MOTIVATION & INSPIRATION
By Deion Sanders with Tejado W. Hanchell, Ph. D
WHAT IF I had finished school? WHAT IF he/she had never left me? WHAT IF I had started that business? WHAT IF I never started drinking? WHAT IF I had more time? WHAT IF my father was there? WHAT IF my mother really loved me? WHAT IF…? WHAT IF…?There are too many people whose lives are dominated by the “WHAT IFS” of life. A life dominated by “WHAT IF” is one that is ruled by REGRET. It’s a life lived in REVERSE. If you are consumed by questions of “WHAT IF” you have become PREOCCUPIED with your PAST instead of FOCUSED on your FUTURE. It’s hard to move forward when you’re stuck in reverse because you’re car doesn’t have neutral. It’s time to shift gears and stop living a “WHAT IF” Life.
The older you get the less “WHAT IFS” you can afford to have. Some of us still have “WHAT IFS” on layaway! A “WHAT IF” Life is like your parents’ house. It’s a great place to visit, but it’s a terrible place to live at a certain age and stage. Living a “WHAT IF” Life is like a 40 year-old still sleeping on that old twin mattress at his mother’s house with a big wheel parked outside. He’s outgrown it, but he doesn’t know it. You, too, have outgrown many places in your past, but if you continue to live in the land of “WHAT IF”, you’ll be like that 40 year-old still stuck in a place you’ve long outgrown. (By the way, if you’re 40 and still live with your parents…you know better!) There’s a huge difference between you living with your parents and your parents living with you.
Don’t live a life ruled by regret. The only antidote for regret is hope. WHILE REGREAT LOOKS BACKWARDS, HOPE LOOKS FORWARD. Hope doesn’t ask “WHAT IF?” Hope declares “WHAT WILL!” Hope teaches us to turn our “WHAT IFS” into “WHAT WILLS”. You need to decide today what WILL happen in your life. This is where your confidence needs to offend someone’s insecurity. While you can’t CONTROL the future…you can certainly CONTRIBUTE to it. Begin to make an investment in your tomorrow. You cannot invest in tomorrow if all your ASSets are tied up in yesterday. It’s time to rollover from YESTERDAY and say YES-TO-TODAY! (Someone needs to shout “YES” right there!)
Those who are living a “WHAT IF” life aren’t really living at all. You can’t have a real life if you’re focused on the “WOULDA”, “COULDA” and “SHOULDAS” of life. Here’s how you can move past the “WHAT IFS” and begin to have a real LIFE.
Let go of your past.
Some people hold on to the past like it’s a rare coin. Unfortunately, the past does not go up in value the longer you hold on to it. In fact, the holding on to the past only devalues your current experiences. You can’t really have a fulfilling relationship now if you’re still consumed by what happened or what could have happened in your last relationship, job, or opportunity. You have to treat the past like “catch and release” fishing. I happen to have a 10-acre lake in my back yard, and I enjoy fishing. The thing I have to do so I can continue to have fish in my lake is to “catch and release”. I catch it, look at it, sometimes take a picture of it, learn from the experience…and then let it go!
Invest in your future.
I told you already that you can’t control your future, but you can contribute to it. Dreams are like babies. They need to be fed if they are going to grow. Don’t let your dream die of neglect, and don’t expect anyone else to invest in your dream if you don’t. Invest time, money and energy into your dream. It will pay off in the long run. Your future is a long-term investment, so don’t get discouraged if you don’t see a return right away. Stop treating your future like it’s a “get rich quick” scheme. Be patient. Your investment will pay off! The only problem you should have with your dream is that your dreams should rival your expectations.
Forgive those who have hurt you.
This is usually the hardest step to overcoming the “WHAT IFS” of life. UN-FORGIVENESS IS THE GUARD THAT KEEPS US LOCKED UP IN THE PRISON OF OUR PAST. We can never move forward if we don’t forgive (I said forgive – not forget). Un-forgiveness festers in our hearts and turns into bitterness. It is a cancer that eats away at our souls. LIFE without the ‘F’ of forgiveness…is a LIE!
LIFE – F = LIE
Forgiveness removes the “WHAT IFS” because it puts you in driver’s seat of your life. As long as you don’t forgive someone, you give them the power to control your heart and emotions. One of the reasons I’ve never drank, smoked or been high a day of life is because I like control – especially control of me. Take control of your life by forgiving those who have hurt you. Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the prison of your past. Set yourself free…FORGIVE and LIVE!
Enjoy the ride!
When you Let go of the past, Invest in your future, and Forgive those who have hurt you, all that’s left is for you to sit back and Enjoy the ride! One of the reasons I have a continuous smile is because I understand that God is my driver, and I trust wherever He’s taking me to and through. With God as your driver, you can face each day with expectation knowing that regardless of what the day brings, you are ready for it. When you release the “WHAT IFS”, you are free to pursue the “WHAT SHAL BE”. All I can say is that your “WHAT SHALL BE” is better than your “WHAT HAS BEEN”. Trust me on that one. Because if you follow Prime, you understand that these last two years, I have been tried, but I always come out on top. Buckle up and enjoy the ride!
P.S. Make sure you check out the new book from Dr. Tejado Hanchell, #DearSingleSister: 101 Words of Wisdom for Single Women…from a Married Man. http://bit.ly/L7psjS
P.P.S. March 1st at 10PM is the debut of my new show “Deion’s Family Playbook” only on OWN Network! Check it out at www.DeionsFamilyPlaybook.com