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How You Can Stop Letting “Yesterday’s Junk” Get In the Way of Today’s Success

“You can’t reach for anything new if your hands are still full of yesterday’s junk.” Louise Smith

I think this is one of my all time favorite quotes and something I continually remind myself of because it really is so true.

You can’t take advantage of everything great that will come your way, if you are focusing on “junk” that has already come and go.

Don’t get me wrong, I understand it can be challenging to totally remove from your mind certain memories or things that have bothered or upset you in the past.

None of us (especially not me) have made it to this point without our own fair share of “junk”; and “junk” has a way of leaving a lasting impression.

It’s like getting a stain on your favorite shirt … you scrub and scrub and try to remove it, but no matter how long you scrub, you just can’t get it completely out.

Sometimes the things that happen leave such a sour taste in our mouth that it can be difficult (but, not impossible) to stop them from forever polluting our minds.

“But, not impossible”

Believe it or not, we really do get to choose what we focus our minds on.

According to the research and Wikipedia, we have on average 70,000 thoughts a day. The question is what are we choosing to do with these thoughts?

Are we allowing all the “junk” from yesterday to monopolize too many of our 70,000 thoughts? Are we wasting a lot of our thoughts on stuff we really can’t do anything about and “junk” that just upsets us?

Or, are we focusing the majority of those 70,000 thoughts on what we can actually do RIGHT NOW to create the things we want in our life?

Are we taking advantage of our ability to focus our energy and thoughts on the things we can control and positively impact?

This is by no means a suggestion that we should just block out all the “bad” and only focus on the “good”.

I have never really found that approach all that helpful and I do think that the “junk” has to be dealt with in one way or another.

But, the best thing we can do if we really want to move on and not focus on the “junk” from yesterday, is to find a way to scrub clean the “junk” until it no longer feels like a permanent stain in our mind.

We can get ourselves to the point where we have worked through the “junk” and can now see things from a different and improved perspective.

And, once we are successfully able to do that, we really can redirect our attention and focus on the right things.

Easier said than done?

Of course … but it is something we can really try to commit to doing day after day until we know it has worked and we have completely cleaned the “junk” in our mind. There is no way we want to forfeit any of the great things that will come our way because we are wasting our thoughts on the “junk”.

Yesterday’s “junk” is just not worth it.

So, specifically, how do you do it?

  1. Prioritize what you want over the “junk”. Realize that all the good things that can come your way are way more important than the “junk”.
  2. Commit Today to work at it. One step at a time; no more allowing the “junk to just linger”. Start working through it Today and do something about it.
  3. Get excited about all the good that really can come. Your excitement for what you want and what will come to you will provide you with continual motivation to do whatever you need to do to leave the “junk” behind.
  4. Work to see the “junk” from a better and improved perspective. No matter what the “junk” is or how much it bothered or upset you, if you choose to and really work at it, you can always see it from an improved perspective. What were the lessons you learned? How has what happened made you stronger or better in one way or another?
  5. Remind yourself every time you catch yourself slipping and focusing on yesterday’s junk. You’ve got to work at it and eventually you will get better and better at directing your attention where it should be.


Live Today Better than Yesterday.