Oops! I Threw My Trophies Away!


Image courtesy of edwin11

Living In The Past

Have you ever met some people who love to talk to you about their past and they will start telling you about how great they were during those time? Sometimes it can be interesting to listen to their stories but when they start to boast about it a bit too frequently, it can turn out to be rather irritating.

Normally, those people who like to boast about their past are not as successful now as compared to them in the past. I believe that they are basking in their past glories as it helps them to feel better about themselves and it also give them a certain value of self worth.

The problem is, hanging on to their past achievements in this case will not help them as they are only living in the past and not trying to move forward in life. Their past achievements now acts only as dead weights hanging on to them to slow down their movements.

Looking Back In The Past

When I was studying in my secondary school (I believe it is middle school in US), I love sports and one of my favorite sports is basketball.  I was playing the game for almost everyday and I also actively participated in sport events such as track and field and cross country events. I wasn’t too bad at sports and I won quite a few trophies during those time.

After I had graduated from secondary school, I became rather inactive and I did not continue playing basketball or picked up any new sports. However I couldn’t let go of my past achievements in sports and I found myself constantly talking about it.

The past became my comfort zone.

When there are any conversation regarding about sports, somehow I will manage to talk about my past achievements. Whenever I talked about my past glories, I felt great. Even though the feeling was good, deep down in my heart I knew that I wasn’t happy at the present moment because I did not have any new achievements to be proud of.

It was until one fine day when I am thinking to myself, “Why am I bragging so much about my past achievements? Am I successful now and do I have any new achievement that I am proud of?”

When I thought about this question, I was suddenly awakened and I knew that I am not happy about myself at that moment as I am not achieving as much as I would like to and I am only keeping those past memories as a way to make myself feel better. All those time I am only sitting in my own comfort zone which is in the past and I can only bask in my past glories.

I knew that in order for me to achieve new achievements in life, I need to let go of my past achievements and strive to achieve new ones. Even though it is hard to let go, I decided to cast aside my achievements in the past and focus on getting new ones.

I had read books that mentioned that our past success can help to inspire us to achieve other new success in life but somehow this time round I found that my past successes are hindering me instead. It seems like letting go of them will be the wiser choice this time.

I decided to throw away off my trophies and medals and not to brag about my past anymore.

What Happened Next

So what do you think happened after I threw away my trophies and medals which are my physical attachments to the past?

One thing for sure is that I got a lot more room for myself and less clutters, both physically and mentally. Another thing was I felt insecure as I do not have any past achievements to lean back on. This cause me to think a lot more harder on how to achieve new achievements. When I was brain storming for what I can achieve, I felt happy and excited about all the possibilities that could happen.

The dead weights were removed and I had seen a huge amount of possibilities in front of me and I couldn’t wait to achieve them. My life started to improve since I had let go of the my past achievements. I started to be more in the present and I continue to accumulate new achievements. I am enjoying every moment of the present right now. I did not know that chasing after new goals can be that exciting and it is definitely much more better than living in the past.

Your Turn

So are you holding on to something of your past that doesn’t help you? Are you living in the present or the past? There are a lot more possibilities by letting go of the past and living in the present. If your past doesn’t help you to achieve more in life, let it go and focus your energy in the present to achieve new heights in your life.

To your success,
Enjoying the present

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  1. @Hi Mark,

    I have met some people who love to boast of others success and not theirs. Sometimes I do wonder what is there to boast about when the success is not theirs to claim?

    @Hi Keith,

    Moving from one success to another sounds like a great idea! It also help to keep the momentum going too.

    @Hi Dimitar,

    You had made a great point! We definitely can’t enjoy the present if we are hanging tightly to the past. Thanks for the point.

    Talk to you soon,
    Personal Development Blogger

  2. What you said is true, we tend to live in the glorious pass and forget to move forward.

    Great post!

    A Fellow Singaporean

  3. Hello Vincent,

    This article really gets to the heart of the matter when it comes to people not being “tuned in” to where they are in the present. I think sometimes, when one succeeds and we continue to focus only on that one success, we stop achieving new successes simply because we aren’t focused on a new goal, we’re still looking at the last one. It’s ok to succeed and happy and celebrate, just after that be ready to move on to the next success! 🙂

  4. Hi Vincent,

    I think there’s another habit that’s worse than talking about one’s own past glories; that is talking about other people’s glories.

    I realise that there are some people who love talking about other people’s successes, but never their own.

    They’re always telling people, “My friend runs a multi-million dollar business”, “My uncle is the managing director of so-and-so company”, “My cousin just won Miss Universe”, etc, etc.

    I wish these people could just shut up and focus on achieving their own success.



  5. You made a wonderful point, Vince!

    Becoming too fond of the past limits us often of being happy now. And it’s not only memories that clutter our minds and homes – it’s emotions. I wrote about them some time ago in my blog.

    I think that you can only enjoy the present when you let go of the past. Thanks for the great article.