Dr. Henry Cloud, one of my favorite authors, says this: “Think of your past for learning, or to feel gratitude.  Never for punishment…. of you or anyone else.”

Do you beat yourself up for what you should or could have done and didn’t?

Do you carry around mistakes you’ve made longer than you should?

Are negative experiences now defining what you will do in the future?

Are there people whose past actions cause you to be bitter and resentful?

If the answer to those questions is yes, you should listen to Cloud‘s advice and act upon it.

Leaders who “happen to the world” can evaluate experiences, discern what can be learned, and move ahead with a clear mind and heart.

So many times, leaders get derailed by a negative outcome.  Cloud suggests that treating our experiences as learning opportunities, and being grateful for them, is powerful medicine.  When you have the grace and wisdom to apply it to others, it multiplies in power.