There is a wonderful quote, I am unsure who to credit it to, that says; ‘Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift and that’s why we call it the present.’ I want to unpack it a little in this week’s blog, because I can see the answers to a glorious and happy life residing in those nineteen words, if we pay attention to them and take action. In fact, take a leap of faith.
I will come back to the leap of faith shortly, but let’s look at this quote to start with, because it gives power to the idea of a leap of faith. ‘Yesterday is history!’ What is the one thing we know for sure about history, any history? Well, the one thing I know for sure about history is that it is set, and cannot be changed. As much as I may like it to be. That being the case, why do we spend so much time – me included – thinking about it, dwelling on it, regretting it and beating ourselves up over it? Can I make one simple suggestion? Learn from it, forgive yourself (and/or others) if required and let it go, or you will never move forward in life.
‘Tomorrow is a mystery!’ We often try to predict, control and foresee the future, when it’s not possible. We may go to a clairvoyant, palm-reader or other so-called future predictor to tell us how our future will turn out. We may read our star signs and see what we can glean from that. Please hear me on this, our future cannot be predicted, controlled or manipulated, because there are too many elements, out of our control, that will impact it. Can we control the weather? Of course not. How will that potentially impact our plans for tomorrow? Can we control other people? We wish! How will that affect how our tomorrow will turn out? What I’m saying here is, as important as it is to have goals, dreams and clear purpose for your life, spending all your time in the future will make your head explode.
‘Today is a gift, that’s why we call it the present!’ Why is today a gift? I believe for several reasons, and I will just mention two. The first and most important is the gift of life. If you woke up this morning and are looking down on the grass, then you should celebrate. I have often spoken about the miracle of life, and when we think about the miniscule odds of our existence, we should rejoice in every moment we are alive. The second reason is the gift of choice we are given every moment of every day. What do you think will most impact your future and most glorify your past? It’s the choices we get to make in the present. If you can learn from your past and if you are clear on what you want in the future, then the choices you make in the present moment will most profoundly impact your life.
In this moment you don’t need to have all the answers. In this moment you don’t need to understand the process. In this moment, you don’t even need to know the path forward. All you need to do is have the have the courage and make the choice to take the first step… a leap of faith. It is fear in the moment that most stops people, as it has me. Fear from thinking too much about the failures of the past and how they will affect us moving forward and fear of how we can possibly create the future we desire. This fear paralyses most people, except those with faith.
I talk about faith all the time, because to me it’s the most powerful tool we have in our arsenal to live our best life. If the poor choices, mistakes and failures of yesterday are all history that we cannot change, how do we move forward successfully in life without the faith that things can change? If tomorrow is a mystery, and there is no we can accurately predict how things will go or what will challenge us, how do we negotiate that without faith? It is the leap of faith we take in the present moment, not knowing but trusting, that will get you to where you want to be.
I have spoken ad-nauseam about my journey. As I sit here writing this blog, I am living a life of joy, passion and purpose, that I love every moment of. How I got here only makes sense as I look back over the last 18 years to that one fleeting moment I made the illogical decision to write my first book. The leap of faith I took on that day, opened up the path, and each day in each moment the steps of faith I took led me to exactly where I didn’t even know I wanted to be. I am incredibly grateful.
In this week’s podcast called, ‘Just, the next step,’ I speak with Sean O’Leary, who calls himself the ‘Transformed Man.’ Sean started his journey at 135kg (300lbs), had kidney issues, was verging on diabetes and was experiencing pain in pretty much every part of his body. Within 12 weeks, he had dropped five clothes sizes and transformed into a purpose-driven man who is now lean, energised and healthy. At the lowest point, when he made the decision to transform his life, he had no idea how it would happen, and so he started with a leap of faith. He is very clear in explaining that his success did not come from motivation, ability or knowledge of the process, but from just taking the next step. Often, he didn’t know what that step would be, or where it would lead, but his desire to change his life and willingness to keep stepping out in faith helped him to be living his best life.
Faith is trusting in advance that which only makes sense in reverse, says author Phillip Yancey. So, by definition you are not in control. There is a force with you and around you that will lead you to the destination you are after, but you need to let go of the failures of the past and release the need to have all the answers for your future. Trust in God, believe in the universe and just know that if you take a leap of faith, the path will almost magically appear under your feet and lead you to the most amazing life you could ever possibly imagine. Start leaping with faith today.