Foresight and Hindsight
Life can only be lived with foresight yet it is understood in hindsight. In other words, your life is made up of future moments, but the meaning of those moments can only truly be known once they’re in the past.
We know that you can’t change the past. Until someone comes along and invents time-travel, what happened happened. The details, events, and occurrences are permanent fixtures in your history. But your relationship with these events are dynamic. Your associations with your past are constantly evolving as you come to understand more parts of it. What once was a heart-breaking, tragic part of your life can become the source of incredible growth and self-awareness that you are truly grateful for.
That's not to discredit what happened to you. If anything, changing what you think about past events is evidence of the importance it played in your life. We often don’t know how things are meant to serve us in the moment. Steve Jobs once said that “you can’t connect the dots moving forward”, which means you must be patient to arrive at the full meaning over time upon reflection.
What’s equally important to understand is that you can’t live in the past. You can’t take action in the past. If you continue to put yourself in past situations and reliving past circumstances you’re going to repeat history. You’re going to be stuck in the story of how your life used to be which prevents you from being present in how life is today (and how it can be.)
When it comes to living a richer, more fulfilling, more gratifying life, you need to play an active role in creating it. That involves you intentionally designing your future through the choices you make. Your future is unwritten and it’s begging for you to take control of it! But many people are stuck holding onto how things used to be, good or bad.
That’s how hindsight and foresight connect. Hindsight gives you the experience and lessons you need to make better choices moving forward. Your past informs your future and helps you angle toward the life you want to have. But without conscious effort around designing your future with foresight, and extracting value from the past through hindsight, you won’t be able to make the same forward strides in your life.
To implement some of this in your life today, ask yourself this question. It’s broad but it serves you - Where have I been and where am I going?
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