“The start of something new brings the hope of something great. ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.” -Author Unknown
We’ve all been there. We’ve all experienced the mental cycle of “could’ve, should’ve, would’ve” that so easily derails progress and forward momentum if we don’t find a way to stop it. Some call it ruminating. Some call it “stewing.” Some simply call it being stuck. No matter the term one chooses to use for the unfortunate phenomenon of sitting in the mental fog of past mistakes and perceived failures, the bottom line is this: it can be debilitating. Getting stuck in the past has the potential to strip away one’s confidence and self-esteem, causing one to stop dreaming and stop believing in one’s chances. This is one reason that some of the most renowned Zen masters and mindfulness practitioners emphasize the importance of living in the present. The only thing we can directly impact by our decisions and actions is the present. What we do in the present won’t change the past, but it will definitely influence the future.
This is what we try to instill in the teens we serve in RMFY. We make it clear, especially in the beginning of the program year, that we have high expectations for our students. We tell them to learn from their pasts, make better decisions for their futures, and when necessary do the hard work of beginning again. We encourage them to brush the dust of defeat from their shoulders, and square up to take on a new school year with confidence, determination, and perseverance. We motivate them to look at new beginnings with fresh perspective – to envision the finish line from a new starting point.
Each moment births a new beginning if we choose to accept it. With every new beginning is an opportunity to hope for and pursue something greater than what we’ve previously experienced. The chance to begin again is a gift. Undoubtedly, the chance to progress toward something greater is a gift.