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Your past doesn’t equal your future

By Atip Muangsuwan

Your past doesn’t equal your future unless you decide to live there.

There was a business-owner client who told me about his past failures with respect to his business failure leading to a big debt and also the relationship failure with his wife. He was in despair. So, he brought this dilemma into one of our coaching sessions.

During my coaching conversation with him, I decided to share with him a story of Oprah Winfrey. And from what I could recall, the story went something like this…

Oprah’s parents were unmarried and separated soon after conception. Oprah had a difficult childhood. She lived in great poverty and often had to dress in potato sacks for which she was mocked at school. She was also sexually abused at an early age.

However, her future (which is her present time) doesn’t equal her past. She is one of the most influential talk show hosts, author, philanthropist, actress and media personality. Oprah Winfrey has played a key role in modern American life, shaping cultural trends and promoting various liberal causes. Through her talk shows and books, she has focused on many issues facing American women. She has been an important role model for black American women, breaking down many invisible barriers.

All of these good things and fortune wouldn’t be happening to Oprah if she believed that her past equals her future. Oprah has reframed her thinking and taken responsibility for her own life. Her words of wisdom is… “Turn your wounds into wisdom.”

Oprah has promoted many spiritual books, which have focused on the aspect of taking responsibility for your life – not changing your circumstances, but changing the way you look at your life.

Oprah once said, “What I learned at a very early age was that I was responsible for my life. And as I became more spiritually conscious, I learned that we all are responsible for ourselves, that you create your own reality by the way you think and therefore act. You cannot blame apartheid, your parents, your circumstances, because you are not your circumstances. You are your possibilities. If you know that, you can do anything.”

After I shared Oprah’s story with my client, he suddenly got his Aha Moment!

He told me that… his past doesn’t equal his future!

3 months after our last coaching session, I checked with him and he told me that his life was totally changed. He could almost pay off his big debt. Now his big debt has become a small debt. And the broken relationship with his wife has significantly improved.

You cannot change your past because it’s already gone. But you can change your future. And the way to change your future is… you must change now!

Reframe your thinking in such a way that it empowers you instead of disempowering you. When you change your thinking, you’ll change your course of action. When you change your course of action, you’ll change your outcome. And when you change your outcome, you’ll ultimately change your life!