An absolute truth about life is that we cannot change what has happened in the past and we should focus on enjoying the present and doing the best we can in order to create a better future.
While that concept is extremely beneficial, there is value in looking back at the events and experiences we’ve had in order to move forward and create a better future. If things from the past aren’t addressed and remain incomplete, they can feel like an anchor around us and slow us down as we attempt to make improvements in our lives.
Just think of a conversation you had with someone that don’t go as well as you would have liked. How did it make you feel when you couldn’t mend things with that person? It’s more than likely the longer it remained unresolved, the more it played on your mind and affected you in a some way.
We must be willing to acknowledge and complete the past in order to embrace the future.
While it can be difficult to look back at things in the past, especially if our identity was affected or we were hurt in some way, there are some important benefits for doing so. If we take advantage of some of these benefits, we will move forward a lot faster and easier.
Here are five powerful reasons why we need to look back in order to move forward easier and create a better future for ourselves.
- You can shorten your learning curve. One of the biggest reasons for looking at the past is to get the outcomes we want much quicker and with less effort. As success leaves tracks, we can look for clues in our previous results in order to take the right actions to achieve the results we want in the future. By looking what has happened in the past, we can accelerate our path to success.
- You can avoid making the same mistakes. We all make mistakes and as much as we don’t like to make mistakes, they are often our best teachers. Our mistakes makes us stronger mentally, emotionally and physically because we do not like to make the same mistakes over and over. Our mistakes prepare us better to deal with what we face in the present and the future.
- You can anticipate the future better. As the saying goes, “History often repeats itself.” Just look at real estate or investing trends — the usually operate in some sort of a cycle, whether it is time-based or activity-based. By looking back at the past, we can intelligently predict trends and patterns and use them to move us closer to the results we want.
- You can build on your successes. Instead of always looking back at things that did not go well for us, we can use our past to acknowledge our successes. One of my mentors recommends keeping a success log so that whenever we are about to do something we have not done before, we can go through our success log in order to build up our confidence level. It’s like saying to ourselves, “If I’ve done all these things, then I can absolutely do this new thing.”
- You can learn from other people’s experiences. Instead of focusing only on our past, we can learn from those who have gone before us. Chances are other people have already done what we want to do or achieve, so it pays to model them. This does not guarantee we will get the exact results they did, but it will give us more insight into the mindset they had and actions they took to create the results they achieved. And if we take similar actions, there is a good chance we will achieve results that are in line with the awareness, knowledge, skills and abilities we develop in the process.
Although the past is over, it does offer us opportunities to extract valuable lessons and use them to create the future we want. Instead of avoiding or denying what has happened to us in the past, if we embrace all that has happened, we will be in a much better position to improve our results. If we don’t look back, there is a good chance we will miss some important life lessons and continue doing similar things in the future.
Question: What is another reason why we should look back in order to move forward in life?
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