Make a pact with yourself today to not be defined by your past. Sometimes the greatest thing to come out of all your hard work isn’t what you get for it, but what you become for it. Shake things up today! Be You…Be Free…Share. – Steve Maraboli

The past should be left in the past. The past gets a raw deal. Being conscious and present in the present is absolutely necessary. It has been explored extensively by minds much sharper than mine and it is something I try to implement daily. But, the idea of discounting the past is often interpreted in a way that I am not comfortable with. We are who we are today because of the journey we have travelled.

As a writer and speaker, my past has moulded and influenced my thinking, my theories and my view of the world. I spend quite a bit of time delving into various experiences and apply them to my life and the experiences I seek to create in the present. It does seem like basic common sense to do so while recognising that it is when they become crutches or hold me back that they become a problem. My past action does define me to a certain extent, whether I like it or not. It contextualises me in the present when dealing with others.

Having been a poet, there are some who struggle to see beyond that. Having worked as editor of the men’s business and lifestyle magazine, Destiny Man, from 2010 to 2014, I still get people who see me solely as a magazine editor. In fact, I am constantly asked what it’s like to enter the entrepreneurship space when that is the one space I have spent more time in.

On a personal level, it is past relationships and past interactions that have enabled me to be a ‘better me’ when involved with and interacting with people today. I guess it’s really about how you use the past to build.

You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don’t try to forget the mistakes, but you don’t dwell on it. You don’t let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space. – Johnny Cash

Just a thought.

1 Comment

  1. Luzani Mothobi

    Totally agree. There are some things in my past that make me cringe but those very experiences are the ones that help me to better understand myself today. My past has showed me who I am, not ALL of it, maar it has…

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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