There’s a difference between learning from the past and dwelling on it. Reflecting on the choices we made in the past should give us a proper perspective and ultimately assist in making better decisions as we continue our journey in life.
Whilst “you are a product of your past, you are not a prisoner of it.” – Rick Warren.
Therefore, obsessing over something that happened in your past, no matter how significant, isn’t the right approach to life.
“If we want to fly we have to leave the earth, if we want to move forward we must let go of the past that holds us back.” – Amit Ray.
I find that too many people are focused on the mistakes they’ve made in the past and are unwilling to embrace the gift of the present. They replay past events in their heads and keep pondering on those issues like a never-ending loop. In reality, sincere reflection cannot be overemphasized, because it helps you put things in the right perspective. This way, you can make better-informed decisions going forward.
Leaving the past behind you is about embracing life’s changes, trusting in the future and appreciating every lesson learnt from your past experiences.
3 Things to Remember About Leaving the Past Behind
1. THE PAST IS POWERLESS OVER YOU
Oftentimes, we treat the past like it is a powerful, living, breathing entity that has control over us. The reality is, the past is merely stored data and an experience that can only control us to the extent that we let it.
This is why we should avoid putting a premium on the past while discounting the present, which is where all the opportunities to maximize our future potential lie. Whatever power the past has over you is what you have allowed it to have. In reality, you’ve made those mistakes, lost those opportunities and they are gone. So, learn from them and move on.
If you want to fly, you have to let go of the things that weigh you down.
2. THE PAST IS GONE
Don’t allow the world around you to keep moving while you remain stuck. That will happen if you are totally focused on your past. “Like driving your car forward, but keeping your eyes set in the rear-view mirror…” – Katie Demmert.
“Life is never meant to be travelled backwards.”- Maryam Bakare. Hence, we cannot make the past better or worse than it is. However, the future is boundless and brimming with potential. The great thing about the future is that if we focus on it, make the right choices, we can easily create an exciting future that makes the errors of our past a distant memory.
So, focus on the future because if we get stuck in the past, then we will miss out on the gift of the present.
3. THE PAST IS A GATEWAY
“The struggles of the past are the gateway to the blessings of the future.” – Matshona Dhliwayo.
The past is a gateway to the future and staying focused on the present opportunities life has to offer is critical to leaving your past behind.
Paying close attention to the present broadens your mind into accepting new experiences, thoughts and ideas. However, staying in the past traps you in a vicious cycle of regrets and hinders your projections of the future.
So, remember the best is yet to come. The past is gone and behind us, stay focused on the future and if you do that, you will live a value-adding life.
Remember, you only have one life to live, MAKE IT COUNT.