Happy day to you. This is Ken Kaufman and I’m thrilled you’re here for Episode 68: Past is Passed. Now, there’s a play on words here. Past meaning P-A-S-T. What’s in the history or in the past is passed, P-A-S-S-E-D, which is referencing, meaning it has passed away or it’s gone and it’s behind us.
So, the real theme here that I’m trying to get at in this episode, and I want you to take away. I’m going to give you this right from the beginning, it is so critical when it comes to our finances that we let go of the past. Let me give you a couple of examples. When my wife and I had been married for…I don’t know. I think we were six or seven or eight years into our marriage. We invested in some real estate that we were pretty excited about. I actually thought, at some point, we would build a house in this spot, and we invested $100,000 into it. That was big for us. That was a lot of money, and it was definitely a risk.
I had no idea what I was doing. I’d never invested in real estate before. I was way underqualified, and ultimately we ended up losing all of our $100,000. That stung. That hurt. On so many levels, it hurt. That was a big-time mistake. If I chose to just dwell on that and beat myself up over that, I would not have been able to overcome it and it just would’ve drowned me and I would have been carrying this baggage. But I ultimately decided, “Okay, I made a mistake. I got to put that in the past and I’ve got to move forward and I’ve got to figure out how to be successful.”
Another example, we owned another home that, when we bought it, the market was a little bit shaky and then we lived there for about four years. In that period of time, the market had gone way down and then it was coming back up. But the price that we were able to sell it for and what we were able to net out of the transaction was $17,000 less than the loan that we had on the house. That put us again in a pretty difficult financial situation but I had to cut a check out of our bank account for $17,000 to pay off the bank in order for us to clear the title and be able to sell that house and transfer it to the new family.
So, again, that’s a loss, a big mistake, but was I going to allow that baggage to overwhelm me or was I going to let the past, meaning what’s happened in the past, am I going to allow it to pass away and not be something that I carry into the future? Is my past really passed, and I’ve passed it along, and I’m not carrying that baggage forward with me?
I’ve also made plenty of mistakes in business and had situations that have cost us a lot of money, caused challenges and struggles just because you make mistakes and you end up spending money sometimes on things that don’t end up working out or you end up making mistakes and that causes liabilities and risks in other areas. And, again, if I chose to add all these up, these real estate housing and business mistakes, I could tell you there’s a lot of money that has slipped through fingers and, had I hoarded it or done something different or invested it differently or made different business decisions, I would have more money in the bank today.
But if that was my only focus was what I didn’t have and what I perhaps lost or what I perceived is where I should be, it would be holding me back from moving forward and being successful today. I would even go so far as to say, if you really added up all the things that I’ve done wrong, I should never trust myself again but I have to forgive myself and I have to push forward, letting go of that baggage from the past, and I’m here on this episode to give you the…let’s see how am I trying to say this. I am giving you permission. I am granting you access to full indemnity and amnesty from all of your past mistakes. Let them go and don’t let them hold you back from where you need to go next and from what your next opportunity is and how you’re going to be successful with the next set of decisions that you’re about to make from a financial perspective and all other perspectives for that matter.
So, “past is passed” is also about not allowing yourself to feel shame about things that have happened in your past, especially if somebody’s talking about something and they say, “Yeah, anybody who loses money in real estate, they never should have gotten into it the first place.” If I was to walk away from that and say, “Oh, man,” they were shaming me. I feel ashamed for the mistakes that I made and for what that person said. They don’t know what they’re talking about. They weren’t intending to sting or hurt you. Let that go. Don’t carry that baggage and don’t let shame stop you from making the decisions you need to make to move forward. This is about letting the things in our past go so that we can move forward uninhibited, unencumbered, and we can take advantage of what is in our present.
If we dwell on our past, then that’s where shame and guilt overwhelm us for mistakes we’ve made. If we also dwelt too much on the future, then either we’re just way too overconfident about ourselves and that can be an issue. We can certainly make lots of mistakes that way, but also fear and anxiety creep in when we think about and we worry too much about the future. Fear and anxiety will cripple you from moving forward. The solution here is let go of the past except that you can’t control the future and live today focused on what you can control today, what decisions you can make, what attitudes you can make, what actions you can take on your financial plan on the things that are going to move your financial life forward. Whatever it is, if you need to go get insurance and you’ve been holding back because you’ve got some baggage or some issues from the past, go get it done.
Put the past in the past. The past is passed. Put it there and make that go away and don’t get so caught up in the future that your fear and anxiety cripples you, that you can’t move forward. Focus on today. Live in the moment today, control what you can today, and we just have to be willing to let everything else be. Whatever is going to be in the future is going to be in the future. Whatever is in the past it’s right there. It’s in your rearview mirror and you’ve got to cut it lose and move forward.
I hope this has been helpful. I hope it’s been empowering to those of you who feel maybe like you’ve been a little stifled or held back in some way to move forward and really take advantage of the opportunities that are right there in front of you today. Many, many thanks to you for joining today. This is a wrap for Episode 68. Happy day!