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How to Use Your Past to Appreciate Your Present

FILED IN: Education

Posted By: Jamie Kutchman


Yup, I’m the girl who quit her long-time career spontaneously on a conference call. After 11 years at the same company, I’d finally had enough and the moment felt right so I went with it. And guess what? I haven’t looked back. But. There’s always a but, isn’t there? I do something that some organizational gurus might cringe at. I purposely keep some of my old recurring meetings from the corporate world life in my existing calendar. This way, a few times each week, my old weekly meetings will pop up. At that moment, whether I’m struggling through a blog post, acting as “shipping & receiving” or spending hours trying to tie ribbon “just right”, it forces me to stop and feel grateful for where I am today. I’m no longer headed out to meetings that I dread and felt zero passion for.

Running your own business isn’t always fun and glamorous like it’s perceived to be. So, I use these little reminders to jolt me back in appreciation mode. Instead of comparing where I am today to others in the creative world and wondering “Am I good enough?” “Will my business ultimately succeed?” and all the other questions that keep me up at night, I compare my today to a year ago and realize how far I’ve come.

Obviously this same exact scenario with the corporate world meetings won’t work for everyone. But here are some that may apply to you that can help trick your brain into using your past to appreciate your present.

  • Embarrassed to look back on your very first styled shoot? May sound weird but keep some images of it up in your home office as a reminder to be proud of how your work has evolved over time.
  • If you’ve been on a weight loss journey, keep your least favorite “before” picture close-by so each time you catch a glimpse, you’re reminded of your progress.
  • Throughout the year, keep a list of accomplishments, big and small. Then review them on your business anniversary. This way, you’ll focus on what you have done as opposed to what your competition is doing.

Pretty often in social media land, I see the saying “Don’t compare your Chapter 1 to someone else’s Chapter 20”. While I love this sentiment, I also think it’s important to compare your own Chapter 1 to your own Chapter 20 and feel thankful for everything in-between.

Image credit: Jaime Hernandez of Indigo Foto

Album Design: Amy Frazier for Indigo Album Design

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