Face What’s Next

So many times during a week we have a tendency to relive the past.  Maybe we made a mistake, said something we shouldn’t have, or just lost our temper with someone we love.  It seems that our human psyche default is to relive the past, to keep going over it and berating ourselves for not performing better than we did.  There is a line from the movie Geostorm that I particularly like, it says, “You can’t relive the past, all you can do is face what’s next.”  When we permit ourselves to let go of times when we could have done better, in favor of what is in front of us, the choice seems obvious.  But it isn’t until we get to that point that the option is one that we can make.

One of my mentor’s was interviewing a very successful technology CEO, and he mentioned to him that he knew that he had made mistakes in his life.  Times when he just called it wrong, or didn’t see something coming and missed the mark.  He asked him there were any times in his life that he would like to go back and do again?  The CEO thought carefully for just a moment and immediately said “No.”  Surprised, my mentor asked him why he would say that.  His answer was a classic one, and one to remember for all of us.  He said because I am the person that I am today, and I am where I am today because of those mistakes.  I love that because it speaks to us, our journey is our journey, and as long as we’re cognitively aware of what we are becoming, we are on our path, including those mistakes that we berate ourselves over.

Choosing not to relive the past is such an important concept to teach our kids as well as other adults.  When we find ourselves falling short in a situation, with another person, or just missed calling a shot correctly, stop yourself immediately and take a moment to acknowledge that you missed it, and then tell yourself that something better is about to come.  I had noticed that so often when something negative happens, particularly when I caused it, then shortly afterwards something great happens.  However, it takes recognition and expectation that you want this to happen.  When we face what’s next, then we own our problem.  That is never a wrong move, and then we say, OK, what’s next, I want to move on, and we do precisely that.

I hope that the next time that you remember something from the past, or experience a shortcoming of yourself, that you will stop, recognize it, and then look for what good is going to come out of it or around it.

Yours for Better Parenting,

Rich