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Cashing in on looking back

Matt Morgan • Jul 6, 2014 at 11:04 AM

"The things that have always been important: to be a good man, to try to live my life the way God would have me, to turn it over to Him that His will might be worked in my life, to do my work without looking back, to give it all I've got, and to take pride in my work as an honest performer." - Johnny Cash 


Looking back is such a difficult thing to do. The fade to black isn't always a dreamy transition. So much can be learned by doing it, yet that action will never change what has already happened. Do it too much and the future will be burdened with baggage of the past. But, are we to forget everything that is no longer in front of us: business dealings, culture, politics, or history itself?


Never mind the world around us. What of our own accomplishments? What is that trophy doing for you now other than collecting dust? That shelf could be useful for other things... No! Hold up there, desperado.


Don't be too hasty to toss them in ponderous reflection. While tokens, they are milestones in your life. The victories in it, for sure. The smiles, of course. But, let's not forget the sad times. The mistakes. Those too are true lessons that have played their part; just as much in getting you to where you are today as the happier ones. What may have been bad then could be what is good in your life now!


The same victories-from-tragedies can be extracted from non-material reminders, too. It's not pleasant to do, but the people you've hurt and disappointed can also measure how far you have grown. The journey can be weary and fraught with tears. Take heed lest you become despaired - you are not alone! While you may not know it, even with the convenience of hindsight, your actions may have gone on to motivate or inspire others who silently appreciate what you have done. As well, perhaps a revisit to past times of triumph (or failure) can reset your outlook in confusing days.


It is natural to both fret and beam looking back. In fact, in many cases, it is necessary and professional. Replays in sports may again broadcast an epic failure of a play, but the game must go on and correct decisions must be made. The History Channel gives us long (sometimes morbid) moments to consider what has happened and if we are better off for it. Mental health recovery can also hinge on reflection in order to overcome the barriers an individual faces in life.


Especially in business, when a firm hires a consultant, that business is usually paying a person to purposely come around and disagree with them for success's sake. Kitchen Nightmares,anyone? It is an exercise meant to help you be better. Personal feelings of shame or resentment can rush to the surface quickly to see your credit history brought up at the bank when applying for a loan. Ah, but to learn and be better for all your future days? Perhaps that future's sake is worth the currently misty eyes brought on by past indiscretions.


I will encourage you to visit the past, just don't dwell there. Life is more fun with you here in the moment to enjoy it as the ever-growing you that you are! Build upon the lessons learned and look forward to next time. We'll meet again, my friend, and each be better for it. Sing it again, Mr. Cash...


"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."




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