Have you ever felt as though there were something sinister working against every plan and goal you have set for your life? Does it ever feel like you have gained a step, only to fall two steps backwards?
These circumstances remind me of an article I’ve read that spoke about the spirit of anti-progress. The article discussed how anti-progress could make a person feel as though their past happenings were better than their present. It is for this (deceptive) reason one must carefully monitor their thoughts, especially when the “past” attempts to make a cameo appearance in their present.
Examples of “glorying” in the past
Anti-progress example 1 – Attempting to rekindle a past relationship or friendship that have had a negative impact on your life; your mind usually continues to replay all of the “good times” and “good traits” of that person, while ignoring the bad. If these thoughts are permitted, sooner or later you will began to search out the person, which is quite an easy feat in our digital world. This is an example of anti-progress and will usually cause a serious setback in your life because if the relationship/friendship ended, do your best to remember WHY because surely it was for a reason.
It is best to leave things in the past and look forward. So please ignore those “Good Times” and remind yourself of the “Real Times.”
Anti-progress example 2 – Wasted efforts are a huge setback! It consists of wanting something and continuing to do all you can to achieve it, even though it keeps falling apart or not coming into fruition. Eventually this will result in delayed accomplishments, and perpetual stagnation. This is a difficult example to digest because it usually includes our personal goals and can be hurtful when we do not see them come to pass. I am a believer in Christ and in the providence of God, so I know in the bible when someone did not receive some they have been desiring or could not go in a direction they wanted to go, it was because God had a better plan for them. This brings me comfort because I can have faith to wait on His plan for my path instead of trying to forge my own.
Anti-progress example 3 – Chronic Procrastination! Another example of anti-progress is procrastination. This one may show up in different areas of life: making appointments, turning in school work, meeting major/minor deadlines in a professional setting, signing up to volunteer or making it to church. Whenever there is something that needs to be completed but you keep putting it off to do something else, procrastination is at work!
Although we are all guilty of putting things off from time to time; the concern arises when procrastination becomes a chronic habit and things start piling up. So when this enemy of progress rears its ugly head, deal with it straight away by conditioning yourself to push forward to complete things on time.
Anti-progress example 4 – Participating in mindless activities!
There is not much to say here except that it is quite easy to participate in our fair share of mindless activities especially in this day and age. We live in a digital world, and with that comes a price. We have distractions at our fingers tips, and distraction is an enemy of progress. I have known people to lose their jobs and marriages over their addictions to video games, television and the internet.
Heaven help us when we talk about cellular devices! Phones have not only ruined relationships, they have also been known to have a negative affect on the health of our eyes from the blue light.
So take inventory of all of the mindless activities you participate in, and if it ends up being more than the task you need to complete, start reorganizing your priorities.
Anti-progress example 5 – Continual exposure to toxicity. Toxic music, movies, games, peoples and books all create an unpleasant climate. Start being mindful of what you are filling your eye, ears, mouth and heart with, they are the gates to your soul.
Toxic People – if you are occasionally around a person and they are being negative because they had a bad day or just went through a tough situation, that is not so bad. If you are around a person and they consistently exude a negative spirit, knowingly or unknowingly, they will began to drag you down. (Refer to my Emotional Vampire post https://schoolspiration.blog/2018/09/21/identify-the-emotional-vampires-in-your-life/)
Toxic Movies/Games/Music/Reading Material – It is NOT just entertainment, these items are essentially feeding your ideas, molding your way of thinking and shaping your world view. After working with people professionally and personally, I have seen a lot of toxic behavioral responses from both children and adults. I cannot tell you how often the poor decisions made, stemmed from the ingenious lyrics of a song, the shocking scene from a movie/book, or a gory video game. This why people must recognized the powerful influence of these tools and filter them.
There is a wonderful website that allows you to check your books, movies, and games. It is called Plugged In. It shares the ratings. https://www.pluggedin.com
If you have been feeling like you have not been able to move forward, take out a notebook or digital notepad, and write down if you have been plague with any of the examples above, and make conscious decision to start dealing with it!
Sometimes we are our own worst enemies when it comes to the spirit of anti-progress.