Time Travel. Now, wouldn’t that be a cool thing to do? Movies and television have long portrayed someone stepping into a time machine and whisking away to some past moment in time, and we are swept along with them on their adventures into yesteryear. This makes me think about how many things that we, as the human race, would love to go back and change. Wars, torture, cruelty, dictators. Imagine it all erased from our past. Hunger, starvation, crime, all could be prevented or at the very least minimized.
With a time machine, even our own individual lives could be rewritten. Missteps in our career, people we’ve hurt, regrettable words we’ve said, they all have the possibility to be undone.
It doesn’t have to be science fiction, we can do it. We can change our past. Well, perhaps we can’t rewrite what has already been done up to this point, but we can “rewrite” our future’s history.
Tomorrow is only the future for a blink of an eye. In a day’s time, today will be history. We have a choice to look back on today with regret or pride. It is up to us to decide or not decide. Either we can make today a wonderful, memorable slice of our history or we can just let today happen to us. We can impact our past by intentionally deciding how we want those history pages written. Friend or foe…leader or follower…hero or enemy…we have the choice of who we want to be, and either we make that choice or that choice will be thrust upon us.
What we all need to do is start with the vision. What do we want our legacy to be? How do we want to be remembered? What accomplishments do we want to stand in our wake? We need to be specific and intentional about what these things actually look like and how they will be defined. Once we decide these things, we need to assemble a specific plan that includes verifiable steps, behaviors and timelines. Then we need to work that plan, staying incredibly focused on each crucial step along the way. Along the path we will encounter difficulties and challenges, but we must stay determined and diligent because it will be very tempting to give up or change the perceived dream because it is too difficult. We certainly need to stay flexible in our pursuit, but we cannot let the temptations of an “easier” path sway us from what we really want our historical memory to be. Truly memorable legacies take tremendous hard work and dedication and these steps will test our mental, physical, and emotional stamina, but we can do it. It has been done time and time again by others and it can be accomplished in our own lives as well.
Our government leaders here in the United States are constantly focusing on their legacy, or at least the media is focused on it, and they rightly should. They would be much happier to be remembered as a leader who changed the world for the good and improved this country for future generations rather than one who led us into poverty, despair, and sorrow. They have choices to make every day, in fact hundreds of choices every day, and those choices impact millions of citizens. We have similar opportunities, perhaps the impact may not be as wide-sweeping, but they can be just as important to the smaller group of the people we lead and impact, as well as important to ourselves.
What do we want our impact to be? What actions do we want to take place? What results do we desire? These questions give us the key to unlock what our behaviors need to be and sometimes, the discovery we make is that the steps will be extremely difficult and will challenge us to the point of exhaustion. We have the strength, however, to do it. We just need to make the conscious choice to accept the challenge and fight the good fight for our dreams and desires.
History is not so long ago and the future not so far away. Live in today to make yourself be proud of yesterday. The past is the past, tomorrow never comes, it is up to us to make today count.