by Janet M. Shlaes, Ph.D.
Learn from the past, set vivid, detailed goals for the future, and live in the only moment of time over which you have any control – now.” ~ Denis Whaitley
Your life narrative contains past, present and future perspectives that serve to generate and maintain your sense of identity and place in the world. The meaning of significant life challenges and transitions can change over time, depending on whether you view these challenges and transitions from a past, present or future perspective. When you emotionally put yourself back in a past event, the emotions generated through your past experience become fully present again. In contrast, looking back at a previous occurrence from an emotionally detached perspective generates the opportunity to observe and learn from the past. Shifting into a future perspective facilitates applying your learning from the past into similar situations you might encounter in the future. Although it may seem a bit complicated, it’s essentially quite simple. How you connect with and create meaning from your past will impact your present experience, current thoughts, emotions, motivation, subsequent actions and future experience. Fully living in the now, optimally blends the learnings from the past with taking action in the present that organically lead to your desired future. What could be better than that?
For additional observations, check out the following blog posts: