Most of us have very fond memories of things that we have seen through the windshields of our cars – a trip to the country, driving in the mountains or along the coast, the drive to the lake or even going to Grandma’s house. Wouldn’t it be great if looking through the windshield of everyday life always yielded such pleasant thoughts?
Some people though, are always looking through their rearview mirrors and dwelling on what has been. With Halloween over, many countries now celebrate All Souls Day and All Saints Day on November 1st and 2nd. When I lived in Guatemala many years ago, in the village of Santiago Sacatepequez, that meant a celebration where giant kites were flown from cemeteries to reunite with the souls of the dead. Notes attached to the strings carry messages to the dead and to God. Connecting with the past is one thing, living in the past or allowing the past to dictate your life is
In Darren Hardy’s (publisher of Success Magazine) blog, he has a post entitled, “You Cannot Drive Forward Looking in the Rearview Mirror”. It says, “At a dinner party, a guy told blow-by-blow stories about his high school football glory days and how popular and cool he was ‘back in the day.’ Yet, just earlier that evening he explained he was going to splurge in spite of his doctor’s urgent orders concerning his Type 2 Diabetes (from obesity). He once again was turned down for a job and he hasn’t made a child support payment in six months. (His former wife was the high school head cheerleader). Doh!
Look, there is nothing more damaging to your future potential than spending your present dwelling on the past. Whatever has happened is over. Glory or defeat, once the clock struck midnight, the day was done. You are reborn each morning, and who you are each day is defined by what you do that day and that day only. You are not your past. You are only your present and your present actions will determine your future.
Now, let the past instruct you so you can be wiser marching forward, but don’t let it continue to suck you backwards. Jim Rohn teaches to have your past be ‘a school master, not a club.’ Let it instruct you, not continue to beat you down. Look back for lessons, not excuses.”
When faced with the challenges that all of us must overcome in our everyday lives, let’s look at what the future holds in the windshield of life and not try to move forward with our eyes and thoughts looking to the past.