Marshall Goldsmith wrote the classic – “What got you here, won’t get you there.” Another way of saying it is that you can’t be who you need to be today without letting go of who you were.
Now now of this is to say that your past self did not contribute to getting to where you are today. No, very much the opposite. You are who you are today because of who you were previously. And yes, we stand on the shoulders of giants is very true, but one of those giants is our past selves.
And yet, if we continue to try to be who we were, we will drag ourselves down. Celebrating, even loving, who we were is important. But having the courage to say ‘thank you’ to our past selves and make new decisions is essential for growth. Our past selves are like sunk costs, focusing on them won’t change them or who you are today. Today is a new dawn, a new day.
This is true for you and me, but also for organisations, companies, communities. Yes, we are shaped by our past, by our culture. It is how we got here today – the good, the bad, and the ugly. But today is today, a present to us and we can choose how to live in it.
The choice is up to us.