I read the following piece in the Christian Century this week:
You’ve heard of Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, founders of the hugely successful Apple computer company, but you’ve probably never heard of Ron Wayne, Apple’s other founder. Wayne bailed out of the firm after only 12 days because he was afraid of losing his shirt in a risky venture. His original 10 percent stake in the company would be worth more than $22 billion today—if he had held on to it. “I left Apple for reasons that seemed sound to me at the time. Why should I go back and ‘what if’ myself?” Wayne said recently. At age 76, he is living off Social Security checks and earnings from the sale of stamps and coins.
I think that there is quite an important lesson here. Wayne made a decision many years ago. There are two different ways to handle looking back on decisions that we all make. We can either wish that we had made different decisions and beat ourselves up for not making a different decision, and perhaps using it as an excuse for why we are where we are today, or we can admit that we made the decision and move on with a positive outlook for what we are doing today and plan for the future. Some people see the glass as half full of water and some see it as half empty. Same glass of water. It’s what we think about it, and feel about it that makes all of the difference. This doesn’t mean that we should forget the past. We can learn from our past decisions and actions. We can also forgive ourselves, put down the load of carrying around those old burdens, remember where we put them down so that we don’t forget the lessons, but not be burdened with continuing to carry the old burdens that will hamper our life today and in the future.