Monday, June 7, 2010

Erasing The Past?

Photo by Vanilla

If only our past is erasable.

As a kid, I used to be amazed at how my little eraser could make those pencil lines disappear, leaving only bits of pencil dust. I could redo my drawing and writing again and again.

Unfortunately, our lives are drawn with a permanent marker.

In life, there are many strokes that we hope we can undo. We move on with regrets realizing that undoing is never possible. Sometimes we accept them but there are times, those erroneous strokes make life a drag.

Photo by Vanilla

If you tend to live in your past, you are missing out the present. Most importantly, you are not taking control of your future.

The message is actually quite straightforward: do what you can control and keep what you cannot as your reference. In other words, learn from the past and move on.

"Easier said than done" is often thrown back at me when I try to share this. I agree. 'Saying' is definitely easier than 'doing'. However, no one says that it is impossible to do.

Photo by Vanilla

If you are still living in the past, try these few ways to bring yourself back to the present:

1. List the past

What exactly are you are trying to undo? List them down. Answer against each of them, "What can I do about it?" At the end of this simple exercise, you should get a list of "Actionable" and "Non-Actionable" items.

Your next move is obvious, work on the first and discard the second.

2. Recap past glory

Somehow, you tend to brood on your past failures (at least, that is how you view them) and dismiss things that you have done well. Try to spend a few minutes and recap your past successes from your earliest memory. You will be surprised that there are so many little things that you have done right. Making a list of your past accomplishment helps to build your self-confidence.

You need that to fuel your journey to the future.

Photo by Vanilla

3. See the big picture

Your past looks overwhelming, your present looks insignificant and your future looks invisible. If that is how you look at things, you have a vision problem. You need to lift your head and look at a bigger picture. You would realize that you have taken many things around you for granted. For eg. your youth, your health or your loved ones.

These things are right there for you. Don't make them your new regrets.

4. Put your thoughts into actions

Sometimes, you may have some thoughts lingering in you mind but you are too afraid to confront them. You wonder if you could try something new but somehow you are convinced that you are never good enough.

Translate your thoughts into a list of possible actions. Make each of these small and realistically achievable. Work out a plan and start working on it. Start from the first action and move on to the the rest. One at a time. Don't stop.

Photo by Vanilla

Your past ends here and your future begins now. If you spend much of your time thinking about the past, you leave little time doing something for today. What you do now will create your new past. So, put in the right strokes while you can and don't bother to erase the old lines.

Don't let yesterday use up too much of today.

You might also want to read:
Monday Blues - No More
Perspective of Life
Happiness is a Choice

"Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. And today? Today is a gift. That's why we call it the present."
~Babatunde Olatunji~

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1 comment:

Life's Quotes said...

Hey great stuff, thank you for sharing this useful information and I will let know my friends as well.