Content Author: Nick Britton
“I’ve wasted so much time doing BLANK” I’m sure we’ve all heard this and most likely we have even said it. I’m not going to lie or pretend, I am better then you – I’ve said it too. I saw it on Facebook recently and this time it struck me differently.
Is it really wasting your time if they/it contributed to who you are?
Most people think this way in regards to significant others. Whether it was 5 months, 5 years or 50 years, was it really a waste? No, you aren’t getting those years back, but was it really a waste? Did you have fun with them and create good memories? Maybe you got hurt and you grew stronger from it? Did you learn anything from them or the situation? Are you better off now?
If you can answer yes to any of those questions, you didn’t waste that time! Even if you were left heartbroken, angry and falling apart you can chose to let it be a waste of your time and feel bad, or you can learn from it, become stronger and move on to a better version of you.
You are not wasting time if you are changing and growing.
I often look back at the 8 years I spent in college and then the next 3 years that I spent as a teacher and wonder if I wasted that time of my life. I half of my life dedicated to teaching young children and supporting their families. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were spent on my formal education.
Over the past two years I have found myself wishing I knew at 18 what I knew now because I would have done things differently. But then I think again. If I hadn’t gone to school in the program I did, I wouldn’t have had professors, coworkers and friends who shaped me into the person I am today. I wouldn’t have encountered situations that shaped me- I learned I was not made to be an employee or work for someone. I learned I have more potential than I ever though. I learned that while I thought the way I think was bad my whole life because it’s ‘different’ was really actually one of my best qualities.
I don’t regret it for a second. Because everything has a price. Nothing in life comes free or easy.
Each person I’ve encountered has helped shaped me into who I am. Into a better person. I used to wish I tried harder to keep some people in my life. I also used to wish I let go of some people sooner or never let them in to begin with. But now looking back, they were in my life for a reason at that time. Even those I thought had a negative impact on my life. They all gave me character.
This goes for situations and life events as well. There’s no point in regret, no point in wishing you had done something differently or wondering what might have been. The past is in the past. This is the present, the future awaits. The future is what we have control over. What separates the successful from others is what they make of the past in moving forward in the future.
If you use your past to grow stronger and inspire you to make the changes, decisions and action you need in order to create your own future, you will be much more successful than feeling sorry for yourself and your past.
The future is yours. Your story is yours. There is no wasted time if you have the courage to make the best of every situation and take control over your life.
About the Author:
Nick Britton has served multiple positions in his career, however; being a preschool teacher was one of the greatest. He served as an advocate at the state level for children and special education. He is a graduate of the oldest private military academy in the nation, Norwich University, earning a Bachelor of Arts (BA) and a Bachelor of Science (BS) and received his Master of Education (M.Ed) from the University of Vermont. He has several professional publications, hosts weekly networking events, is a two-time best selling author, and has given public speaking engagements in multiple regions of the country.