Dr. Rich PattersonDr. Rich PattersonSteps & Missteps

By Rich Patterson, PhD.

If you’re a person of faith, it won’t surprise you to learn that our steps and even our missteps are guided by God and all work to our good, even and particularly when we are sure that they will work against us.  But if you’re not a person of faith, read on anyway and let’s take another look at this from another perspective.

All our life is a preparation to be better than we are presently.  In a recent interview, a California based high tech CEO was asked what he regretted in his life, what he would do differently.  He immediately stated that he doesn’t look back, he looks to the future and to today, the contemplation’s that he really controls.  He then spoke that his past errors have brought him to the understanding that he has today and that he wouldn’t change any of them, in fact would likely do them all over again!

Wow . . . how powerful to have that understanding and freedom from the guilt and regrets of the past.  This isn’t to say that we don’t reflect on something and have the understanding that we could have done better than we did.  No, it says that you don’t hold on to those missteps from the past hindering the present and the future.  That instead of thinking of those as mistakes, you look at them as stepping stones to the new you.

The old you are full of missteps, mistakes, regrets, misgivings, maybe even shame and guilt.  But to hold on to those nouns keeps you from the new you.  Let those pangs of conscience go in favor of understanding that because of those missteps, you now have a new you.  You have a new understanding that is full of hope, a confidence that results from those missteps, an expectation of the future, an optimism, anticipation, a new courage to face the likelihood of a new success because of the journey that you have traveled.

Now from a faith perspective we need to focus our eyes on God, who is guiding those steps.  If that doesn’t work for you, then simply trust that with good intentions, even the difficult times are a part of your journey on this planet and that these experiences, good and bad, and great and difficult all lead to where you need to be.  You can hold whatever belief you have for a divine guidance, just simply don’t hold on to the past.

If you’re trying to figure everything out, then stop because you will drive yourself crazy with analysis.  Turn it over to your path here on the planet and understand that all roads lead to your growth.  Trust that you are being led on this journey as a spirit and soul residing on this earth and move forward from there.

Here’s what I know, “You don’t want to miss today by constantly re-visiting past missteps.”  Move forward with your focus on the future and today.  Those are the only two areas of which you truly have control.

Yours for a better life,

Rich Patterson