“Yesterday is Dead and Gone…”

Kris Kristofferson

“…and tomorrow’s out of sight”. Those are lines from the song “Help Me Make it through the Night”, written by JP’s musical hero, Kris Kristofferson, but they also represent a critical life lesson that it is imperative that you learn and adopt in your daily practice if you desire to be successful and happy.

A common trap that unhappy people find themselves in is the limbo that results from fixating on the negative events of the past and/or projecting their beliefs onto the unrealized events in their future. This is an extraordinarily destructive practice, and is one that I deal with frequently with my coaching clients.

My last article “How Do You Suck” examined the negative effects of limiting beliefs, the crippling ideals that we as humans unconsciously possess in regards to ourselves, others around us, or the world in general. Such beliefs serve as major stumbling blocks on our road to greatness by negatively affecting our subconscious perception of our potential to succeed, which in turn has a major impact on our actions and results. (This “belief loop” is featured in my books “Drop the Panties: The Greyskull Guide to a Better Body”, and “SWOLE: The Greyskull Growth Principles- Second Edition”, and will be addressed much more in depth in my upcoming release, “Blueprint to Beast”).

Every experience that we rack up in life has an effect on our beliefs. We call these “formative experiences” in NLP, and they make up a significant portion of how our beliefs are created. If you have a negative experience when attempting something new for instance, you often think that you will produce the same result should you try the activity again. In this case, you would have referenced a past experience, and projected the result you produced onto any effort made in that area in the future. Such belief often prevents you from attempting the activity again because the strength of your reference experience is substantial enough to “convince” you that you will fail before you even try.

This “past/future” hopping is something that absolutely must be overcome as a pattern of thinking if you are to be successful and happy in any and all of the five major life headings I describe in Blueprint to Beast (Body, Relationships, Professional Life, Finance, Mission).

Allowing yourself to be caught up in this downward spiral will all but guarantee that you will manifest precisely what it is that you do not want. Investing energy in anything negative will always yield a shit return.

The interesting part is that people are often unaware of this pattern of thought, and repeatedly manifest the worst in a situation, blind to the idea that they are positioning themselves to do little else.

“Yesterday is Dead and Gone”

The events of the past are exactly that, they are in the past- as in over with.

The past is an idea, but is not a physical entity; it exists nowhere. All that remains of past events are distorted memories (all memories are by definition distorted whether positively or negatively “the map is not the territory”). Since we understand that no matter how badly we may (or may not) wish to relive the events of the past, we will never have that opportunity.

If you’ve demonstrated behavior in the past that you do not wish to indentify yourself with, the good news is that you have a clean slate with which to begin each new today.

If you’ve succeeded in the past in areas of your life, and wish to perform more in line with those prior successes, once again you have the ability to begin again today, regardless of how long of a negative “streak” you may have recently experienced.

Dwelling on the events of the past, whether in a fearful sense, or a longing sense, is not in any way, shape, or form productive. The past is gone, period. It’s not coming back.

Why should you believe that you are doomed to perpetually produce the same results that you have previously?

Silly, right?

It really is, but that idea is precisely what is at the root of the majority of limiting beliefs that people possess.

Take for instance the man who believes that he is “bad with money” due to the fact that he has, through his past actions, ran up a considerable amount of bad debt, and neglected to save or invest any of his income. Is there literally anything stopping this man from taking action today to rectify his situation and move forward with much more productive and rewarding practices?

Of course there isn’t. Now how “easy” do you suppose this is for a person who truly believes that he or she is “bad with money”?

What is he basing this perceived “characteristic” of his on?

If you guessed events of the past (specifically his own actions in the past), then you are absolutely correct.

Now let’s explain to him that the past is over, and that today is a clean slate. It doesn’t matter what he’s done up to this point; since he can’t go back and change it, and focusing on it is sure to do little besides repeat the result he produced before, the information is useless save the lesson he learned about the negative effects of said behavior.

Once he has divorced himself from the past, choosing to accept that a focus on something that is no longer an actual entity is ludicrous, he is then able to focus on the events of today, create habits, adopt new beliefs, and move forward with behavior that will make it difficult for him to honestly say that he is “bad with money” within a few weeks.

Let’s also look at the woman who has been through a series of “bad” relationships. Her experiences have led her to believe that “all men are X”, or that relationships all follow some sort of predictable pattern or timeline.

Can you see how such beliefs may weigh in when she meets and interacts with new potential mates?

Will she be open to trusting a person (who may be well deserving of such trust), or will she assume (leaning on her beliefs brought about by her past experiences) that this man must also be full of shit?

Will she allow a situation to develop and progress, free to experience the joys of a growing bond between two people, or will she again project past experience onto the present-day situation, foolishly pretending to understand the “stage” that the relationship is in?

If the past is driving the car, she’s not going to get very far. Once she’s satisfied her subconscious’ need to be “right” with regards to her beliefs (hey, it works with what you give it), her beliefs grow much stronger with their new formative experiences in tow.

If she however understands that the past is gone, and never coming back, and chooses to live today (the only point of time that we ever truly inhabit), she will have the opportunity to manifest what she truly wants in life if the situation is the right one. If her focus remains on the past, she has no choice but to repeat the pattern, and “complete the circuit” that she has subconsciously created by doing so.

“Tomorrow’s Out of Sight”

OK, so we’ve determined that the past is gone, and is not coming back. With that in mind, it is much easier to envision a future that holds much more potential. To take this one step further, lets look at the idea that the future does not exist either.

That’s right, the future does not exist.

“What do you mean JP?” of course the future exists

Uh, uh, no it doesn’t, nope, you’re wrong.

The “future” as we imagine it is a period in time that we will never exist in.

As I mentioned before, the only time that we ever own is NOW. What we call the future is really NOW, THEN.

Think about that for a minute.

If you imagine a specific date, say ten days from now, understand that that day doesn’t exist yet. Events of that day have not yet happened, decisions made on that day have not been made, etc.

The only time that that day becomes real is when it IS that day; meaning when that day is NOW.

Understand that our futures are merely a collection of “nows” spread over time.

If we commit ourselves to patterns of thought, habits, and actions that serve us and are productive, and vow to live in such a manner each day of our lives, how do you suppose our futures will look?

Live now.

The past is gone, the future never comes; neither is a real point in time.

Place your focus on the one piece of time that you actually ever get to live, NOW, and see how much better your life becomes.

I hope that this article has provided you with the framework for making the life-changing transition from a past/future hopping, unhappy person, plagued with limiting beliefs built of past experience, to a person who truly lives life and manifests for themselves that which they desire.

Like all things JP, the principles are simple. The application requires a bit more thought on your end.

As always, if you are interested in learning more about how this destructive practice is negatively effecting your life in any and all of the major life headings, my door is always open to new coaching clients. Whether or not I work with you directly, I truly hope that you see value in the information presented, and apply these ideas to your life.

Trust me, the grass really is much greener in the Now.

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One Response

  1. Jeff Gainok

    J.P,
    Great post. I wanted to let you know you got 3 old *38,39,35* active duty military guys following GSLP in a garage before work. We were straight crossfit guys but wanted something better. So doing open workout on Saturday for the high intensity and guess what? Following GSLP with linebacker focus is keeping me in top 10% of region Greyskull is the way. Working on VC 1 right now.Will keep you posted with pics of garage and workouts if you would like.
    Very Respectfully,
    Jeff G.
    CPT/Us Army

    March 2, 2014 at 10:11 am

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