Do you have something you are looking forward to right now? A trip? An event? A day out with friends? A date? Isn’t it exciting when you do? I was walking by the beach the other day and I was thinking about things I was looking forward to, when I stopped to really think about the phrase, ‘looking forward to’, and I surprised myself. Surprised, because it is one of the statements we regularly use, but I wonder if we really understand the true meaning of it. ‘Looking forward to’, means ‘to look forward’.

Obvious, right? I am sure you are much more perceptive than I am, and already saw that subtle and significant meaning of this well-used and common phrase. For me, these days, I am much more conscious of the words I use, and so as I was saying it to myself, and reflected, I got excited. Why did I get so excited? Because I realized that everything that is in our future is ahead of us, and so we have to look forward to see it. That means, when we look forward, there is a world of possibility. That is definitely something to look forward to, and it doesn’t just have to be a trip, a day out with friends, a date, or any other event. It is everything in your life, and it can be whatever you want it to be. Can you see why I got so excited?

I have a past, you have a past, we all have a past. I could write an encyclopedia of books about the things that have happened in my life, the poor choices I have made, the failures I have had, and the adversity I have faced. As could many people. The biggest mistake I have made, until now, that is, is to look at all the challenges of my past and predict my future outcomes based on them. Trust me, it is crippling. Have you ever said things like, I tried that once before, but it didn’t work, or, I got dumped, so I am not able to keep a relationship, or, I have procrastinated on things before, and not been able to get the result I wanted, and so on, blah, blah, blah? When we say this kind of stuff, we are not looking forward, we are looking fair-and-square in the rear-view mirror. Do that for too long while you are driving and trust me, you will crash.

You can’t walk, ride, drive, or aspire to go in one direction, when you are looking in another. As a beginner on a bike or motorcycle, the first thing you learn, when you want to turn a corner, is to turn your head and look in the direction you want to go, or you will end up where you are looking. It seems obvious but is counter-intuitive for many people. I lost control of a motorbike several times when learning this. If you want to progress in anything and with anyone, you need to look forward. I am recently single again and have been so tempted to look back at all my failed relationships and come to the conclusion that I am destined to be single. Instead, I choose to look forward as the person I am, to the person I am becoming, and the amazing partner I will attract. It is exciting.

Just recently I had the pleasure to meet an amazing man, Baden. I am grateful and excited that I get to go on the journey of helping him write his book. His story of drug addiction, 17 overdoses, homelessness, and time in prison, is a rear-view mirror full of stuff that could stop him living a meaningful life, if he wasn’t looking forward. He is, in fact, looking forward to a life of significance where he changes the paradigm of drug use and of people who use drugs (which is actually all of us in some way). He is helping many people and in the process of changing his own circumstances. On the shirt he was wearing when we met the other day, was printed the phrase, Nice People Take Drugs. I am definitely looking forward to working with Baden.

As I sit here finishing up this blog, I am grateful for who I am and what I have in my life. As I think about the things that have happened in my past, I understand they have helped shape the person I am today. That is a person I am proud to be and one whom I regard very highly. I truly hope you can say the same about yourself. What I am excited about is the possibility of my future. Taking what I have learned from my past, applying it in the present, and looking forward to what it will produce in the future. Keep your eyes up, look forward to the greatness that is there for you, and simply move towards it.