HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED: Looking back to move forward

A friend recently asked me, "How do you stay motivated to keep moving forward?"

I responded, "By looking BACK."

You see, my past is my greatest teacher. It is also what gives me hope for a future. I believe that everything we experience in life is either a lesson or a blessing...and many times it's both.I used to feel like I didn't really have anything valuable to contribute. I'd work tirelessly to prove myself. I acted tough. I worked towards becoming stronger, yet all the while, deep down I felt a deep insecurity. A lack of worth. I felt like all the struggles I'd faced in life made me unworthy of love or respect. I thought no one would want to hear what I had to share. I felt like a burden, so I never opened up. Β I never reached out.And then someone said something that radically changed my perspective.Β 

He said " Why don't you share your experience to help someone else? Even if you have one more day of experience than someone who just started today, you have a valuable nugget, or a glimmer of hope to share that could be helpful to them. "

This suggestion caused a shift in me. I began looking for ways to help others in the ways I had learned to help myself. I shared my insecurities more readily. I became vulnerable. And you know what happened? People began sharing more with me. Connections were made. Intimacy in my relationships grew. Β The story of my past became my greatest tool for inspiration and connection with others.Today, I can look back and remember all my 'firsts' in life. I remember the first time I tied my shoes. When I first learned to drive. The first time I picked up a camera and all the challenges I faced while studying my craft. My first time falling in love. And my first heartbreak. I remember when I had my first spiritual experience and came to know my higher power. I remember the first time I felt true inner peace. When I take a moment to reminisce on these experiences, I realize how far I've come. How much I've been carried through. I realize how my experience can benefit others. And how God has led me and guided me all along.Β If I hadn't lived through the experiences of my past, I would not have learned what I know now, nor would I appreciate my blessings to the depth that I do today. I now am able to share these gifts with others. This gives me a sense of purpose in life. And it gives me fulfillment to see others conquering their obstacles too. So the cycle of motivation continues as I continue offering myself up to serve others. As I step back and look at my life I clearly see that my greatest gift is my past. I look back...and I move forward.So I'll leave you with these questions to ponder: 

  • What experiences have you overcome that could benefit others?
  • Are you using these experiences to empower your life, or to shrink?
  • How are these experiences tied to your purpose in life?
  • What is one thing that you could do today to reconnect with your purpose and to help others? ---DO IT!