SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Lessons From The Past

SELF-IMPROVEMENT: Lessons From The Past

images (4)“If we don’t learn the lesson, we will continue to repeat the class.” – Iyanla Vanzant

Wow, this one is powerful!  To help us advance, it maybe time to learn a few lessons from the past. Our history is full of gems!

Each year we celebrate Martin Luther King Day.  For some of us, we celebrate the day off from work, while  others of us acknowledge it for what it represents. I must tell the truth and confess that I fell in the latter group until recently.

I just completed listening to a James Patterson book, Alex Cross’s Trial. Although it was a novel, it highlighted the plight of people in general who lived in the south in the 1900’s. Side bar, there is something about listening to a book vs reading it. For me, listening to books bring life to the characters.  This maybe the reason why I was so impacted by the book.

I will not be telling you about the book but instead, I want to highlight some of the broad lessons that can be learned from the past.  To commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day I will be highlighting a few lessons from the past – the Civil Rights Movement era.

LESSON 1: One person (YOU) can make a POSITIVE difference. 
I emphasized the word positive because we can have a negative impact also. There are two parts to this lesson.
  1. Each of us, if we reflect, have at least one person that made a difference in our life. For me, one such person was my undergrad college professors at Baruch College. To be honest, I don’t remember his name but I remember what he said, “This young lady will accomplish anything she puts her mind to.” For many, that is insignificant but  for  me, that was big, no HUGE because no one had expressed faith (no pun intended) in my abilities before then. I remember these words each time when I am in a tough spot and want to give up.
  2. This may sound corny and redundant but here it goes… you are here for a reason. Are you fulfilling yours? That is all I have to say on that point.
LESSON 2: “It’s the little things that make life big.” – Unknown
I think this one speaks for itself! Small things can have a huge impact. I doubt that Dr. King and others in the Movement, in their wildest imagination, could envision the impact their actions would have on us today.
LESSON 3: Perseverance
Change takes time and comes with challenges but don’t give up. This was the most important lesson I got from listening to the book I mentioned earlier. The price that many of the people paid for change to occur was their life. Thank heavens we don’t face those extreme situations.Each challenge is an opportunity to grow. Dissect it – look at what worked but also what did not work. What can you change to improve your chances of achieving the outcomes you want?LESSON 4: Support is available!
The more support you have the more impact you can have. I am sure that Dr. King and his followers sometimes felt like they wanted to give up because what they endured was not easy but, they drew strength from each other and others on the outside that were cheering them on.

The same applies to you. Going solo can be overwhelming, Support is available if you all others in.   Reflect on the past, who were the folks that were there for you in the past or who are some folks who may share your vision? Tap into your resources.

Today’s Challenge: Tap into your past
What are some lessons that are waiting to be learned from your past? It is full of gems. The key here is that we learn and use the insight gained to propel you forward. Don’t get stuck in regrets, resentment, fear, etc. Move on!

Take 15 minutes, find a quiet spot (bring a piece of paper and a pen), now reflect on your past and list some life lessons that you have learned. You maybe surprise! This maybe what you need to take you to the next level!

I really encourage you to share this posting with at least one other person. You’d be surprise the difference it may make in their life.  


In 2007, I started a company called Keepsakes by Faith whose main purpose was to inspire individuals using my art and inspiration words. The company evolved to meet our customers needs and today we are known as DISCOVER A NEW FUTURE. You may be wondering why. Our overall goal is to inspire individuals to be the best version of them self and we seek to do this by offering a wider array of services so we can meet individuals where they are. This includes personal development workshops, providing information, education and resources via our Discover A New Future show that airs weekly on Princeton TV, conferences, support groups and of course, art. So thanks for stopping by and please share your thoughts - it's the only way that we can grow!

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