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What if you woke up one day and had nothing to look forward to? Wouldn’t life seem dull and meaningless? You would feel like all the excitement was sucked out of your life. Yet, what do we do in our daily life instead of looking forward to the future? We spend time lamenting over the past. When my first business failed, I had many sleepless nights. I was breaking my head trying to find:
- What did I do wrong?
- Why was luck not in my favor?
- How do things fall in place for others and not for me?
I had so many whys and hows looming in my head. I wasn’t asking myself constructive questions. I wasn’t finding areas to improve. I was only hunting for reasons to prove that I did my best, and the outcome wasn’t my fault.
But such a mindset only pushes you into a corner when you have your entire life ahead to chase success. If you continue lingering in the past, longer than necessary, you lose the opportunity to enjoy the present and relish the future. You must look back at failure only to identify your lessons.
Here are 5 reasons why you must live life looking forward:
1. You cannot change the past
No matter how hurtful the result or how stupid your mistake, it is now behind you. You can slap yourself, cry over it, or find reasons. But no matter what you do, you cannot change what has happened.
The more time you spend brooding over an adverse event in life, the more you grow anxious and stressed. You cannot forget the past in an instant and act as if nothing happened. But, how long you choose to dwell in the emotions of the past is a choice only you can make.
You can choose to linger on with negativity for months together or pick yourself up in a week and move on.
2. You enter into a victim mindset
Different people have different reactions to failure. When I failed, I was hell-bent on keeping my ego intact. No matter how poor my decisions and actions were, I tried finding reasons to justify them. I wanted to believe that I did my best, and the result was beyond my control. I was deep within the victim mindset.
Some people have an opposite tendency where they blame themselves for everything that happened. Though their actions had no direct effect on the outcome, they accuse themselves needlessly.
They aren’t looking to change themselves in the future. They simply want to inflict damage upon themselves to remain in the past.
When you find excuses to validate your actions, you boost your ego for no reason. When you blame yourself, you are shattering your self-esteem. No good comes of either of them.
“No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.” –Buddha
3. Looking forward leads to self-improvement
When you choose to look at the future, you are leaving yourself with only one choice – finding a solution and improving yourself. The option of crying over what happened and blaming yourself is out the window.
Keeping your eyes on what’s yet to come helps you find answers. You start identifying what you can do better to experience a better future. The only reason you must look at the past is to identify lessons to prevent a similar mistake in the future. Look back at the past, learn from the experience, and aim for a better tomorrow.
People who are addicted to success are similar to ants. Try placing an obstacle in front of a bunch of marching ants, and you’ll know what I am talking about.
The little creatures will try to find a different route to get to their destination. If they can’t find one, they will try to climb over the barrier, dig underneath or carve a hole to get through. Never will you find ants sitting next to the obstacle and cursing their luck.
4. Time is finite
If you lose all your money, you can make some again. If you lose power, you can bounce back. But if you lose time, you’re never getting it back. Time moves only in one direction – forward. You cannot stop or go back in time, but you can move forward with it.
You would have spent a few minutes reading this article. Those are the precious moments of your life you’re never getting back. Even if you hated this article, I cannot hand the time lost back to you.
Make every minute of your life count. If you choose to look back at your past failures and sulk in the corner, you’re losing time. Instead, you could use it to build a better future for yourself.
“We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” – Walt Disney.
5. Looking forward gives you something to chase
An essential part of happiness lies in having a goal to aim for. If you choose to linger in failure, not only are you failing to chase your dreams, but you are also depriving yourself of contentment.
When you pursue a target and make progress, your brain releases dopamine. This is a hormone that creates a sensation of pleasure when you check a task off your to-do list or reach a milestone on your project. If you do not have a goal to chase in the future, you lose the opportunity to get a shot of dopamine.
Every time you look forward to a better future, your enthusiasm shoots up, and you turn all geared up to strive for your dreams.
Time and again, We will face obstacles in our life. Every time things go wrong, you have two choices. First, you can lose hope and give up because you failed. Second, you can learn your lessons and move on to better things in life.
You might assume that the successful people had all the things work in their favor. In reality, their journey was no different than yours or mine. They overcame their challenges and found a way to crush their barriers.
What you choose to do when you face a hurdle next time determines how the future shapes up for you.
What are some of your techniques to ensure you have a better future than the present? Share your thoughts with us below!
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