>My weekly email for professional helpers-
Weekly Dispatch- Happy New Year!!!
Lessons from the Rear-view Mirror- “We ought not to look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting from dear-bought experience.” George Washington
It is hard to look forward while looking backward. Simple enough in theory, but difficult to put into practice.
I am my own worst critic; if you made this statement about yourself, it would most likely be true, as it is of me. We tend to dwell on past poor performance, mistakes, misjudgments, or missed opportunities much longer than we should.
So to illustrate my point, I will share with you some lessons learned from driving with my eyes glued to the rear-view mirror, rather than fixed on the road ahead…
A. If you are looking at the road behind you, it is impossible to see the road ahead of you. And that is where the obstacles will be that you have to avoid. If you can see the obstacle in the mirror, be it person, animal, or otherwise, then you have already killed it and damaged your vehicle- TOO LATE. Missing the obstacles and pitfalls of the future requires that your full attention be ahead of you, not behind you.
B. If you are retracing your steps, you can’t make course corrections on the path ahead. “Keep it between the ditches” is a common word of warning to the traveler as he or she sets out on the journey. Even familiar curves and well-marked turns will be missed without full forward attention. Looking back, whether out of regret or out of yearning for familiarity, will not allow for needed course corrections that inevitably will some your way.
C. Looking back is sometimes necessary; do so regularly but briefly. Reflection is needed, as Washington said, in order to learn from lessons of the past. Brief, periodic glances will help to prevent missteps of the past. Revisiting the past, however, can lead to unproductive guilt, regret, and personal brow-beating.
“This one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark…” St. Paul
Set a mark before you and press forward! Making the most of what you have, where you are, right now, is the proactive way to prevent looking in the mirror further down the road.