Choose your fu­ture

If you’re stuck in the past, you’re miss­ing out on the present

Life & Style Weekend - - MIND - Rowena Hardy is a fa­cil­i­ta­tor, per­for­mance coach and part­ner of Minds Aligned: mind­saligned.com.au.

AT TIMES it can be easy for us to dwell on the past, fo­cus­ing on all of the ‘neg­a­tive’ things. We look for all of the oc­ca­sions when we feel things have gone wrong or didn’t go how we wanted them to, when we or oth­ers have or haven’t done or could have/should have done bet­ter and we can

get over­whelmed by the what ifs and if onlys. Is that you? While it is good to re­flect on the past and all that has led us

to where we are to­day, if we spend too long ru­mi­nat­ing on the “bad” stuff it can lead to on­go­ing dis­trac­tion, re­gret, re­sent­ment, anger and po­ten­tially de­pres­sion. As a re­sult we re­in­force our emo­tional mem­ory of the events and main­tain con­nec­tion to all those things that cause hurt and

pain.

Ev­ery­thing in life helps us learn. Yet, some­times, we don’t

heed the lessons that are of­fered and have to have them re­peated un­til we do learn. Some­times we get so at­tached to and ab­sorbed in our past that we find it im­pos­si­ble to see a fu­ture. I pic­ture it as a per­son who is look­ing back­wards but walk­ing

for­wards, which can be dan­ger­ous but also means that we are miss­ing out on two ma­jor things.

The first is be­ing present, en­joy­ing and mak­ing the most of the here and now and tak­ing one step at a time. The sec­ond is that we miss mo­ments of de­light and op­por­tu­ni­ties along the way to see things dif­fer­ently, make changes and take a new ap­proach. We all con­sciously un­der­stand that we can­not change the past or any of what has hap­pened to us or oth­ers.

But we can change our view of it and shift our per­cep­tion. So I sug­gest it’s time to con­sider which way you are look­ing.

If you find your­self ru­mi­nat­ing on the past then maybe it is time to turn around look to­wards the fu­ture.

There is a lovely quote by John Schaar who is a fu­tur­ist: “The fu­ture is not some place we are go­ing to but one we are

cre­at­ing. The paths to it are not found but made and the mak­ing of them changes both the maker and the des­ti­na­tion.”

The paths to (the fu­ture) are not found but made and the mak­ing of them changes both the maker and the des­ti­na­tion.

The question to ask our­selves is “What fu­ture would I like to

cre­ate?”

It’s im­por­tant to be­come clear about what we do want and

then use the past as our ref­er­ence for learn­ing and the present as our point to start afresh; our fu­ture then be­comes a re­sult of the choices we make, mov­ing to­wards what we want.

PHOTO: FRANCESCOCH

Past, present and fu­ture: It’s time to make a de­ci­sion about where your fo­cus is.

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