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Hi Dani,

Thank you very much for the opportunity to guest post on Positively Present! I hope you had a good trip to South Carolina this past weekend.

Greg - Thank you for writing the post! I really enjoyed reading it!

Awesome job Greg!

It took years for me to learn that the past, whether good or bad, makes me who I am today. I wouldn’t be the same without those experiences. What could have, or should have…is over.

I responded to a forum question today asking people’s best and worst life decisions. I said that my 2 Ex’s are my best decisions in life. Even though both failed, I don’t view them as failures. It would be so sad to view 20 years of my life as a failure. I learned SO many valuable lessons and couldn’t imagine life any other way.

My 40th birthday was an eye opener for me. Based on my family history, 40 is my ½ way mark! I’m absolutely amazed at how fast time flies. It’s sometimes hard to remember that each day counts to the fullest when it’s marked by years past.

Thanks for writing!

Hi Scott,

Thanks so much for the kind words!

Like you, I try to be grateful for the past, because it made me who I am today. I think that's the best attitude to have, especially considering that we can't change the past. We can only learn from it.

And I also agree that relationships that last maybe 10 years instead of 50 or 60 are not failures. Honestly, I'm not crazy about the word failure. I think real failure is when you don't try. With relationships, people simply change and may not be right for each other after a certain period of time.

My 30th birthday was an eye opener for me. But now I've gotten to the point where I pretty much just don't care about my age. I feel like I'm still 18 or 20, but I'm a lot smarter and wiser. And I accept myself for who I am now. I think that's a lot more difficult to do when you are younger.

Keep living every day to the fullest!

Scott - Thank you for your comment on Greg's post. I'm with you in believing that some of the relationships I've been in have really made me the person I am today. It's easy to label things as a mistake when they don't work out, but that would mean labeling all that you learned from those people as mistakes too. We really learn a lot from our relationships and it's awesome that you are one of those people that realizes that. So many people, sadly, do not. It sounds like you're doing the best to live your life to the fullest, which is great. It's a great mentality to have.

Greg - Thanks so much for coming back and responding to comments. I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Scott's comment. I agree with the point you made about failure being when you don't try. When you give something your all and it doesn't work out, that's not a failure in my book. Thanks again for writing this post and contributing in the comments section!

Dani,

You're very welcome!

Life really does take a bunch of twists and turns and throws some curve balls in there, too.

I like your "Dominate the day" mantra. I'm a fan of carving out meaningful days and meaningful moments.

These are the basic tenets of Al-Anon. I have also heard that if I have one foot in the past and one foot in tomorrow then I piss all over today.

Hi J.D.,

It's great to hear you like the "Dominate the day" idea. It has really made my life so much better.

And I've learned to try to take the curve balls that life throws us in stride. There have been times when I thought something wasn't good and it turned out to be a big blessing in disguise.

Hey Syd,

That's an interesting way to make the same point! I definitely look at these ideas as common sense but not always common practice. I've found that it takes a lot of discipline for me to focus on the present. But it gets easier with more practice.

Greg - this is a really focused and strong post and I really enjoyed it. You have clearly learned a lot. I agree with JD - dominate the day or even the moment! That is all we can really manage and if we learn to enjoy it and fill it with purpose, the past and future lose their dominance over us. Thanks so much!

Phil

Hi Phil,

Thanks so much for the kind words. I really appreciate it!

In particular, I liked when you said "the past and future lose their dominance over us." This is a great way to put it. That's exactly what it feels like. But we are in complete control of the present, so that's where the focus should be.

Hi Greg, Hi Dani,

Yes, forgiveness is a powerful tool to let go of baggage. Forgiving and cutting someone loose is really a much better alternative to letting ourselves be weighed down by holding a grudge. As well, forgiving ourselves and not being so hard on ourselves, as difficult as this may be to do, will release us to move freely in the present.

Focusing less on the future can also be hard especially for those of us who are trained to plan and make things happen. But we can do these things and also enjoy ourselves right now. There's no need to spoil the present moment because our projections for the future are coming up short. As much as we'd like to predict the future, one thing's for sure, there's always a curve ball we can't plan for.

And Dominate the Day -- super cool!

Great guest post.

Greg,

My Grandmother is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease and no longer remembers her own life.

Dominate the Day is so important because someday we might forget. We could look through a photo album and not recognize anyone. There are so many “what ifs” that can’t be answered.

My biggest fear about dying is that my last words (or thought) will be, “You’ve got to be kidding. I wasn’t done.”

It’s unreasonable for me to feel everyday is perfect, but dominating the day makes me feel good about each day.

Keep up the good work!

Dani,

Yah, I’m certainly not the poster child for successful relationships! I wish there was some sort of training people could go through first. To get my driver’s license I had to take a written exam and a test drive! But not a marriage license…

But seriously, I felt much better when I learned that life isn’t a mistake, but an opportunity.

Hi Belinda,

Thanks for stopping by and checking out the post!

I completely agree that holding grudges is not the way to go. The negativity does not lead to happiness.

And I know how difficult it can be to not focus too much on the future. I like to have a general idea of where I'm going. But when I start micromanaging the future, I know I've gone too far!

Thanks, Scott. I really appreciate it!

It seems like the only way to truly live is to be in the present. When we focus (too much or in an unproductive manner) on the past or the future, we really aren't living. We are just wasting time.

I believe the purpose of life is to experience joy, happiness, and fulfillment. And I find I am most likely to accomplish this by being in the present.

Furthermore, I appreciate your sharing your grandmother's story. It's a powerful reminder to live each day to the fullest.

Hi Dani and Greg,

I'm also big on letting go of the past. If we're not careful it can be like a weight that holds us back from living in the present.

I also enjoyed the quote you shared at the end, "When you take care of the minutes, the hours take care of themselves." So true.

J.D. - I'm also a big fan of the "Dominate the Day" mantra. It's a great one!

Syd - Thanks for sharing that piece of wisdom. I've never heard it put that way before, but I really like it. You have to live for today -- not for yesterday or tomorrow.

Phil - I agree with your words that we cannot let the past or future dominate our lives. As Greg mentioned, we have to dominate our days!

Belinda - Thank you for sharing your wonderful insights on this post. I love what you've written about forgiveness. You really highlighted one of the key points here and I'm glad you did.

Scott - Oh, me neither! I'm definitely no relationship expert, but I've learned a lot from the experiences I've had and I really believe that the hard times are what make me really able to live in the present and focus on the positive in my life.

Barbara - That's a great way of putting it. Sometimes the past can really weigh us down and it's up to us to let it go and focus on the now. Love the quote you shared!

Greg - Thanks again for being so great about responding to comments. It's wonderful to get a good dialog going with a great post like this one and I'm really glad you've taken the time to participate.

I dominated another day! The sun helps keep me energized. I also found some cool things on the internet!

Scott - Way to go! Dominating days is awesome! I agree that the sun is one of the greatest forces when it comes to making a day a positive one. (And cool things on the internet aren't too bad either.)

Hi Barbara,

I'm really glad you enjoyed the quote at the end of the post. It is one of my favorites. Somebody told me this about 15 years ago and I have found that it is SO true.

And I really like your description of the past being a weight. In a similar fashion, I often think that it is like carrying around a backpack full of bricks. And what needs to be done is to take the backpack off and start walking without it. I know I tend to feel emotionally "lighter" when I let things go.

Scott,

That's great to hear! Keep it up!

Dani,

You're very welcome! I've really enjoyed the discussion. And thanks again for the opportunity to guest post.

Great post Greg! I commend you for getting to that point where you no longer dwell negatively on the past or the future. I totally agree with you, I find that when I dominate my day and take control over my focus is when I'm more happy and positive. The second I start to worry about the past or what if thinking is when a flood of negative thoughts and emotions come over me.

Thanks for sharing!!

Jarrod - Thanks for your comment on Greg's post. I agree that it's awesome that he's working on not dwelling negatively in the past or future. It's something I'm striving to do every day too and it really makes my life a lot more positive!

Hi Jarrod,

Thanks so much for the kind words!

It has taken me a long time to get to this point, but it definitely feels so much better to live in the present. There are still times when I get off track and negativity arises as a result of focusing on the past or future in an unproductive manner.

But now I usually notice what is happening much more quickly and soon I am back to living in the present.

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