I often find myself looking back more than looking forward and it's apparent to me now on why at those times, it seems like I'm driving around in circles. I have recently made more of an effort to try and look forward since really that is the only direction that I (and all of us) can go. I can't go back to the past. I can only move forward.
This also brings to mind a quote from the great Jim Rohn where he said "Your life does not get better by chance, it get's better by change." We have the power to change and choose new directions, new ways of doing things, learning from mistakes, and making changes in how we spend our time. He also talks about how we are not a tree - we can move, we can change. That is something that I think we all need to be reminded about more and more, or maybe it's just me?
I've tried looking just at the rear view mirror while driving - it's scary! Now, this was in an open parking lot one time with nobody else around, and it was still scary for the few seconds I did it. It's also the same concept if we look at a bug on our windshield or a crack in it (representing negative things in our lives that we focus on) and that too is terrifying when you are trying to drive a car and your only focus is that one spot on your windshield. You lose focus on where you are going. Yes, I tried that too one time and it was the same, scary feeling.
Our past is there for a reason. It is by far one of our best mentors that we could ever have in our lives. We need to use it as such in order to help ourselves be successful in the future. It's there to help us remember and to get better for our futures. I feel that the stakes are higher for us to figure this point out for two reasons. First is that we don't have all the time in the world to get things done and accomplished. Maybe the second reason is even more important and that is as time goes on we have more and more people in our lives. The relationships with those people are deeper and deeper as time goes on. Things that we do or don't do affect others more as time goes by for those reasons.
One recent example comes from a former student of mine (like so many things that help me just about everyday). I saw a post that Lauren, my former student from a few years ago. She got a letter from a customer where she works that was thanking her for brightening her day every time she came to this business. There were a few visits that she did not see Lauren there and she noticed the difference so much so that she stopped going there for some time. She came back and Lauren was working that same shift again and she made such a difference with this customer again. She wrote this letter to Lauren's bosses to let them know how valuable she was to them. Lauren's always looking ahead. She did that in school too. She worked so hard knowing that wherever she was going, the good habits she had would pay off. She brings tremendous value wherever she goes. That is something I try and get all my students to realize that's what life is along with being a difference maker to others.
Now to be fair, Lauren had these tools in her tool belt way before she met me. They key lesson to understand we all can do this wherever we are at today. Even if it's at a place that maybe we are not so happy to be at. Until we find a happier place to be, we can still offer great value to others along with making a difference for people too - no matter were we are at. Especially knowing that we are going in a great direction and someday we will be doing even better things, with more people and more places. Thanks to Lauren reminding me about how I need to always do more and get better in this area, she has made another huge difference with me even years later. That is powerful. I hope you see and understand you can do the same thing.