333 Days ’til 40: Keys to Our Future

25 Mar

I am certain that at some point in life we all ask ourselves “what is the key to our future?”

Corrie Ten Boom said, “Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.”  I tend to agree with her.

We can often look to our past as a way to understand where we are heading in our future.  Through analyzing our past we can understand how we became the people we are today.  We need to look at our thought patterns, our choices, how we make decisions.  As we come to understand our past, we can then take these insights and apply them to the future.  For example, if I know that in the past my decisions were often impulsive and based on my need to feel accepted by my family, when I make my next decision I can empower myself to take more time before making a determination and I can also question my motives (am I doing this for the right reasons, or am I still motivated by my need to be feel acceptance?)

I believe there are many things from our past that can block us from living the future we want to live – I will call these “Locked Doors from Our Past.”  Here are some examples of those locked doors:

  • False Beliefs (i.e.:  I am not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, talented enough, strong enough etc. to be happy and succeed)
  • Bad Experiences (i.e.: I cannot try to live on my own again – I failed miserably the first time)
  • Fear (i.e.:  I cannot make this decision, if I am wrong, I may get fired, my world may crumble, people may be angry at me, etc.)
  • Need to Please (i.e.:  I cannot make that choice, even if it is the best for me, because it will not be accepted by my family)

As we understand the aforementioned locked doors that stand in the way of us progressing into the future we were meant to live, the doors start to open.  When we can discipline ourselves to correct the false beliefs that paralyze us, we are able to make decisions that allow our lives to move forward in healthy ways.  For example:  I can apply for a promotion because I now understand that the belief that I am not good enough is not true.  I have a great position, I am doing a good job, and it is okay for me to seek recognition through applying for a promotion.

Keys to unlocking your future:

  • Self-confidence (believing you have the ability)
  • Taking risks (willing to take a risk for your future, in spite of your fear)
  • Self-understanding (self-awareness allows you to take steps towards your future while simultaneously walking away from unhealthy patterns from your past.)
  • Make mistakes (instead of beating yourself up about past mistakes, celebrate the learning opportunities and personal growth these mistakes afforded you.  We rarely learn from our successes – they make us too comfortable, we learn from our mistakes, as those are often what cause us pain, which is a strong motivator for change!)
  • Persevere (see my blog from yesterday!)

Today, 333 Days ’til 40. I will remind myself that understanding my past is often the key to unlocking my future.  By understanding my thought processes from today I can learn to keep the healthy patterns in my life and strive to change those patterns that are preventing my growth and progress.

I wish for all my readers that you too will have the courage to analyze your past in order to more fully understand the patterns at play in your life that will shape your future.



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64 responses to “333 Days ’til 40: Keys to Our Future

  1. LauraLee

    March 25, 2012 at 01:02

    This is great stuff!
    I have a feeling if you and I got in a room together, we’d have way too much fun! 🙂
    BTW, I’m 62 days to 57 & don’t have life figured out & no longer feel I need to. I have figured out enough to enjoy life & let Someone Else have control of the rest. 😉

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 12:16

      Thanks, Laura Lee! Maybe one day we will get in that room together and have that fun!!! (Stranger things have happened!!!) 🙂 Thank you so much for your words of encouragement. I like your style! It is healthy to hit the point of not needing to know all the answers :). Please stop by again! 😉

    • pamela68

      March 25, 2012 at 15:54

      Thanks for visiting my blog at If you hadn’t I would have never entered into your purposeful and motivational world! I will be thinking about Corrie Ten Boom’s quote for a long time now.
      I love what LauraLee said about, “enjoying life and let someone else have control” I wrote a post titled, “Oxymorons are not for morons” and think your reader’s might enjoy it.
      Again it is so refreshing to enter a blog of deep thinkers and caring hearts:)

      • 400daystil40

        March 25, 2012 at 21:37

        Thank you, Pamela! Now I am going to to back to your blog specifically to find that Oxymorons post! I look forward to reading it! 🙂

  2. betsyk1

    March 25, 2012 at 02:22

    What is that top picture from of all the keys? It looks so medieval and intriguing!

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 12:14

      Isn’t it cool??? My partner took this picture in a shop that sells antiques and jewelry! 🙂

  3. terry1954

    March 25, 2012 at 04:14

    very well said

  4. Summer Moon

    March 25, 2012 at 05:03

    This is something that I need to work on so much. For me, the fear about acceptance is probably what hits home for me the most. I’ve always wanted to please my family and friends and not let them down. I struggle with it a great deal, and it has been a reoccurring discussion in my therapy sessions. So many decisions that I’ve made have been against what I’ve wanted, but more for what they have wanted. This is indeed a thought-provoking post. Thanks for sharing!

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 12:07

      Wow, thank you Summer Moon for sharing the perfect real life example of these concepts in action! I think it is good for the readers to see/ hear. I think more people struggle with this than we even realize. Learning how to move past it takes a lot of courage and strength, but reaps great rewards.

  5. Jan Deelstra

    March 25, 2012 at 05:47

    Great blog; I especially appreciate the, “celebrating the learning opportunitues” as opposed to seeing life lessons as mistakes. Thanks for sharing this one!
    Thank you, often.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 12:05

      Thanks, Jan – and thank you for stopping by! I hope you are able to visit again 🙂

  6. namitasunder

    March 25, 2012 at 09:16

    enriching lesson……shall come back for more……….thanks for visiting my space

  7. Emily Lim-Leh

    March 25, 2012 at 10:25

    This is a great premise for a blog and also a meaningful way to approach an important stage of your life. I like Corrie Ten Boom’s quote which is especially powerful given all that she suffered and went through in her life.

    Thanks for also dropping by my blog and liking “Caleb the Explorer, Bear-Hugger and Hair Tugger” at my mummumstheword.wordpress blog

    I look forward to seeing you reach your 400 days goal as you approach 4-0!

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 12:01

      Thank you, Emily! Yes, you are so correct, when you understand all that Corrie went through in her life it makes her quote even more amazing! Please stop by again! 🙂

  8. viveka

    March 25, 2012 at 14:07

    Like your post again – and it’s all about us again – how we look at ourselves most of all … and our doubts we have – that we think our surrounding has on us too. Which isn’t the case. This with self-confidence isn’t the easiest thing on earth – to get if we don’t have it or .. to tone down if we have too much of it. Self-confidence or lack of it – I blame our upbringing for and our parents. It’s all down them to give us that in a natural way. Future – we worry so much about it and for some of us it can be a real problem. I worry to about my pension .. about how will take care of me when I’m not able to manage on my own, with being the last knob on the family tree. In some ways we can plan and act for our future, but the future is what is – unknown. So it’s better to concentrate on ourselve in the life we have – in the present.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:45

      Thank you, again, Viveka for another wonderful comment! I really appreciate your comments as they bring a different perspective to the readers of this blog which is so very valuable. Yes, there does need to be a balance between focusing on the future and living in the present. If we do get too future minded we may just miss out on the present, and the living that we are supposed to be doing in the here and now because all of our energy was focused on planning for tomorrow. Great points you make! 🙂

  9. judithatwood

    March 25, 2012 at 14:38

    Hello. Thoughtful, Insightful post! Thanks so much for stopping by Diabetic Redemption and liking this weeks ‘Share Your World’ answers. Please revisit us whenever you can!

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:43

      Thank you so much Judith! I will visit you again, and please stop by here as well 🙂

  10. michaelwatsonvt

    March 25, 2012 at 14:41

    Let me join the chorus of those appreciating your blog! May your transition to 40 be a door opening to a rich world.

    It seems to me there is always a danger of placing the responsibility for one’s life too firmly on oneself, and missing the context in which one acted, and the forces at play in one’s life. As a Native person, I am drawn to Michael White’s work with Narrative therapy partly because I loved Michael, and largely because it acknowledges, as do many Native traditions, the impact of large social forces in life. Over and over I am privileged to witness the healing power of simply noting the oppressive power of those enormous, multi-generational forces at play in our life. Narrative therapy and traditional ceremony and can be liberatory in a totalizing, colonizing world.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:41

      Thank you, Michael! 🙂 I really appreciate your comment as it brings up a very important point that I do think the readers of this blog need to be aware of. As you mention, our lives are lived in a greater context and not in a vacuum. You are correct, in order to really understand where we are at we need to understand the forces that shape us, our society, and our circumstances and these forces can often be larger than ourselves.

  11. michaelwatsonvt

    March 25, 2012 at 14:42

    P.S. In many ways, life really does become more nuanced and enjoyable after 40.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:42

      🙂 I am hoping so!!! 🙂 — Though I should say, my life is not bad now…… I have so very much to be thankful for.

  12. Don Segal

    March 25, 2012 at 16:00

    I like your blog. Thanks for liking mine too… Also, where was the photo of keys from on the keys to the future blog? I am let’s see, 170 days as of today until age 62! I think, like me, your quest may take you beyond age 40, but don’t be discouraged… each day brings you a little more understanding of “What It’s All About”!

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:36

      Thanks, Don. It is probably a good thing if my journey takes me past 40… otherwise life would get dull very quickly! The photo of the keys was taken in an antique/ jewelry shop in an old market place in Jerusalem – my partner took the photo. Stay tuned to future posts for photos we have collected from various places all over the world! 🙂

  13. Erin, Bella Bleue

    March 25, 2012 at 16:30

    Wonderful quote! I visit your site too! And I enjoy what you share! I have nominated you for the award of Versatile Blogger Award! See the link Congratulations, you well deserve this! Blessings, Erin, Bella Bleue

  14. blackwatertown

    March 25, 2012 at 16:42

    Good idea for a project – your 400 till 40. Looking forward to reading your further insights and explorations.
    (And thanks for dropping my my place.)

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:29

      Thank you!!! I look forward to dropping by your blog again too! 🙂

  15. Stormy

    March 25, 2012 at 17:37

    Your blog has a very existential feel about it! Right where I am in in life! Wonderful to meet like-minded individuals out here in the blog-o-sphere. Often I worry that I’m too serious…and maybe I have been….leading to the imbalance I’m currently working to correct. Thanks for additional insights!

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:14

      Thank you, Stormy, that is a big compliment! I also agree that it is such a pleasure to meet like-minded people out here in blogging cyberspace. I look forward to learning more from your insights and I hope that you will visit again!

  16. searchingsearcher

    March 25, 2012 at 19:05

    Thank you for the likes on my blog. I just came to yours and really enjoy reading it. Keep up the great work!

  17. gillbrazier

    March 25, 2012 at 19:23

    So true. I teach children who are struggling with English, and for most of them it’s only a lack of confidence. Hopefully, with my help, they will have fewer painful memories to deal with in the future because of what I am doing with them now.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:08

      Thanks, Gillian – I really admire teachers of ELL students as they have such a critical job, helping the children bridge this language gap so that they are able to manage within the school system. Thank you for all that you do! 🙂

  18. saymber

    March 25, 2012 at 19:30

    Very thought provoking article – I ponder topics like this a lot….I love looking at the how of a situation eventually becomes the why….and all the little things that happen between that make the why happen. A very simple example: On impulse I decide to go to our local park. When I get there I meet a person with a really cute dog. I come up to the person and compliment them on their dog. In doing this I find out they have the dog to battle a chronic condition that I have known someone successfully overcome or have read something about recently or I myself have come through this. I’m able to share everything I know with this person and offer them ideas and solutions they never considered. Then their dog gets loose and I am able to retrieve it for them because they are unable Had I not decided to go to the park what would have been the “how” and what would have been the ultimate “why”? Would someone else come along to fill the role I did or would my absence make for a very different outcome? It’s fascinating to ponder about.

    I find that most everything that happens to me “by chance” ends up not really feeling coincidental at all. There is a reason for an ultimate why. I think we all pieces to each others complete puzzle and have a purpose. Great or small.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:07

      Thank you, Saymber, I really like what you mention and I actually already have a post in the works (will come out in a few weeks) that deals with just what you mention! I look forward to hearing your thoughts on that post when it hits the blog (I plan ahead, but have more to write before then!!! Thanks for your great comment! 🙂

  19. simon7banks

    March 25, 2012 at 20:44

    That’s perceptive and these are all true, but what about the false belief that you’re always right, that you’re far cleverer than the people around you, that the wheels will never come off or there will never be a vehicle coming the other way when you overtake on a blind bend, or indeed that everyone loves you?

    Some people have insufficient confidence, but some have too much.

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:05

      Ah yes, Simon – you bring up a VERY important point that this particular post does not address – however, on 367 Days ’til 40 I wrote a post titled “Illusions of Grandeur. If you go through and read it I think you will find that I do address some of the issues you mention (when taken to the extreme by people).
      Thank you for stopping by! 🙂

  20. Melissa Monks

    March 25, 2012 at 20:52

    Wonderful post and such great advice. I’m working on taking more risks and not being such a scaredy cat and I definitely appreciate your encouraging words.

    And thank you for stopping by my fledgling blog:)

    • 400daystil40

      March 25, 2012 at 21:03

      Thank you! And I look forward to stopping by again – my blog was also a fledgling blog just 67 days ago when I started!!! 🙂

  21. skymunki

    March 26, 2012 at 01:15

    amazing post, I really needed this today, thanks a lot. You have amazing insight. 🙂

  22. buckwheatsrisk

    March 26, 2012 at 01:59

    analyzing daily! therapist are great at that for you too! lol 😉

  23. Spider42

    March 26, 2012 at 10:33

    Nice, thoughtful post.
    I’ve always felt that we don’t learn from the mistakes and lessons of history as much as we should as a society in general.

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 10:34

      Thank you, and I agree with you wholeheartedly!

  24. Intermittante

    March 26, 2012 at 11:10

    Ever since I took a workshop Dervish Whirling last summer, I fell in love with keys and their meaning. In Dervish Whirling, you position yourself as a key between the spiritual world and the earthly world. You spread out your arms in a comfortable position and face one hand up to the skies, one hand down to earth. Then you start spinning around your axis whilst you focus on one spot on either one of your hands.. Before you know it, you’ll find yourself in a trance, relaxing into the spinning motion.

    It’s not an easy thing to do as when you spin you might loose sense of direction or become dizzy. Some people become overly emotional; when you spin and that’s all you have and the world fades to grey by your motions, thoughts run free. I’ve seen people who were completely distraught after having whirled.

    But it’s a good way to clear your mind and figure out what your deepest emotions are. A bit like meditation but to loud music, heheh.

    If you ever need help finding a key to open a door that you can’t seem to access, this might be a good thing to look into. 🙂

    • 400daystil40

      March 26, 2012 at 11:39

      Wow, Intermittante – thank you for sharing! I have never heard of this before and am interested to do some research on it (thank you, internet!) I wonder if there are other blog readers out there who have tried similar strategeis for clearing their minds and centering into their deepest self…. Thanks again!

      • Intermittante

        March 26, 2012 at 11:48

        No problem, sharing is caring, right? It’s just another one of those things that other cultures have been practicing for ages to keep their stress levels down and emotional well-being up, whilst we “westerners” focus on our more material way of living. So much to learn!

        Let me know how it turns out for you if you ever decide to give it a try.. I’d be interested to hear your experiences 🙂

  25. Glenn Stevens

    March 26, 2012 at 19:54

    another great post.

  26. kissingthecockroach

    March 28, 2012 at 17:18

    I’m knee deep in this very process! It’s difficult, messy, lovely and oh so necessary!
    Great post.
    The Cockroach

    • 400daystil40

      March 28, 2012 at 22:46

      You are so right, on every count! 😉

  27. living4bliss

    March 29, 2012 at 23:28

    Your past is not your future unless you make it the future.

    • 400daystil40

      March 30, 2012 at 10:32

      I LOVE THIS!!! Thank you so much for your simple, yet absolutely poignant reply! 😉

    • 400daystil40

      March 30, 2012 at 10:32

      I LOVE THIS!!! Thank you so much for your simple, yet absolutely poignant reply! 😉

  28. Abishek Jain

    March 31, 2012 at 12:19

    superb post!!!! reallly awesome blog u have…. checked almost all the articles,, too good ,, hats off,,, keep blogging………

  29. ssgt leslie

    April 1, 2012 at 16:22

    i enjoyed this article, thanks for sharing.


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