Aha! Moment Monday
I was in a seminar years ago (when my personal development bug was just a single-celled critter) and the facilitator – Jeff Tobe – asked us to imagine driving a car looking only in the rear view mirror.
Being a highly visual person myself I had no trouble jumping into the driver’s seat of my virtual Porsche for what was about to be a fun ride. Quite the opposite, though, as I remember feeling nothing but fear and hesitation with my foot on the accelerator all the while paying only attention to where I’ve been.
Of course his point was that in order to move into the future you need to be focused on the future. That sounds so basic but truly it’s not how many of us operate.
When we apply for a bank loan, new job, or even a membership they’ll ask to see our track record. When we’re looking to invest in a company, a new hire or a mate we likely want some background, too. Everyone is interested to know what is in the past believing that the past is a predictable blueprint for what’s to come.
Yes, we’re creatures of habit so there is merit to that. We also can’t change any facts about ourselves if we were abused, bankrupt, convicted, ill OR once wealthy, happily married, healthy, thriving. Those are the facts and that was then. The question isn’t at all about what we would change of our past nor should we want to; it is what has made us who we are … so far. The question is whether or not we will allow our past to dictate our destiny – to get in our way – when our future has something greater and with more meaning.
Aha! ~ Don’t trip over your past
There is a difference between honoring your past and paving your future with it.
Your past represents the decisions you made and the experiences you lived based on what you knew from the vantage point you had at the time. You can pack those experiences in your knapsack for reference sake but only if they don’t weigh you down.
When you choose to be a student of life your awareness antenna is always up. You’re always receiving new signals and information to not only grow but expand in directions and in ways in which you may have not seen possible in your earlier light. If you allow yesterday’s speed bumps – uninformed decisions, expired values, non-supportive friends and colleagues, outgrown labels, economic set-backs, even ego – to be today’s trip-ups, it’s like you’re throwing them down as uneven interlocking bricks on what should be your superhighway. That can make for a bumpy ride.
I love to ride in the back of the shuttle at the golf club because I get to see where I’ve been, witnessing the past getting smaller and less significant as I move away from it, bittersweet as it may be. When we reach the clubhouse I get to jump into my own cart and face forward, guaranteed a new adventure.
How beautiful it is to live in a world with no walls.” ― Manal al-Sharif, Daring to Drive: A Saudi Woman’s Awakening
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