Once I was in the city of Colombo, the capital city of Sri Lanka.  Lal Withanage, National Director of Global Action is my good friend.  We usually have long friendly conversations.  One time, I was sharing my life story in which there were many struggles, failures, and deceptions by friends, exploitation by organizations and other painful experiences. 

He responded saying, “How could you be so ‘cool’ and least perturbed while sharing your experiences.” 

“I learnt to walk into future, rather be prisoner of the past.”  

My friend was amazed and said, many lesser mortals would have committed suicide.  Yes, it is always possible to loose hope, loose perspective of life and temptation to give up.  But, accelerating the throttle of the airplane and operating one level higher than the present level gives new direction in life. 

Passage: Paul’s philosophy of life

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already ben made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it.  But one thing I do, Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead.  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3: 12-14)


1. No victim mentality

When a person is defeated, it is natural to think himself as victim – may be victim of circumstances or casualty caused by the apparent winner.  Thinking as being victim, means to dwell in defeat and giving into pessimism.  Declare, “I am not victim but I would set the agenda for the future.”  Let others know that the ‘past was theirs’ but ‘future would be mine (yours)’. 

Many times I felt hurt as being used by others for their own selfish ends.  I had self-pity that I felt I was unable to help myself away from that situation.  But, these thoughts were always momentary.  Like birds that can fly over my head and cannot build nest on my head; these negative thoughts were momentary, but not allowed to brood for long.  I managed my thoughts that it did not affect my life or lifestyle.

2. Thank God for those, gave me new inspiration and motivation

I always learnt to thank God for allowing me these experiences and also for those who exploited me.  Yes, it is very ‘cool’ to do that.  It is certainly a radical thinking.  The defeat or failure strengthened my mental resolve to fight and be victorious.  Not accepting failure as final, to persevere towards the goal – means victory mind-set.  Stumbling blocks were converted as my stepping stones of success.

The more they mocked me, more determined was I to taste victory.  Like ping pong ball that rises higher when hit harder, I rose higher than my detractors and proved myself. It gave a new drive or motivation to succeed in life. 

Today, there is no race, for it may take 20 years for most of them to catch up with me.  In one institution we served, there was a younger friend, disciple of Lord Jesus Christ (Both worshipped in the same church) who was envious of me.  Though I never did or mean any harm, he was in the forefront to make me quit.  Yes, I quit with hurt heart like Julius Caesar saying, “You To Brutus!”  Nearly after 15 years the young man is a middle-aged man struck with the same institution, not even traveled beyond his State, dejected and downcast.  While I have traveled to 14 countries, 135 cities in India and 35 cities around the world, this man lives like a frog in the well.  The rejection pushed me to the embrace of a wider world. 

3. Progressed forward

Thinking about future and moving towards it gives a great advantage.  Stanley Jones, a great missionary statesman who served in Lucknow said, “If people kick me, I position myself in such a way that when they kick, I move forward.”  That is a brilliant idea I ever heard in my life. Even when people kicked;  it was always a forward march. Forward looking person cannot fall backward into meaningless – flashbacks. 

What I would be in ten years time, fifteen year time?  The present misery will not determine or dictate my future.  Having great dreams about future is a great asset, for it gives steel nerve to overcome current misery. 

Unmindful of environment and circumstances, a river continuously flows.  It does not stop, but constantly and consistently keeps on flowing.  Life is also like a river, it continues to flow.  We can shape and mould the direction in which the river flows. 

Practice:  Forgive, Forget and Focus

First, learn to forgive yourself.  You could have committed blunders, but you cannot undo that now.  It is too late for course correction.  So, ask forgiveness from God and forgive yourself.  Then forgive those who offended you.  That does not mean to go into slavery again under the same person.  Just considering the person is non-existent to you for all practical means. 

Second, forget those experiences as bad dream.  Forget about the people who did those oppressive blunders.  Do not allow them to make you bitter but mould yourself to become better. 

Third, focus on your dreams, goals, aspirations, what you like to achieve in your life.  Sharpen your vision; focus on your long term goals.  Because, God has not finished with you yet.  He will unfold a Great plan for you, which would be special and unique for you. 


1. List the bad experiences that bother, or restrains or hampers you. 
2. Learn and list the lessons you learnt from this episode.
3. Work on a time bound plan to Forgive, Forget and Focus. 
4. Start operating on a higher level, by setting your goals high.