Don’t forget where you started. It might come in handy at some point.
If you don’t know where you started, how do you how far you’ve come?
1,431 days ago, I was a struggling, borderline depressed, frustrated but still smiling guy. I’m not sure a DNA test would find much in me that was in me back then. I have changed, morphed, altered, progressed and blossomed. But that’s not my point.
If you don’t remember where you started, how are you going to help those who are just getting started? This goes for health, weight loss, career, relationship, anything.
If you’re playing in the NBA, it’s going to take some deep diving into your memory to think back to high school and how you were ever going to make it. If you’re on your 14th novel, it might be a stretch to say that you remember what it was like to get those first words on the page and send it off to the editor.
But it helps to remember to help those who are not quite as far along as you are.
This does not mean that you need to return to that time–in fact, please don’t.
If you can put your feet back in the shoes of someone who is struggling, great, you can help them move forward. But don’t actually put those shoes back on. Don’t descend to their level and stay there. You will be of greater help to stay on your higher flying disc and let them rise up to you. The best you can be, the most you can help is by being who you are now, not who you were then.
It doesn’t help you to go back. In fact, I think it’s dangerous. Take addiction: why go back to who you were (the addicted person) whereas now you are beyond that? If it’s only to help someone out, guide them forward and upward, but don’t descend to a place where you both are stuck, a depth that you both can’t ascend out of.
Remember where you came from, but don’t relive it. Share it, but lightly, don’t let it take you down. Even if you feel strong enough to handle it, it was still who you were and that DNA is related, don’t let it take over. Have a glance at it under the surface, like what you can see through a frozen lake, smile at it and thank it for helping catapult you to where you are today, but then slowly walk away and don’t let it grab onto your feet and pull you under.