At the beginning of the year, we all made a long list of things we planned to accomplish. We had goals we wanted to reach in our family life, spiritual life, professional life, academic life, business etc.
One thing we didn’t make plans for were contingencies because we are humans and no matter how much we try to factor in risks, disappointments, weaknesses and other possible causes of delays, we can’t completely capture everything; we are limited in our insight and foresight, even when we are trained risk managers.
So, when we set off to accomplish our dreams on the first day of January, we didn’t expect that a time could possibly come when we’ll be completely off the track we had originally fixed. This derailment has a tendency of causing feelings of frustration, anger, guilt, lack of motivation and ultimately depression. You may then find yourself either not doing anything at all or doing something that is completely way out of your original plan.
Whenever you miss your purpose in life, the tendency is to start running around in search of something else to do so that you’ll be termed purposeful. You cram your to-do list with several activities to make you feel good. Sadly, after a while, you’ll always feel that hollow inside of you because you know that you aren’t where you should be, and you aren’t doing what you should be doing. So, the feelings of frustration, guilt and anger towards yourself get even worse.
Here are a few things you should do instead:
1. Discover the point where things began to take a different turn.
This may be difficult to determine, but most times it’s possible to know when and where exactly things began going in the wrong direction. Maybe you got a bit distracted by others or carried away by so much excitement about a new idea or something completely beyond your control happened. Just ascertain when and what happened and note every aspect of it down on paper.
2. Whose fault was it? Mine or completely beyond my sphere of control?
Yeah, I’m sorry but we need to apportion some blames. But this is not the kind of blame that paralyses, we just want to understand responsibilities, so we don’t fall back into the same errors over again.
So, since you’ve known what caused the train of your purpose to derail, was it because of you or something external that you couldn’t control? Be fair and balanced. Don’t excuse yourself, but also, don’t accuse yourself without proofs. No one is going to jail, so just own up to your mistakes and lay the faults of others on them and not on you.
Saying “it’s all my fault, I take the blame” isn’t necessary. No one is getting any rewards for taking the entire blame. Saying, “it’s none of my faults” isn’t going to be helpful either. So, calm down and be truthful to the best of your knowledge.
3. Can you amend the mistakes?
This is an important question because it’ll really help us to gain clarity. If the derailment came as a result of bad decisions you made, then you want to find out if they can be corrected or if their effects in some way can be mitigated. This also applies to errors that weren’t directly or indirectly under your responsibility.
If they can be corrected, how do you go about it? Just have all these written out and defined. And map out ways to correct them.
But if they can’t be corrected in any way, or if an attempt to correct them may actually not be worth it, then you may consider letting them be. Also, there are some errors that are self-limiting, that is, they extinguish themselves without your intervention the moment you recommence chasing those original goals. So, don’t waste your life on them.
4. Forgive yourself.
Sometimes this seems to be the most difficult aspect for many, especially the highly competitive and result-driven people. They find it hard to settle with their mistakes and let them go in peace. They continue to calculate all the time lost and think of what could have happened if things went differently. This group of persons allow memories of their past mistakes to remain in their minds and this heavy burden weighs on them so much that it prevents them from moving forward.
You need to learn to forgive yourself. The mistakes have been made. You’ve recognised your mistakes. You’ve devised ways to correct them. Now, allow peace into your heart and let yourself have the freedom to move on.
Someone said that regret for wasted time is more wasted time. So, settle with your past mistakes, forgive yourself and set yourself free from your own bondage.
5. Time to move on.
Once you’ve handled the preceding steps, it’s time to move on. Start from the point the train got derailed and restart your engines. Don’t attempt to waste further time, you’ve wasted enough already. Pick yourself up and get on that steering wheel, turn on the ignition and drive. Recuperate the enthusiasm you had at the beginning, and if that has faded, don’t worry. Just drive… slowly? No problems… Just drive.
6. Determine to stay on course this time.
We already know what caused the derailment in the first place, this time we need to decide never to allow them in again. They may not be exactly the same causes; they may be similar or completely new. Whatever the probable issues may be, decide that you’re going to stay on course. Keep your antennas up to detect any negative frequencies and avoid them. Be vigilant and don’t repeat the same mistakes. Let the time lost be a warning sign to you.
7. Ask God for speed. But still, trust Him even if the speed doesn’t come.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 says, “I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.”
Be calm. Ask and Trust God for restoration and speed. God can and will restore the years that the locusts, cankerworms, caterpillars and palmerworms ate – Joel 2:25.
You can still achieve every one of those goals even before the stipulated time. Trust God. And even if the speed doesn’t come, still trust His plans for your life.
Thanks for reading. I hope you gained some clarity reading this piece. God bless you and have a great week. I love you all.