The Battle Between Past Mistakes & Future Success

The greatest stronghold on your ability to succeed will be past mistakes. Although they may offer some of the greatest lessons, to ignore the responsibilities created from them will deter you from moving forward and finding success.

Some call it a ‘light-bulb moment’, some have an epiphany. It’s the time in your life when you finally realize the key to success and you began understanding the ways to create a better life for yourself. To surrender to the truth, however, about the changes that need to be made doesn’t mean the consequences of past mistakes will disappear. Therefore, the amount of time and energy you apply to a better future should also be the same amount of time you place in cleaning up the mess left from past mistakes.

One of the biggest mistakes made is the decision to ignore financial obligations. All the bills and debt created from irresponsible choices in the past cannot be overlooked simply because you now know how to make better financial decisions. Obviously, the obligations don’t disappear and neither should your memory. No matter how much you push away and ignore previous obligations, they do find a corner somewhere in your life to settle. Even when you think you’ve escaped the obligation, you’ve missed the lesson of responsibility. And when this same challenge comes around again, you will not be equipped with the conscience to do what is right. Instead, you will find it easier to continue overlooking and disowning responsibility and yet because you still have a determination to be happy, the only option left will be to pretend or appear to be in control in the eyes of everyone else.

For those who reach the moment of surrendering to what you’ve been called to do but know that past obligations are taking a toll, it is most important that you don’t allow those obligations to defeat you. It is always easiest to give up when it seems that past obligations, especially the financial ones, won’t give. And many have given in to the defeat. Not only should you continue to handle what is expected of you but you should also value the lessons that go along with it. The lessons are not there to make you believe things will never get better. They are there to help you realize better decisions could’ve been made and better decisions should be made going forward. Obligations may seem to hold you back from what you want to do now but faith and perseverance will eventually get you there.

Because of past obligations, many give in to defeat, still don’t handle responsibilities, and lose all hope for a better future. As they say, ‘only the strong will survive’. Only those who accept responsiblity of any decisions made and see them through will reap a true sense of what it means to be successful. Setbacks are opportunities to work through something. They make you stronger when you see them through. They make you weaker when you choose not to see. Everybody makes mistakes and many make bad decisions financially, big and small. Nothing can change the fact that you’re responsible for the choices you make but what you decide to do about those choices can change everything. Take responsiblity no matter how long it takes to see obligations through. When God knows you’re sincere about taking steps to clean up any mess you’ve made, doors will begin to open and ways will be made. A willing heart is what it takes to make all the difference. Be responsible.



Tawana R. Powell

Today’s decisions are never just for today

It’s the small decisions that seem to need the less time to make. Easy, feel good, available, and satisfying, with no critical thinking needed…or so they seem. How much damage can the little things we do really cause, especially over time? Perhaps it’s not in the decisions made that defines whether they are beneficial or hindering. It is more likely in the habits that these decisions create, habits that live in the blindspot of our lives.

No, it’s not the end of the world if we decide to engage in a season of our favorite reality tv show or sitcom. It’s not the end, if we decide to make it to every popular hangout for a couple of hours. I mean, what can 30 minutes here and a few hours there do to hinder our progress? Actually, alot. But because such small fragments of time only take up just that — small fragments of time –, only one who has learned the value of time, will see the significant difference they make.

Until we stretch our minds and develop the ability to consider more of a timeframe than just today or just this moment, when deciding on even the smallest opportunities, our decision-making will continue to leave us stagnant in progress. Too often, we look back and wish we would’ve done this or could’ve done that. Hindsight continues to take too much credit in our lives. It’s not because we decide to take a moment to do some of the things we do, it’s the habits created over time in doing so. Five seasons of a tv show means five years. It means time. Couch time for five years; watching someone else get paid. And unfortunately, it is after these five years, one is likely to find themselves in the same place, if not further behind.

The least time we use to consider spending the money we spend, even with the smallest amount, the least likely we will ever see a favorable financial return in our future. It takes very little time to decide on shopping, partying, eating extravagantly, among other momentary adrenaline pushers. These are decisions that are almost always easy to make. No, it’s not the end of the world when we do engage and the danger is not in the actual event of doing so. The danger is found, however, in the habits that these actions often and likely create over time, habits of doing the same again and again. Hence, they will prove to be some of the greater hindrances in our lives.

The small decisions that seem to have little to no impact at the moment are the decisions that, unbeknownst to many of us, keep us bound and leave us with the inability to break generational brokenness. Yes, the self-serving phrase, YOLO – you only live once – is true, but even more important than that, this life is never only about you. This life is meant for every one of us to leave something beneficial behind for others. But until we recognize the impact that even the smallest decisions we make today have on our own future, we will never reach a place where those same decisions can make a profound difference for anyone else.

Are you making any decisions today that will brighten your future in ten, five, or even two years? A question that really does matter.