Watch The Minimalists' TEDx Talk: A Rich Life with Less Stuff

The Minimalists

Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus write about living a meaningful life with less stuff for 4 million readers. As featured on: ABC, CBS, NBC, BBC, TODAY, NPR, TIME, Forbes, The Atlantic, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and National Post. They live in Missoula, Montana.

Your Past Does Not Equal Your Future

You needn’t be defined by your past. And certainly, your future does not have to look like your past, unless you allow it to.

Sure, certain parts of your past were great, but…

The popular kid isn’t necessarily popular now.
The college quarterback doesn’t always make it to the NFL.
The child actor often doesn’t make it to the big screen.


The high-school nerd became Bill Gates.
The freshman bench-rider became Michael Jordan.
The poverty-stricken, abused girl became Oprah.

Sometimes the mighty fall, and sometimes the fallen embrace greatness. Sometimes you think you are not enough, but then you discover that you are more than enough.

If the past equaled the future, then your windshield would be of no use to you; you would simply drive your car with your eyes glued to the rearview. But driving this way—looking only behind you—is a surefire way to crash.

Instead, it’s important to occasionally acknowledge your past—to check your rearview from time to time—while staying focused on the road in front of you.

We’ve all made mistakes and bad decisions in the past. We are all human. We can, however, take the lessons from those bad decisions and start a new future, starting with this moment.

In fact, a more accurate snapshot of your potential future is the present moment. What you’re doing right now will shape your future far more than your past. And with every new moment comes a new present, a fresh start.

Take advantage of this moment. Your future depends on it.

If you find value in The Minimalists, consider donating a dollar.