How to Maximize the Past, Future and Present

By Dr. Ron Jenson

 

Hi guys! Ron today from the Piazza Novana. You can see this beautiful statue here in the fountain in the middle of one of the most active piazzas in Rome, Italy. You can hear the music in the background, and see people bustling about. I want to use this setting as an opportunity to talk about three things: the past, the future, and the present, in that order. And I want to give you a special word about each one.

The past is pretty obvious in a place like this. You can hear the church bells in the background every day at noon. You can see this fountain, all the beautiful surroundings, and the architecture. It all speaks about the past and its wonders.

When it comes to the past, my word for you is GLANCE. Glance at the past. By that I mean this — Don’t get hung up on the past. Your past does not define you. Your background does not define you. You may have failed in the past, long ago or yesterday, but don’t let those things hold you back. Instead, move forward. Learn from your mistakes. If you offended someone get right with them. If you feel like you offended God, get right with Him. Experience forgiveness in your life and give yourself a little bit of grace. Glance at the past. Learn what you need to learn. Don’t carry around shame or guilt.

By the way, don’t live on the winds of the past either. I was able to achieve some pretty high levels of leadership and influence at a young age, and it’s easy for me to settle in and live off some of those successes. But just as we don’t let the past define us in a negative way, it’s not helpful to dwell on even the good success. Move forward. Glance at the past.

When it comes to the future, GAZE at, focus on, the future. Though we see the past history here in Italy, we also see the future all around us. These beautiful fountains are sprinkled with coins because people are hoping for a better future. And the future is a great motivator. Whenever I’m working with a new coaching client, I always start off by having them write an end-of-life report, which means at the end of their life how would they know they’ve succeeded. My word to you is to do just that. Think about the end of your life. Write out a vision for your dreams, your profession, your family, what success will look like at the end of your life. Gaze on the future, at that vision, and then live that way, intentionally. What would you like people to say about you when you die? Gaze on the future and let that vision propel you.

When it comes to the present, GRASP the present. I love the Italians! They seem to live life into the wee hours of the morning. They seize the opportunities and enjoy the process! One of my favorite verses in the Bible is in the book of Ephesians, where it says, “make the most of every opportunity.” And the point here is that life is short! We have choices we make throughout every day. We can give away joy and contentment, or sadness and regret. “Make the most of every opportunity” to help people, to be kind, generous, and loving. To be the best you can be. Buy up that kind of opportunity. Seize the day. Carpe diem!

Ron signing off from Piazza Novana in Rome.