me being my own boss. I can’t keep comparing the two very different stages of my life, and neither can you.

If you want to be happy, fulfilled, and stay motivated, don’t lose hope for what you want. Live out of your soul purpose, not by going backward but instead moving forward. It’s focusing on what is ahead. Don’t go back. Go forward with what’s ahead. Try to understand the process of change. Your happiness is not to be found in yesterday; it's here and now.

As time goes by, we'll be getting older, which equates to our bodies potentially not looking as good as they use to. Even our minds cannot fire as responsively as they could in our 20’s.

Whatever it is and whatever reason you have in comparing your past to your present, it’s often not the key to help you shift out of your current doldrum. The key is to schedule some soul time for yourself.

  • Take an hour — schedule a meeting with yourself and head to a quiet place in your home.

  • Turn off all distractions and sit.

  • With a pen and paper, write down how you are feeling, name those feelings and emotions. Make more sense of why you feel them.

  • Then focus on the feelings and emotions you want to feel.

  • Give some thought as to how some of these emotions and feelings may be stirred up in a positive way.

  • Make sure you do this exercise where you are looking forward, looking to the horizon and not the shadows of the past.

If we continue to look behind, we will not grab hold of what we want. We will only find more heartaches and frustrations. If we look for what’s ahead, we will find what we are looking for.

As we all try to solve a puzzle, we must not forget that we are a piece of that puzzle, and the way to change our current situation and mindset is to look ahead, not behind. Go after what is in front of you. It’s time to move on.

Feel free to follow Mark on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube, or email Mark at

You can buy his books Inside Job & Plot Twist on Amazon!


Mark Sephton, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Mark Sephton is a personal mentor to entrepreneurs. His mission to help others has seen him break into global markets while working with startups and millionaire entrepreneurs worldwide. Mark's love for entrepreneurship has been expressed through serving as TV host of the show "One More Round." When not on the big screen, Mark is a regular contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine and a speaker for corporate events, entrepreneurship summits, and major conferences worldwide. His personal and professional development expertise has positioned him as an expert in the industry, resulting in transformational experiences for audiences, clients, and businesses alike.


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