Onward & Upward

Onward & Upward 150 150 Ben Coker

Onward & Upward

To go forward, to take the next step, to ‘move on up’ are ‘the ‘way to go’ for most people, especially you and me.

But we all often find this really, and I mean really, difficult.

There are always hesitations, always ‘what ifs?’ and always fears, or at best concerns, about what will happen when you or I do take that next step.

Because sometimes that step is significant.

Like the Israelites entering the promised land or Caesar crossing the Rubicon there is sometimes no way back.

In the case of the promised land, this was ‘the destination’ – they couldn’t go back and continue the journey or retrace their steps to Egypt – there would have been no point, the destination had been reached. But it was a whole new ball game once they arrived – very different from the journey they’d been taking for the past 40 years.

And for Caesar, crossing that somewhat small and insignificant river into the ‘enemy territory’ of Rome was something he couldn’t undo.

When the Vikings landed in a new territory after a sea voyage from their homeland, they burnt their boats rather than leaving them as an ‘escape route’ in case what they found in the new lands wasn’t quite to their liking. They couldn’t ‘go back’ so they had to go forward and make a new life in a new country and face whatever obstacles they encountered.

Sometimes you and I just have to ‘burn the bridges’ we’ve crossed so we can’t slip back into the comfort of a ‘safe’ environment we’ve chosen to leave in order to move forward towards achieving our goals and our vision of how we want our lives to be.

Now that’s all fairly easy to understand and it sounds simple, doesn’t it?

Yes. It is simple, but it’s not easy, because ‘things’ get in the way.

These ‘things’ can be physical things that you and I carry with us when we cross that bridge which we burn behind us. We bring them with us because either we don’t want to ‘let go’ of our past lives or because we believe we might need them in our new lives.

Deep down you and I know we’re never going to use them again because they aren’t relevant to where we are going but “you never know – they might just come in handy”.

But the biggest burden you and I carry with us is that huge filing cabinet of ‘stuff’ in our heads.

We carried it with us on the journey but didn’t leave it on the burning boat or throw it over with the burning embers of the bridge.

You and I may have crossed the line into our promised land, but we’re still ‘full’ of all those old beliefs, old memories, and old paradigms that may have been really useful in the past but have no real place in our new ‘lives’.

Hanging on to all this acts as a long bungee rope which at any time can snap us back into our old ways of thinking and our old limiting beliefs.

If you and I don’t do something about all this ‘stuff’ it will, it will definitely, take us back across the ocean, across the chasm, and across the line – back to square one.

All these limiting beliefs, bad memories and outdated paradigms are the snakes on the snakes & ladders board just waiting there to swallow us back down to where we really don’t want to be.

Even if it’s only one of the very small snakes taking that one step back means you and I have to take at least two steps forward just to get back on track towards our goals and vision.

Now of course you and I don’t have to ‘erase our hard drive’ and throw everything out. Instead, we have to go through what is often quite a long and difficult process of ‘deleting’ the bad memories and keeping the good ones, changing our belief patterns to make them relevant to where we are now (or where we want to be), and analysing our paradigms, algorithms and thought processes to make sure that ‘the way we think’ is in line with our current vision.

You and I need to ‘make space’ for new thinking, new beliefs, and new memories. We can’t put anything new and fresh in the glass if it’s already full – we have to empty some out first.

We have to let go and one of the best ways to do that is through gratitude.

Be grateful for the lessons we have learnt in the past, be grateful for the good or bad memories and experiences we’ve had, be grateful for the journey we’ve taken, and be grateful for all the people we’ve encountered along the way.

You and I would not be where we are now had it not been for all that ‘stuff’ in our past.

So let us all be grateful, let it go, and move on towards our vision.