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This week I am in Fort Collins, CO at Colorado State University (CSU) to meet with campus and community members to help break the World Record on April 15th.

It feels like I am walking in a futuristic Twilight Zone as I cross the same streets and enter the same buildings I did when I was an undergrad here more than five years ago. New architecture, same professors and I swear these students look way younger than they did when I went to school here!

I have lived so much in the past five years and hands down without the experience I gained, knowledge I developed and people I met at CSU I would not be where I am today. As happy as CSU made me it feels strange to be back and reflect on the roller coaster ride college was.

I caught myself feeling several emotions as I walked campus and remembered the really good and extremely difficult times I spent here. As I started reflecting I wanted to make sure my thoughts were not, “Ahh.. I miss those days.” but rather, “Ahh… I am so glad I had those days.” Yes… even the tough ones, the really tough ones!

Next time you are feeling mixed emotions and visiting your past, here are five ways you can reflect on your life in a positive light:

1) Give thanks you were able to make that memory: That memory made you. Good or bad, memories help shape who you are and help you make decisions today. Give thanks for being able to make memories that many will never experience!

2) Give thanks you are able to remember that memory: As my grandmother is forgetting more and more everyday, I am reminded that even if the memory is positive or negative, the power of being able to bring that memory back to life is a gift to be thankful for. Use it to your advantage and focus on the

3) Think of those you still have in your life from that experience: Is there someone you met or who changed your life during that experience? Someone you use as inspiration to live a better life. Someone who pushes you to be stronger, more successful… maybe even a little sweeter! Be thankful you were able to experience their energy!

4) Think of the decisions you made because of the decisions you made: I noticed this post today on my friends Facebook, “As looking back on my life, I realize every time I  thought I was being rejected from something good, I was actually being re-directed to something better.”  Every decision you made gave you something in return and the choice is up to you on the way you view it. Make it positive and remember we control our own life.

Whether you are going back to your college, school or a hometown there were good and bad things that happened to you while you were there. Those things made you who you are today. Reflect on why your future will be better because of your past decisions, interactions and memories made! As always…

Dream BIG,
Ryan Avery

Today’s Question: What one memory are you thankful for (good/bad) that shaped you into the person you are today?
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Ryan Avery

Author Ryan Avery

Hi, my name is Ryan Avery! Every Sunday I share the "notes" I use to build my keynotes. They are personal stories and tangible strategies we can use to improve the way we communicate at work, at home and with ourselves.

More posts by Ryan Avery

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Paul White says:


    I was amazed about how closely this article tracks with a speech I have recently been giving to Vietnam era veterans. I talk about a preoccupation that many have – was it worth it. My way of approoaching that question i similar to your five points that may only be four numbered points.


  • Murad says:

    Completely in agreement with this perspective, Ryan. The more we reflect on the negatives, the worse it gets. So why not turn it around, and focus on the positives, because it just feeds on itself, and the better it gets.

    As Steve Jobs said in his famous Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish speech in 2005: “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.”

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