I once had a coaching session with a young guy that is unhappy with himself and life generally. He had an extra year while in school and also ended up graduating with a Third Class degree. He is currently working as a contract staff in one of the companies around, but his drive for career success is dead at inception. He lacks motivation. He is yet to forgive himself for graduating with a very poor grade. According to him, the grade has -just marred his career ambitions and life dreams. From my interactions with him, he is a smart dude with lots of potential and all he wished was that he could turn back the hands of time and make things right.
I was able to relate with his condition and I know that there are lots of young career persons facing similar or if not, the same situation. Unless this is your second shot at life, that is, you have lived this life before, you are bound to make mistakes. Mistakes are part of the equation of life.
Today I would really like to address the mistakes we have made in our career journey, especially those ones that makes us wish in our heart that we could turn back the hands of time. You know those wrong decisions or major slip-offs that tend to hunt us for the rest of our career journey.
Yours might not necessarily be the case sited above. For some people, it might be waking up one beautiful morning to realize that you simply studied the wrong course in the university. You feel like you wasted four or five years of your life studying the wrong thing and it has landed you where you are at the moment and you wished you had studied something else.
For some others, it might be your failure to take advantage of an opportunity to further your education or get a professional certification that is still hunting your shadows till today. It could be mistakenly resigning from a job or signing an unfavorable employment contract. For some folks, it might be the fact that you got fired because of your involvement with unethical or criminal practices and you are wishing you could turn back the hands of time to handle things much better. There are countless of such mistakes, I can keep going on and on, but even if I did not mention yours, you know that mistake of yours that makes you wish you could turn back the hands of time.
The bad news is that no matter how remorseful you feel about the things you did or did not do in the past, you can never turn back the hands of time. You can never have the opportunity of going back to the past to correct your mistakes. However, inasmuch as I believe that our mistakes of yesterday could be responsible for what is happening to our career today, I strongly believe that what we do today can only help us fashion out how tomorrow will look like.
Stop worrying about turning back the hands of time to make things better. Every new day presents us with a fresh opportunity to make better choices. Every new day presents us with an opportunity to take the right action. Things can really get better. You can still achieve whatever career dream you have set for yourself if only you can learn to forgive yourself for squandered opportunities and move on.
Forget about what happened yesterday. You can start on a new leaf today. Every new day presents you with a clean slate and only you is responsible for what you choose to write on it.
The best time to correct your mistakes and make things right is now, not going back in time. No mistakes of our past has the ability to stop us.
If you strongly feel a desire and a need to get back to school, then go back. Don’t say “it’s too late”, because the way life happens, four years from today, you will wish you got back to school today. Don’t waste another four years of your life wailing and sulking. Take that action today and four years from now, you will be glad you did.
For those of us that started out our career with a poor grade, every new day presents us with an opportunity to write our own history. You can be a very productive person. You can develop yourself into being an asset to any organization you find yourself in. Grades don’t deliver on the job. You are the person with the responsibility of delivering on the job and you are very different from your grade. Embrace the challenge and adventure. It is sweet and inspiring when people cannot match your grade to your achievements. It is inspiring when people cannot match your workplace results to your qualifications. You can be an inspiration to someone, only if you can forgive yourself and get down to work.
If you were fired because of your involvement in unethical and criminal practices, you don’t need the company to give you a second chance to prove how repentant you have been. Today is a new day. You can start writing a new history. Decide today to be a better person, not for the previous company, not for your future company, but for yourself primarily. Yes, you fell. Rise up. Don’t stay on the ground and wishing you can turn back the hands of time to make things better. If you have any better thing to start doing, today is the best time to start doing it. Get to work.
Finally, we all make mistakes; but what defines our career is not the mistakes we made but what we do with the mistakes. There is a lesson to learn from any of our mistake and the best time to apply such a lesson is not turning back the hands of time. The best time to apply every lesson we learn from our mistakes is now. Today is a very good time to do it right. The future holds much more for you and you should not shortchange yourself by clinging to the mistakes of your past. Whatever wrong decision you have ever made in your career, look for the lesson and start making amends today. It is never late to start today. Four years from now, you will agree with me that today was early enough.
Have a great day and stay productive.
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