You Cannot Drive Forward Looking in the Rearview Mirror
I saw a horrific scene recently. A passenger car smashed itself half way into the back of a school bus. Thankfully, there were no children on board, but the driver of the car was severely injured. When the driver was interviewed, she was asked what happened and she replied, “I was looking in the rearview mirror.” Doh!
I also see people doing this on the road of their life…
At a dinner party last week, a woman was telling stories of how her former husband had treated her, details about things he said, did or never did. Eventually I asked, “How long have you been divorced?” She replied, “Thirty-six years.” Before this series of tragic stories (she thought to be amusing) she was complaining about not finding ‘Mr. Right’ and being single for 36 years. Doh!
At the same dinner party, another guy told blow-by-blow stories about his high school football glory days and how popular and cool he was ‘back in the day.’ Yet, just earlier that evening he explained he was going to splurge in spite of his doctor’s urgent orders concerning his Type 2 Diabetes (from obesity). He once again was turned down for a job and he hasn’t made a child support payment in six months. (His former wife was the high school head cheerleader). Doh!
Look, there is nothing more damaging to your future potential than spending your present dwelling on the past. Whatever has happened is over. Glory or defeat, once the clock struck midnight, the day was done. You are reborn each morning, and who you are each day is defined by what you do that day and that day only. You are not your past. You are only your present and your present actions will determine your future.
Now, let the past instruct you so you can be wiser marching forward, but don’t let it continue to suck you backwards. Jim Rohn teaches to have your past be “a school master, not a club.” Let it instruct you, not continue to beat you down. Look back for lessons, not excuses.
Oh, and by the way, that degree you have hanging on your wall was deemed irrelevant within 18 months after graduation. What you have learned lately is what’s important. The dusty trophy on your shelf won’t pay your mortgage, time to get into today’s playing field of life and play with intensity. There is a great line I heard that says, “You can never obtain success, you can only rent it and the rent is due every day.”
It’s great to achieve, celebrate your victories and be proud of your accomplishments, just keep your eyes on the road ahead and not fixated on your review mirror or you too, might find your life accidentally smashed into an object you didn’t see just in front of you.
How do you keep from constantly looking in your rearview mirror of life?