I was editing some writing today for a book when this article stood out. In hindsight, the article seems to completely miss the point, as the past and present are out of alignment.
While reviewing a book, I said, “Can you believe that guy wrote a great book?” At the time, I and most others had a thought in our head about who this person was. We had a definition.
If you talked to people today, and asked what they thought of him, their answer would be completely different from ours, years ago.
Some would say that it’s impossible! Whoever that person was three years ago is who he is today.
We have these own ideas about ourselves, as well. We define our identity at a fixed point. “I’m a [insert definition],” and wherever you are is where you’ll go.
The book I was reviewing was by a cartoonist. “Just a cartoonist….”
Do you know who I am talking about?
At the time of my review, Scott Adams had around 13,000 Twitter followers.
Today he’s a household name, but not for cartooning.
Your past is not your future.
Every day people tell me they can’t do something new because of “the past.” I used to have more patience for them, but my own life has proven them wrong. Have they been paying any attention to the past four years of my life?
Probably not. They’ve been too busy drinking from the well of self-pity.
Right now I am writing this article while my two-year old daughter is on my lap.
Going to D.C. and then New York to screen my feature-length film, Hoaxed.
Four years ago, no one would have thought of me as a filmmaker. Or journalist. Or….
But I never let the definitions other people held of me define me.
Today if you follow me online, you probably have encountered someone screaming at you.
DON’T YOU KNOW WHO CERNOVICH IS?????
They have a definition of me, based on the past, and it’s not a favorable one.
Now imagine for a minute that I let my worst haters define me. Where would I be?
I’d be defending myself. “I’m not that guy!”
Rather than living a new life, creating a new storyline.
When you defend yourself, you’re allowing the other side to frame the issue.
Of course, it’s unlikely you’re a public figure like me.
But you have those voices in your head – those voices that were put there by
I think of those voices as “scripts.” Script can mean computer commands or simply lines you’ve been taught to say to yourself.
“We are all unpaid actors in some giant script that we didn’t write.”
That’s deep, isn’t it?
What if I told you who said it…What would you say?
If you have a definition of Kanye, based on the past, then you’re limiting him.
“He’s just a ….”
Again, this article isn’t about Scott Adams, Kanye, or me.
It’s about YOU.
If you’re using language patterns, if you’re believing Scott Adams is “just a cartoonist” or Kanye is “just a ….,” then you’re using those same language patterns in your own self-talk.
You’re reinforcing that script someone else wrote.
You’re letting your past control your future.
The past is not your future.
The future is yours.
P.S. If you want to go deeper into these issues, check out The Power of Mindset.