Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much of Today – 4 Steps To Overcome Yesterday

Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much of Today - 4 Steps To Overcome Yesterday

Don’t Let Yesterday Take Up Too Much of Today – 4 Steps To Overcome Yesterday

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to reveal the meaning of the quote by Will Rogers – “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today” and 4 steps to overcome being stuck in the past.

First a quick update:

“Change Your Life By Changing Your Perspective”
We often push and criticize people for failing to understand our position and perspective. How often, though, do we fail or refuse to see the other person’s position and perspective? Read my insights here

“The Truth About Amber Heard & Johnny Depp – And Mel Gibson & Bill Cosby”
Do you know the truth about Amber Heard & Johnny Depp and the accusations of physical & psychological abuse? How many people have already made up their mind without knowing the truth? Watch the video! 

Now, let’s talk about the meaning of the quote by Will Rogers – “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today” and 4 steps to overcome being stuck in the past.

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday
Yesterday love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

These are some of the most famous lyrics of all time.

The song, “Yesterday” by The Beatles has been recorded over 4,000 times, making it the most widely covered song of all time.


While the tune and melody are strong and catchy, it is the overall sentiment that has captured the minds and imaginations of hundreds of millions of people and continues to resonate: yesterday is better than today and I wish I could be back living in yesterday rather than today, or even tomorrow.

How many of us long to be living in yesterday?

We automatically think of yesterday as being so much better than today. It is true that there might be some aspects of the past which might be more appealing than the present – be it in our personal lives or in society overall (for example, possibly we were healthier in the past or perhaps life was simpler and less complicated and therefore less stressful.)

Nonetheless, longing for the past is caused by the 3 critical ways we re-view and reinterpret the past changing it in our minds to a mythical rendering of what it actually was:

1. We perceive it as being full of certainty, security and joy (there is certainty because we know the outcome)
2. We erase the negative aspects while exaggerating the positive aspects (we forget the pain, tribulations and struggles we experienced and simply recall the positive things)
3. We focus on the energy, optimism and courage we had in the past (we remember the way we ‘took on life’ – excited, energetic, enthusiastic and willing to take risks.

This brings us to the present moment.

There are 2 types of approaches that cause people to get stuck in yesterday:

The first is the person who thinks yesterday is better because he/she has lost her enthusiasm, hope and adventure for life. Yesterday, she believed in dreams and possibilities; today, she believes that less is possible.

The second is the person who thinks that he/she can change yesterday and wallows in negative emotions futilely trying to change the past thinking that it will make him/her happy in the present.

This is the person that fools himself into thinking that with today’s knowledge and insights he can change yesterday. False! The opposite is true: with yesterday’s experiences and today’s insights (lessons, knowledge and wisdom amassed from the past experiences), he can make today and tomorrow better!

This brings us to the Will Rogers quote: “Don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.”

Interestingly, Will Rogers uses the word “too much”; he doesn’t say don’t let yesterday take up today. No he says, don’t let yesterday take up too much of today.

That quote relates to both types of people I mentioned – the nostalgic person who lives in the past and cannot enjoy the present, and, the obsessive, ruminating type who tries to change the past and thus, also cannot enjoy the present moment.

Both types have extreme regrets – the nostalgic type regrets that yesterday is over, and the obsessive type regrets what happened or didn’t happen in the past.


1. Identify the blocks
Become aware of the impact on you and those around you when you are choosing to stay stuck in the past: a negative result filled with painfully draining emotions. Write down the ways that staying stuck in the past is preventing you from enjoying the present.

2. Learn
Spend time learning from yesterday – the mistakes or the poor choices you made. Write down the mistakes you made, and, what you will do next time to create a better result and outcome.

3. Appreciate
Spend time appreciating yesterday – instead of longing for the past with sorrowful feelings and thoughts – choose to express gratitude for all the wonderful things that happened, for every blessing you experienced.

4. Dream
Focus on each new day as another opportunity to live life to its fullest – to create new possibilities and new adventures which you will be able to express gratitude for in the future.

“I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions.”
Stephen Covey

If you need assistance to be let go of the past, to be more open to love, to improve your relationship or overcome some other challenge, book a one-on-one session with me.

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If you need assistance to overcome an issue, strengthen your relationship, build self-esteem or free yourself from a past event, book a one-on-one session with me.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & SRTT Therapist

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