The Clearer View Behind


Rearview Mirror 2Its easier to look back than it is to look forward. The future is full of uncertainties and untested dangers but the past is different. The past is known and has been survived; it purveys insight and clarity if we dare take purchase. But we often avoid examining the past because the vision it provides is not always one we want to see again. Past hurts, mistakes, and failures often mark our histories. It is understandable that someone wouldn't want to look back with a critical eye.

The past purveys insight and clarity if we dare take purchase.

You can gain a lot from looking back; it is worth the effort and the strain. A critical examination of the things you have done will provide great insight into who you are. Consider this simple exercise proposed by Albert Edward Day in Discipline and Discovery,

"At the end of the day review your conversation during the day, and ask yourself some pertinent questions about it. Did I say exactly what I meant  Did I seek to create any false impressions? Did I color my language for effect? ...Examine yourself as relentlessly as if it were someone else you were examining."

When we take the time to reflect on our own behavior we position ourselves for maturity. Not knowing where you have been makes your next step pointless: you are just as likely to move sideways, or backwards, as you are to move forward.

Brent ColbyComment