#391 Reviewing The Past To Move Forward

Reviewing The Past To Move Forward

Now, I know what you’re thinking – why dwell on the past? Isn’t personal development all about the future? Well, yes and no. Here’s the thing: understanding our past is like having a map. It shows us where we’ve been, helps us see the patterns in our journey, and guides us toward where we want to go.Think about it – when you look back at your own life, what do you see? Moments of triumph, sure, but also those stumbles and falls. And guess what? Both are equally valuable. Those victories? They remind you of your strengths and capabilities. Those mistakes? They’re not failures; they’re lessons in disguise, packed with insights about what to avoid and how to navigate obstacles more effectively.Let’s take a practical example: maybe you started a project that didn’t quite hit the mark. Instead of brushing it off, dissect it. What worked? What didn’t? What could you do differently next time? This kind of reflection transforms past experiences into stepping stones rather than stumbling blocks.

So, here’s your unplugged challenge: take a moment to reflect. Journal about your past year, noting your highs and lows. Identify the lessons hidden in those experiences. Use them as a toolkit for your future endeavors.

Remember, reflecting on the past isn’t about getting stuck there. It’s about equipping yourself with the insights you need to propel forward with clarity and purpose. Until next time, keep learning, keep growing, and as always, stay unplugged.

Shine brightly


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And the transcript WARNING if you’re a lover of the written word this may make you frustrated, or angry – you have been warned – is it an ‘ism

If you don’t review the past, you won’t go forward


If you don’t review the past, you won’t go forward. It’s a bit negative, Cluffy. Well, it is and it isn’t. We’re going to go from regret, guilt, sadness, to passion, doing things that we may have thought about giving up. And now they’re going to be the forefront of our mind and create pleasure for us, other people and the whole wide world. Big ask, but it’s doable. So please have a listen after this.


Hey, friend. How you doing today? Are you good? Are, you good? I hope you aren’t good. And this is not going to be the three special steps, the magical steps, the ten steps, the three keys that, Because that’s just bloody clickbait, isn’t it? And even I’m getting caught on that because I just want to listen to good stuff. And it’s really hard to get into the good stuff. And hopefully this might be quite good. And I’ve called it something like, I’m not sure what the title of this is going to be until I put it out there, but you don’t review. If you don’t review the past, you can’t go forward. But the thing is, is this just me? I see people doing some really good stuff and I’m, totally impressed. And I’m inspired sometimes. And I just want to think, oh, I’d, love to be like that. And I know I can be. I can be and I can do that stuff if I wanted to. But then I think back. Think back over things I didn’t continue. Now that’s a. We’ve jumped a little bit there from. But the things I, Well, you know, you get that bloody thing. Is this the same as you? Where I see something, see somebody doing something, and I know they’re really good at it. And maybe I couldn’t get to that level. Well, I probably could if I wanted to, but even if I didn’t want to, I wanted to get to a reasonable level. I just think, if only, if only I’d spent a bit more time, or I wish I’d. I wish I’d just done, that a little bit extra. I wish I hadn’t given up. And I get those, I wish I. And I’d only. And I should have done and all that stuff. And then I think to myself, now it’s too late, isn’t it? And what happens? I feel down. Do you feel like that. You feel down when you look back at the stuff you could have done, should have done, would have done. If only I’d done. Yeah. And do you know, do you do this? Do you do this? I know I have. We make up excuses why we didn’t do it, why we didn’t carry on, you know. Well, I wasn’t that good at it anyway. I didn’t really want to do it, you know. It wasn’t for me. I’d never be that good. I haven’t got the aptitude. I’m a bit stupid, really. I couldn’t do that. It’s too difficult. But inside, inside, when we’re quiet with ourselves, we go back to, I really wish I’d. If I just spent that little bit more time. And then I get into that feeling of regret when I think about what I could be doing right now, if only then I get guilty for not doing it, for not following through. And then I get sad. And, all I’ve done is seen somebody who’s inspired me, and reminded me. And that’s the problem, isn’t it? They’ve reminded me of the things I could have done, would have done, should have done, and I didn’t. And I’ve still got some things that I haven’t quite given up on, not quite. And I’m not going to, I’ve decided, because even if I see someone doing something completely different that I would never do, I’m still inspired by how they got there. Because we all know you need practice. But the thing is, the things I’ve got are, I parked them, I’ve given my excuse to park them. They’re dormant. I’ll give you one little thing on the spur of a moment. Say 15 odd years ago, I bought myself a guitar because I was going to play the guitar and I took lessons and I still got that guitar. And I still can’t play much more than I ever did a few years ago. Still got me basic chords. I can do a bar chord, but I don’t really know enough to. Well, I know enough to play a song, but I don’t know. I haven’t done enough to remember how to play a song or what to do. And I go, oh, There’s a little bit of that regret, that guilt, but I haven’t let it go yet. I have not let it go. So then I thought, I’ve been thinking about this because I do a lot of thinking about things. And we’ve got to get from thinking to doing I know, but if you think honestly, really, honestly, do you still, do you really want to do it? Because you have to be honest. Is it peer pressure? Is it something that is ego driven? You know, if I could play the guitar really well, everyone would look up to me and things like that. Now, that’s not me. But it could be not. Could be me. It could be somebody else thinking that, you know, doing something to shine, but to be the centre of attention, ego led. Could be that, or it could be just something that you felt that, well, that’s what everyone was doing. So you got to do it. You’re out of the crowd if you don’t do it.



Cluffy: Don’t spend time doing things you don’t want to do


Or is it something that was so bloody weird and special because you wanted to be weird and special? You know, pretend to be weird and special. I love weird. I love special. But not what people, you know, pretend, to be. They’re false, inauthentic. But if it isn’t, if you’re really honest with yourself and you go, do you know what? I don’t want to do that. Then I think you should celebrate. What’s that, Cluffy? You’re talking about giving up? No, I’m not talking about giving up. I’m talking about not doing the things you don’t want to do and then feeling regret, guilt, sadness, or any other bloody negative emotion or the reverse of that, spending a lot of time doing something you don’t want to do and get no satisfaction out of it at all. So I think if you get a no, you go, yay, yay, let’s celebrate that. No. And you know what? Find something else to bloody do. Something that will give you reward will be. I know, sometimes it’s not passionate straight away, but the more you work at it, you get more passionate at it because you get better and you get more interested in it, and you find new things to do and new friends and new co and it just builds and builds and builds and builds and builds. So I can remember the first time I did hypnosis. I didn’t know what I was doing. It was weird. I was clunky. I had to think of the words and then remember them. M I couldn’t do all of that. And now, bit by bit over the years, and it’s been a long few years now, I still love it. Still thinking about doing this bloody podcast which has hypnosis and NLP in and things like that. So there are some things that are difficult, sometimes they’re hard, but as you do them, you gives you such a sense of satisfaction. But if it was a no, what a waste of 20 years, that would have been, wouldn’t it? Over 20 years I’ve been doing this. What a waste. When you do something in this maybe one life and you don’t get to love it. You don’t get to love the time you spend doing things. You don’t get that satisfaction of just stretching yourself doing that thing that’s just a little bit difficult. And for yourself, no bugger else for yourself, you get that satisfaction because I guarantee you, the old Cluffy guarantee comes in. If you’re doing something like that, I guarantee you somebody’s going to get the benefit outside of you. They’re either going to get the benefit of the thing you do or being around you when you’re feeling good about yourself, when you get that, because that confidence in one thing will spread elsewhere, that dedication will spread elsewhere.



If you think about stuff that you’ve parked, it’s not over


So if you think about the stuff that you’ve maybe parked and you do, you know, if we were to put a list out, because I love writing things down, put a list out of the things that, you’ve sought apart, the things that you would like to do. Well, they’re in two categories, really. They’re the things that you started, but you haven’t really pushed on, you haven’t taken it to your full limit, your full set of capabilities, because somehow you just didn’t do it, but you really wish you did because you know, you knew, you know, now, if you’d have spent the time way back then all the way to now, you’d be bloody good at it. And the thing is, that means it’s not over because we just carry on. So if it still holds something good for you, we’re just going to make a note of it. I want to go through stuff in a minute. Or you might think, actually, that doesn’t quite hold something for me. But, and there is a but on this one because we’re negating the bit at the back. It leads me to think of something different, something new, and I want to try something new, which is good. So we’re not. We’re sort of parking an old one. And it’s evolved and developed into something new.



So you’ve now got a list of the things you want to do


So you’ve now got a list of the things you want to do. And, I think you got to decide. And this is what I did. I’ve decided one of two things. And I said to myself, and I’m sorry, there’s a swear word coming up, because I do swear at myself, to myself. I just said, oh, fuck it, I’m going to do it, then. That’s it. And once you’ve made that decision, you’ve committed. Now we can start to really do something about it. So we don’t feel regret, we don’t feel guilt, we don’t want sadness, because we know now that if we let it go again, that’s gonna be a double whammy. We’re not gonna go there. That’s the pain. And I don’t like working from pain, but that’s a bloody pain. Double regret, double guilt, double sadness, double everything negative. And, we don’t like moving away from pain, but we are for a minute, because it’s like. And I don’t know whether I’ve done this on a five minute quickie yet or not, but it’s called the ikigai of stretch, something I’ve done on a five minute quickie. I think it’s quite a long five minute quickie, but it’s how to start doing the things you really want to do. But first of all, you’ve got to decide that, fuck it, I’m going to do it. That’s it, done. I’ve committed. But then let’s. Let’s be honest. Be honest. What is our skill level now? I know you’re going to say, well, I haven’t done it for bloody out, you know, a couple of years, Paul, or maybe I haven’t done it for a month, or maybe I haven’t done it for six months. Whatever it is, I know with a couple of hours of practice, you’ll get back to that level that you were. because it comes back. It’s in the muscle. It will come back. So you just dedicate a few. Couple of hours to just to find that level where you are. So we’re going to be honest. We’re not going to be bumping ourselves too high. And also, we’re not going to be that thing. Oh, I’m not very good at this when you know you’re reasonable. So let’s really get our skill level. So now we know where we are right now in the thing that you want to do, and you might have more than one thing. I don’t care. I do care, but I want you to care that you can either do one or many, but not too many at once. We’re gonna. You have to piece each bit at a time, because if not, you’ll get that overwhelm. And guess what? You won’t do any of the buggers. And then you’ll go, double regret, double kill, double sadness. But now we’ve got that skill level, and then you go, okay, well, where do I want to be? Where do I eventually want to end up at a skill level? What is my desired, my desire for, you know, and the goal for doing this? What level do I want to be and what does. And when? You just be honest with yourself. I know when I did my hypnosis, I wanted to be the best bloody therapist in the world. That was it. So no high bar there? Cluffy? Not there yet, but I’m bloody going close. I know that in me, and that’s not big headedness. I know I’ve put the work in, put the effort in, but if you come down to guitar, not so good. But where would I want to be? Well, I want to be able to play songs that I like. I’ve either. I’ve got. I’ll say that again. I’m going back into my art, my sketching, what level? I know what level I am. I’m half decent. When I apply myself, I’m half decent. I’ve got a little bit of skill. Where do I want to go? I, want to be able to spend time and create things that I love, things I can be proud of for me, because I know that when I do that, I lose track of time. So I have to set a timer, but I lose track of the world. It’s like having a no mind that. No mind feeling that nothing is there and you’re just lost in it. And that’s wonderful. It’s in the flow. So that would give me that. And I know when I do that, I’d be looking at different things in the world. I’d be looking for beauty, looking for contrast. I’d be looking at different books, and my interest would be sparked everywhere. I’d learn new things, and that would then bring me into different things because I want to model them. So my NLP and hypnosis comes back. So, can you see how I’ve. I’ve got desires? So they’re all different levels, but I know where I am, and I know very roughly where I want to be. And, that might change as you get better, because as you get better, you might say, actually, do you know, I actually want to start performing or I want to start selling this stuff, or I want to. Whatever, whatever, whatever. I know when I did that hypnosis and hypnotherapy, I wanted to be the best therapist in the world. But then I got into training, and that’s nowhere that I wanted to be. It wasn’t in my horizon of thoughts yet. Circumstances came along and then, oh, this is a new avenue, and then I wanted to help and share what I knew and it just was such a good thing. It made my life completely different with the opportunities that came along and more importantly, that the people I met along the way and also the close bond that I have with my children because two of them I work with, one I used to work with very, very closely and this just made it even better. So from that very first thing, I didn’t know where it was going to go. Had my limits. Well, not my limits, had my desire levels and it spread from there. But here’s the thing. Here’s the thing. Once you’ve written that down and you’re totally honest and you go, right, fuck it, I’m going to do this.



If you only spent ten minutes a day for a year, do you know what


And you think, well, I want to give you some maths. The math. If you only spent ten minutes a day for a year, do you know what that would be? 61 bloody hours. You imagine that? I don’t know. If you do a, ten day, ten hour day, six bloody days full time on the bloody thing and, that’s only spending ten minutes a day. Now, in ten minutes a day you could maybe practice a few chords. In ten minutes a day you could practice a little sketch. Maybe you could read something for ten minutes a day. But there’s one thing about ten minutes a day. We’ve all got ten minutes a day that we’ve nearly swore again that we waste, that we mindlessly. I’m gonna call it death scroll, I think. Do they call it that? I don’t know. But you know when you just get lost in bloody crap on the Internet or you. You sit there and you do something mind numbingly numbing and you do it for more than ten minutes a day. I know you do. You look at your bloody phone and things like that, you can just know that you’ve got ten minutes. So if you just allocated ten minutes a day for a year, it’d be 61 hours. Just imagine if you started doing a few more years than that, uh? And it’s only still ten minutes of bloody day, you would still get bloody good the end of that year. You would be far better than you can imagine, I guarantee you that. Because we always overestimate what we can do in the short term and underestimate what we can do in the long term. So at the end of a year, I guarantee you, you would be far better than you can imagine, right? Now, having spent only ten minutes a day, and people will actually say, oh, yeah, but it’s only ten minutes. I can. But you gotta bloody commit to that. You know, fuck it, I’m gonna do it. Ten minutes. I’m gonna find that ten minutes. I’m gonna schedule. We’ll go to that in a minute. I’m getting a bit carried away. Well, let’s change it. Cause sometimes you might say, well, ten minutes doesn’t really. What I wanna do isn’t really long enough. Ten minutes. But m maybe I need to spend a lot longer. And maybe you’re fortunate enough to be able to spend 2 hours a day. If you did 2 hours a day for a year, that would be 728 hours. That is equivalent to 30, 24. It’s a month full time. And you go, oh, I’ll do that. No, that ain’t gonna happen. I’ll tell you that now. Unless you are, completely, totally dedicated, you got nothing else to do. Probably ain’t gonna happen. So I want to get real now. Still in the maths, let’s get real, say. Takes a little bit more time than ten minutes. We’re gonna spend 20 minutes. We can all find 20 minutes, can’t we? But only 20 minutes for four times a week. Oh, Cloughy. I can do more than that. No, no, no. Let’s not get overwhelmed. 20 minutes, four times a week. Do you know how many hours that is in a year? 70 bloody hours. It’s totally doable. And the thing is, if you are doing 20 minutes four times a week, you’re going to be up there in that highest ten or 20% in the world of doing stuff. And forget the 10,000 hours of practice once you start dedicating your stuff, because you’re going to get. Because you’re going to start at, 20 minutes, four times a day, four times a week, four times a day. And you start to see your improvement, start to see the things that are available to you. You’re creating a habit. I’m going to an FMQ to help you with this as well. To get that habit really into the muscle. That’s what I love to call it. Getting these things into your muscle. So they’re just a muscle memory. You just worked by itself because it’s totally doable. But you go, you know, that’s only 20. So you start off with that 20 minutes for four times a week. But because you start to see your improvement, because you see the opportunities happening, you see, oh, this could be so interesting. I just spent a little bit more time. So maybe you spend 30 minutes, four times a week. Guess what? You’re up to, like a hundred hours in a, year. That’s amazing. How good would you get if you look back over the years into the past of the stuff you wish I’d, If only I’d. And you said if I spent a hundred hours over the last three years doing that, 300 hours, I would be pretty, pretty, pretty good. And it’s real and it’s doable. But the thing is what you have to do. So we’ve got the math, so we now go, okay, I can do 4 hours, come back, cluffy, four times a week, 20 minutes just to get started. That’s for the first, say, month or so. And then if you want to ramp it up, you can do that. Or you do another 20 minutes on a different subject, 4 hours, four times a week, rather, because you can spend alternate days doing different stuff. Whatever we can, it’s all doable. But then you say, right, what’s the first thing I have to do? I, know I’ve got to set my intention, and my intention is exactly where I want to be. And if you want to do it in the way we do here in personal development, unplugged, see yourself doing it, having got there to that level that you desire to be, see yourself over there doing it, knowing it’s totally doable. And notice a smile on your bloody face and notice all the things that are happening because of it.



What you want to do now is review your life


If you want to flow out into your body over there as if you’ve already achieved that desired level and feel what it’d be like to be like that and then come back into you. Now you know where you’re going. That’s like setting your intention. This is what I expect. This is where I’m working for. And, Bloody commit. And my commit is, fuck it, I’m gonna do it. That’s it. And when I do that, you have to schedule. You schedule those four times a week. You stick it in a diary, you stick it in your phone. It is sacrosanct now. Nothing. Nothing. Except. Except something that is. So if someone needs your help, then obviously you’ll help them. You can find it. You can reschedule it, can’t you, in that week. But here’s the thing. It’s not just a case of putting it into your schedule and m doing it and say, oh, over, the last six months, I’ve done, four times a week, 20 minutes of time, because Cloughy said so. No, what you want to do now is review. And that’s why I said right at the beginning, if you don’t review the past, you can’t go forward. But we’re only reviewing to see how far we’ve come, how much we’ve improved. Because sometimes, here’s the sometimes what happens is you get to a level and you think, this is my new norm. And you don’t realize how far you’ve come and you don’t celebrate. So if you look back over the last month or the last couple of months, six months, a year, and you go, shit, I have moved on so much. Wow, I didn’t realize that the stuff I’m doing now that I couldn’t have contemplate it just clough is right. I couldn’t have contemplated how, how good I could get in that short period of time. And, look what I’m enjoying now. This is my new now, my new normal, my new reality. And I create, and I create the bloody thing. So you should celebrate because you went to this thing we called at. Ah. Cause you caused this to be, to happen. Cause and effect. Do the work, put it in. The effect is you get the results because you did it. And you might do it weekly, and then you might do it on a monthly basis. And you know what? As you review, you’re going to go, wow, happy days. And the days is d a z e, by the way. Happy days. And then you can look from here and say, well, what else can I do? Because I guarantee there’s another cluffy guarantee. The more you do things like that, as I said before, you will find things like relationships will get enhanced. Your career, the things you do, the things you get paid for. All different areas of your life will get better, too. Your confidence will change, your competence will change, your attitude will change. You’ll be interested and interesting that synchronicity will come and bop you on the head and go, look at this. Here’s something. What a coincidence. You’ve now got this as well. And as long as we go back to that very thing, as long as don’t do it for ego, make sure do your check. Is what I’m doing good for me. Is what I’m doing good for other people. That may be, not directly, but, yeah, they’re getting to be around me when I’m happy, that’s good for them. Or maybe you’re doing things that actually provide a service. Maybe it’ll become your passion and job, things that you love to do, things you’re good at and things that people pay you for and things that the world needs. That is the icky guy of passion, finding that sweet spot. There you go. So I’m so passionate about this now. And it’s all come from feeling pissed off with regret, guilt and sadness and seeing people that inspire me and what would happen if you saw the world that way. And, I know you do, but sometimes we just have to change our filters. We change our filters to look for inspiration and then don’t go, well, I know they’re a lot better than me. No, they’re just normal people doing extraordinary things, but they put the work in.



Paul Clough hopes this episode inspires you to do something different


So maybe I’ve got to start further back. But I can get to the level that I want to because Paul’s told me the maths. I hope, and I always hope this, that, I’ve communicated this in a way that’s, that works, that hopefully inspires you. A lot of this is just for me, by the way, because it inspires me. But I want to share what inspires me and what I learn and what I do, but I hope it inspires you just to look at things differently. Because when you look at things differently, guess what? Things look different. And if it has inspired you to do something, I’d love your feedback on that. What did it inspire you to do? Because I know the ripples of change go everywhere, and I don’t know what it is for you. And I’d love to know because that might inspire me to do different episodes around the things that you love, I can get more specificity. So if it has inspired you to do something, please let me know. Personal, it’s feedbackersonaldevelopmentunplugged.com. If it hasn’t and it did something completely different, let me know. That is because I love the feedback. If you thought, well, it’s a great subject, Paul, but you didn’t quite tackle this bit, let me know, because I’d love to tackle every part of it and let’s share what we know. And that’s the whole point. Even if you share the maths to somebody, they might just go up and go, you know what? Fuck it, I’m gonna do it, too. You might get a buddy, you might find a, a club that does these things, you know, get together, and you then suddenly find there’s so many more people that are on your wavelength. And if you’re lonely, guess what? When you do things like that, you find people just like you. Not lonely people, by the way. I mean, people have your own interest, maybe love inside. Anyway, please do share. Share what you know. And we always say, if you share what you know, then you’ll know what you know, whether you need to know a little bit more. And if you would just share this episode, because it just makes everything that little bit better. It’s like, pay it forward. And of course, in the time honoured fashion of personal development, unplugged. You have to do one more thing. You have to. You have to. You have to. You have to have more fun than you can stand doing all of this. Because if you do this with fun, by the way, in your heart and a smile on your face, you will smash it even faster. Bigger, brighter, better. There you go. So have more fun than you can stand and fly, my friend. Until next time, it’s Paul. I’ll see you real soon. Bye bye. Warning. You are now leaving the unplugged mind of Paul Clough. It’s time to fly on your own. Be brave, my friend. Personal development unplugged.