Updated: Dec 25, 2019
This is one of my favorite expressions, because it's simple, to the point and universally applicable. It's been out there in many forms for years, in everything from book titles (Marshall Goldsmith's (What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful) to one of the most popular slogans in recovery programs. Powerful truths have a way of getting around and sticking around.
If we let it sink in, it requires us to be personally accountability for where we are in all areas of our lives - and all of the decisions we made that got us here. It also helps to break down A to Z thinking and we start to see the individual choices that we made along the way that directed the course of our lives. It's not a good or a bad thing, it just is. It also doesn't discount that there are often circumstances outside our control that have direct impact on our lives. But it does remind us that what we do in those circumstances is up to us.
We are all doing the very best that we can in every moment. That doesn't mean that you don't make decisions that you later regret or do things you wish you hadn't. It does ask you to accept what has already happened rather beating yourself up over things that you can't change. Ultimately, it's an invitation to learn from the past and more importantly to get the secret meaning hidden in that short little sentence: that you don't have to be in this alone.
If your best thinking is not getting you to where you want to be, why not allow a little outside thinking to lend a hand? Most often we look to our partners, friends or family to get that extra perspective (which is usually us trying to validate what we have already decided to do) and these can all be incredible support systems, but they don't often add new thinking to the equation. What's missing is the gift of objectivity.
Getting an objective perspective on a situation may allow you to see something you may not have or see it through a different lens. That doesn't mean that someone else is making decisions for you - you always make your own decisions, even if that decision is to follow someone else's direction. What it does do is introduce new information that alters your thinking - now your best thinking is even better because it's more informed.
As you head into the holiday season, you'll be presented with lots of choices. What invitations to accept, what gifts to buy (or not buy) and for whom - you get the idea. Many of us are running a grim marathon to get to January 1st, with the only goal to check off every box on our to-do list and get through it alive.
Let's make this year different. Find a support system that works for you and that can help provide that objective, new thinking. For some of you it may be making the decision to get into a recovery program, talk with a spiritual counselor or find a great therapist to help you work through some of the tough stuff. For others it may be finding a really good coach or mentor to work with to get really clear on where you want to be and develop a plan to get there.
So that leaves you with a decision. Is 'here' good enough or are you ready to make real, meaningful change in your life? The choice is yours, as it always is.