Why You Shouldn’t Live In the Past?

Do you find yourself stuck in the past?

You feel your best years and achievements have passed you by. You rewind and replay some of those golden moments frequently. And you keep talking about the past much more than the present.

Nothing wrong with reliving some of the best moments in one’s life, once in a while.

But if you constantly live in the past, it is not desirable. Here’s why: You ignore the present and what the future can bring for you. You tend to constantly compare the present with the past and that invariably makes you sad. You overlook the possibility that life ahead can be exciting or valuable.

Why do that?

It’s okay if you’re a senior citizen recounting your stories and experiences to your grandchildren or anyone who cares to listen.

It’s okay if you, as a middle-aged person, share anecdotes and experiences from past incidents with a young audience to highlight the learnings and what they can take away from them. Or how you deftly tackled a very complex situation.

It’s okay if you are using your past as a case study to send a message to others about how they can better their future.

It’s not okay if every now and then, you harp on moments from the past to prove yourself to the world around you.

Why do I say that?

Chances are your audience will view it differently. They won’t care and begin to judge you as an unhappy soul who is stuck in the past.

You may or may not care about how others perceive you. But what matters is how you see yourself. When you are living in the present, you must enjoy it. And look forward to the future.

“We are products of our past, but we don’t have to be prisoners of it.”

— Rick Warren

Looking back at the past occasionally is fine. Do not allow it to dominate your present. You may feel happy briefly while you are reliving the good old days. The moment you come back to the present, chances are you may not find a pretty picture. And that can make you sad.

Why allow it?

Anything that induces fleeting pleasure followed by deep anguish must be avoided. It is pointless to fritter away precious time in the present. You’ve got to make every moment count. The future beckons you if you look forward to it and believe good things can happen.

Not just believe, you must actively strive to make it happen. The power of positive thinking can be rewarding if you believe and act accordingly.

We all remember our childhood fondly. It is a dream. There are good reasons for it. As a child, you are fully present in the present. And so you enjoy every moment of it.

I have seen many near and dear ones suffer because they continue to live in the past. The past is the past.

Be like a child. Live the present to the fullest. You will then have enough reason to recollect it fondly in the future.

Try it!

(Rajen Garabadu is Chief Executive Producer, News18 Network. This piece was first posted on LinkedIn and has been reproduced here with his consent)

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