Looking Through the Windshield

A Roadmap to Your Best Year Yet, Part II

Point to Ponder

Are your past experiences influencing your potential goals for 2015?

by Neissa Brown Springmann

by Neissa Brown Springmann

Pre-iGnite and many years ago while personal training a fifty-plus year old male client of mine, I suggested he grab a drink of water. His response was “I never drank water when I played high school football so I don’t need to now”. I paused, smiled and said, “Times have changed and drinking water isn’t a sign of weakness any more. You need to stay hydrated so please grab some water.”

Obviously this moment has stuck with me because I still vividly remember the exchange, but I’ve concluded that the reason why I continue to think about his comment is because it’s really hard to keep our past experiences (successes, let-downs or possibly regrets) from influencing our present day and future actions, behaviors and therefore outcomes. I mean come on! My client hadn’t played high school football in over thirty years, but he still saw himself as a high school football star. On the surface, his comment was funny and innocent, but below the surface I saw some problems with his mindset. Trust me, I believe in challenging yourself and never giving up on yourself or your dream, but this man was about 75 + lbs overweight and at his current physical condition he did not need to treat his body like the high school football player that he once was. He also didn’t need to eat like a seventeen year old boy and he needed to stay hydrated, despite that hydration wasn’t popular in the 1970s.

We can laugh at this because it seems so male specific, but we, women, are definitely guilty. Whether it be beauty, the size of our body, or what we were once unable or able to accomplish, we are masters of comparing ourselves to our past.

What I’m getting at is this: There is no doubt that our past is our only point of reference and having a memory of yesterday certainly gives us wisdom and can help us formulate what we want for our future, but the dots that I am trying to connect are rather than compare or judge ourselves to what we did not or did achieve yesterday, how about we recognize the potential that we are now, today?

There’s no doubt that the wisdom we gain from past experiences is our best teacher and guide, but our past can also limit us from trying new things and experiencing the richness that life has to offer, now. Acknowledge where you are, honor where you are, and appreciate where you are, today. Whether or not you were let down by past outcomes or were fortunate to have success, don’t let them impact what you do, now. You aren’t the same person who you were one hour ago, much less the same person you were twenty years ago. Just because you couldn’t do it yesterday doesn’t mean you can’t or shouldn’t try today. And, rather than focus on where you were, focus on where you want to be. Therefore, as you continue to contemplate what you want out of 2015, I encourage you to avoid comparing negative or positive results from your past or judging yourself based how well you did in the past. To piggy back on last week’s journal, potential and possibility is the energy we want to bring into 2015. So, instead of looking through the rear view mirror, lets make our “one thing” to look through the windshield- looking forward and living for what we want, today!

Action Item

Avoid comparing negative or positive results from your past and judging yourself bases on well you didn’t or did do. Instead of looking through the rear view mirror, make your one thing to look through the windshield- looking forward and living for what you want today.

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One thought on “Looking Through the Windshield

  1. Pingback: Forever Forward, Never Back | the iGnite blog

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