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Your Past Does Not Define You

Every human being has his or her past. For someone, the past comprises of unfortunate events, such as sexual violence, accidents, and the fear of domestic abuse. Some other people’s past consists of pleasant moments. Most of the past, however, contains a combination of good and bad memories. People should not permit their past to define them, irrespective of what kind of life they have had before, as this tends to leave a lasting impression on them. Typically, individual perspectives are shaped on the foundation of what one has encountered (Mourão et al. 139). An individual’s future is only defined by their hard work, commitment, and dedication but not their past.

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The phrase “time heals all wounds” has proved to be true for some people. Despite the many challenges these individuals have faced and the losses they have encountered in their lives, everything has improved for them. It may be because, as more time progressed, the pain of the initial sting of the unfortunate situation they were facing disappeared. Alternatively, it is because they started to forget how much it hurt them. Both ways, whatever transpired before is now gone, and these men and women have learned to capitalize on their past instead (Lalonde). It must be noted that almost everyone experiences tough times, and challenges will never stop following mankind, therefore people should not be held back by unfortunate events which happened a long time ago.

An individual’s past does not define them, neither does it stop them from becoming the person they want to be. Everyone evolves and changes daily, depending on their experiences and those around them. One should never be scared of their past; instead, they should keep a checklist about whom they want to be (Mourão et al. 142). If one’s previous life becomes too tough to imagine, then they should let that be a reminder of how strong they have become, and they have been in that situation for a purpose. The individual they used to be is no longer the one they have to be.

No matter who an individual is now or who they were yesterday, where they come from, or where they are heading to, the fact is that they are in charge of their destiny. They are controlling their own future, goals, and ambitions. Therefore, it is everybody’s responsibility to take the first step in molding their dreams into a successful reality. People have to realize that nobody deserves all of the undesirable events that happen to them, and the truth is that society has been dealing with those negative experiences for a long time (Lalonde). One has to understand there is no limit when it comes to success; only that one has to work hard, withstand all the challenges and focus on one’s ultimate objective.

Whether consciously or subconsciously, people’s perception of their previous experiences will shape how they approach life. Some of the prominent individuals who were molded by their past but not defined by it include Abraham Lincoln, who, during his lifetime, has encountered many failures and losses. He lost his company, his fiancé left him, and eventually, he had a nervous breakdown. While running for the presidential office, Lincoln failed multiple times. Some would reflect on this and conclude he will never succeed in any way (Lalonde). Nevertheless, he was elected the President and he helped to put the American slave emancipation in motion. Next is Nick Vujicic, who was born without limbs, and he might have easily let this condition define his prospect. He instead used his disabilities to shape his future (Lalonde). He did what was necessary to empower himself, and he now lectures to large audiences on living a full life. Stories like this one should serve as an encouragement to each and every one.

Another example is Ben Carson, who was born and raised by a single mother in abject poverty. Throughout school, he suffered and had a fiery temper. His mother would insist that each week Ben read two books and then wrote a report on each one. He subsequently went on to complete high school with honors, attended and graduated, and received his Master’s Degree at the university (Lalonde). People like Ben were all raised under tough conditions. They could have let their pasts control them, but luckily, they took charge of their lives. Instead of defining them, their past served to transform and shape them into better men. They were able to overcome their challenges to achieve their goals.

Some people claim that success or failure in life depends on the conditions in which one grew up. Although that may be true in some cases, the fact has always been that the efforts one puts in now will determine where they will be in the future. Achieving one’s goals means striving to improve not only on the previous conditions but also on current ones. Everyone has a major role to play in creating a better future for themselves. As an individual, one should not focus on what happened before, but instead, they should strive to improve their current conditions by investing their efforts in productive activities.

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Works Cited

Lalonde, Joseph. “Your Past Doesn’t Define You. It Helps Shape You.” Joseph Lalonde, 2020.

Mourão, Fernando, et al. “What Surprises Does Your Past Have for You?” Information Systems, vol. 71, 2017, pp. 137-151. Elsevier BV.

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