I started playing basketball at a young age. When I was a kid, I did it just for fun. I wan’t really concerned about making the most baskets or getting the most steals. All I cared about was having fun with my friends. My parents also didn’t let me eat junk food, so I would get particularly excited for game day because that meant that I would be able to eat the snacks that the parents would bring for us after we were done. Essentially, as long as I had some food and my friends, I was a happy camper. This didn’t seem to be enough for my dad however.
Often times after practice, he would make my sister and me stay even later so that we could keep on enhancing our skills. The sun would go down at the park, and the street lamps would turn on, but we would still be out there practicing drill after drill after drill. During games, he would video tape the entire thing so that after we could watch how we did. I hated doing this even more than the countless drills. I was the one who had just got through playing, so of course I knew how I did. There was no need to spend another hour out of my life re-watching the game, but I did it because he was my dad and I had to listen to what he told me to do. So I would sit there, and look at the TV, but just because I was watching it didn’t mean that I was fully taking it in. I always watched them begrudgingly as I counted down the minutes until I could get away and do something that was more important to me at the time. Little did I know, that one day soon I would be begging my dad for the very tapes that I once despised.
When I got to high school, I kept playing basketball, however, this time around, it was way more competitive. The girls were faster, stronger, and better than me. And since I was a teenager, I had finally hit a point in my life where I started caring about what other people thought about me. I didn’t want to get out there and embarrass myself on the court in front of everyone. Suddenly, practice wasn’t enough. When I got home, I would eagerly watch the videos that my dad had taken of my performance. I studied those tapes so methodically that when I got to practice, I knew exactly what I had to do in order to improve my game. The once useless task was now such a vital part of me that I longed for it like my lungs longed for the air in the sky. I needed it because I wanted to get better, and that’s exactly what ended up happening.
Knowing what I needed to practice helped me to refine my skills even more. Each time I stepped on the court I was better than the last time I was there, and this was all thanks to the lessons that I learned from my past performance.
In life, we may want to keep the past in the past, especially if it’s embarrassing, but the past is where we can get some of our best lessons. That’s why the quote, “If we don’t learn from history we are bound to repeat it,” is so popular. If we just take what’s happened in the past and ignore it, then we might end up repeating past mistakes over and over again. On the other hand, if we choose to study them, then we’ll know what to do in the future so that we can end up getting the results that we want.
If I had chosen not to look at the tapes from my games then I would have never improved. I would have never gone on to become an integral player on my team that helped lead us to victory on more than one occasion. I chose to make the best out of my past mistakes, and so can you.
Positive thinker, don’t be afraid of your past. Not everything from it is sunshine and rainbows, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t find lessons there to help you get to the sunny days in the future.
Remember, never underestimate the value that your mistakes can have in your life. Keeping on learning from them to build the future that you want!