Sharing good times and creating memorable moments with family, friends and colleagues are important ingredients in the recipe of healthy, happy and successful personal and professional lives. Recalling these good times and memorable moments through stories and photographs can be a very positive and productive pastime both personally and professionally. However, it can become not only negative and non-productive but also harmful and hurtful if you find yourself constantly looking back to the past, getting stuck in the past, spending too much time focusing on the past or wishing you could go back and relive the past. You may also be viewing the details of certain past events through rose-coloured glasses rather than through a realistic and transparent lens.
If you get stuck in the past, you reject the gift of the present – the sights, sounds, people and situations that surround you. Some may be just wonderful and some may be just awful but if you are stuck in the past, you are completely disengaged, physically in the present but mentally and emotionally in the past. You find yourself having a hard time enjoying your life and your work and figuring out where you fit in the world of the present. The past seems like a wonderful place to escape from the problems and challenges of the present.
If you keep looking behind you then you definitely miss seeing what’s right in front of you, whether it is a dream job, the love of your life or an amazing business opportunity. Looking behind you is like looking through the rear view or side mirrors of a car instead of through the front window. Keep looking through the front window so that you always see where you are now in the present and where you would like to be in the future.
When you keep looking backward, you avoid moving forward and just like a car that gets stuck in a ditch full of mud or a snow bank full of snow, you can keep spinning your wheels only to find that you are sinking deeper and deeper into a rut rather than breaking free. You sit there at the side of the road watching others travelling along the highway of their personal and professional lives seeming to always have the good fortune to be at the right place at the right time when the right opportunity magically appears in front of them. This can also happen to you if you stop looking backward and start looking forward, As you start looking forward you will start moving forward. The past will seem smaller in your life, work and business as the present and the future become larger. Embrace the present and the future and see the past for what it is, it made you who you are and put you where you are today both personally and professionally. While you need to be grateful for the people and experiences of the past, you need to focus your time and energy on the people and experiences of the present and the future.