Past tense

Looking back can be hard. Examining your life choices, after the fact, can expose a lot of what appears to be wrong turns, mistakes, wasted money, time and effort. It is easy to allow yourself to be filled with regret over things you’ve said or done, and to drive yourself crazy playing the would’ve, could’ve, should’ve game.

But it is a waste of effort and energy focusing on “what was.” It is for more effective to focus on “what is.” Either you like who, what and where you are in life, so regretting the things that got you here is foolish, since you got to where you are by coming from where you were; or you don’t like who, what and where you are, so focusing on decisions you’ve already made distracts you from the decisions you need to make going forward to change things.

It is not necessarily a bad idea to examine your past and learn from those things you did right and wrong. But getting stuck there prevents you from moving forward. Look at it, learn from it, and let it go. What is, is. What will be…well, that’s up to you.

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5 Responses to Past tense

  1. Ron says:

    I’ve always believe that life is a lesson. I’ve tried heartedly not to repeat mistakes. Mostly successful but sometimes failed. Overall, few regrets. But if I had a chance I would redo some things.

  2. Urspo says:

    As I grow wiser in my field I get patients to do less and less ‘looking back’ for it often keeps them from going forward. On the positive, the good things about the past are incorporated into the Present; the bad things of the past are past and left behind.

  3. concolor44 says:

    Succinctly profound. I agree 100%.

    There are SEVERAL decisions I’ve made that turned out to be wrong (some of them DISASTROUSLY wrong) and if I could change them, I would. But I can’t. The past is fixed (as far as we know), which only leaves the present. So from here on, I make the best decisions I know how to, with the information and experience I have. And maybe — POSSIBLY — I will end up happy with how it turns out.

  4. Some one one said to me – don’t look back, you’ll miss what’s in front of you.

  5. I know a few people that live “in the past”. idiots. I wanna see what’s around the next bend in the road!

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