Last week I was talking with a friend of mine who was looking to create significant change in his life and he said something that has been on my mind ever since.
I asked him what he saw for himself in the future, and what that might look like, and his response to those questions is what really struck me.
"I just want to start over with a clean slate," he said.
A clean slate.
I could appreciate where he was coming from but I also felt that his thinking was a little misguided.
The concept of starting over with a clean slate might be appealing to you, just like it was to my friend. You may be reading this thinking that wiping your slate clean and starting over would be liberating, even rejuvenating. Maybe just thinking about it makes you feel like the weight of the world would be lifted off your shoulders, instantaneously making all the stresses in your life disappear.
If that's the case, then I challenge you to change your perspective...
The first thing is to realize, and accept, the following:
There is no such thing as a clean slate.
Your "slate" has been written on, drawn on, scribbled on and spilled on. You've created beautiful art on it but it's also been subject to miscalculated strokes and accidental marks. You can try to erase the mistakes, but while they may fade a little, they will always be there.
The second thing is that you shouldn't want to wipe your slate clean even if you could.
Everything on our slates is part of who we are. The good and the bad. We are the sum of our choices and experiences, our successes and our failures. It is all part of the masterpiece which you are creating that is your life.
Embrace what's on your slate. Accept your failures and realize that you can't just wipe them away. You can however learn from them, grow from them and let them make you better.