You know those people who constantly make the same mistakes and kick themselves every time afterwards? Yeah, those are people who didn’t learn their lesson the first 10 times. Yeah, that’s me. I’m one of those people. But mostly, I reflect on my past faults. I was talking to a friend who mentioned that I live in the past a lot and to an extent that’s true. But I see the benefit of living that way. Not only are you always remembering the good times, but you are also remembering why you shouldn’t take certain avenues that appear in your life that yield bad results.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t “try, try again” but if the trying keeps giving you the same bad results (or extremely worse results), then you should probably turn your dial to a different station and listen to a new tune for once. Instead of trying the same thing, try something new. Instead of eating cheesy pizza and getting the worst tummy ache ever, try a light cheese artisan pizza… with extra marinara sauce.
While learning from the past can be a good thing, it can also be very haunting when you live in the past, especially when it comes to emotionally distraught situations that happened to you. I’ve done this and while I definitely have more forehead wrinkles than when I had at 20 years old. I have learned a lot by learning from the past, like patience with others when they fail or misunderstand things and me.
I like to look at my good and bad behaviors and learn from them. I mean, why did I eat the really cheesy pizza when I know I’m lactose intolerant. How can I improve and grow into better and healthier habits?
Some people choose to live in the now and only the now. And while I feel that’s great because you never let anything keep you down or from moving on quickly, but you also don’t fully learn from the experiences you’ve had if you don’t reflect enough — a possible result of this is you may learn important lessons years later. But I think it takes a balance of both, which is where I feel I’m headed. When my friend stated that I live in the past a lot, I felt that he was referring to a previous version of myself. As days go on, we change. Some of us get wiser and learn to let the small stuff go, to focus on the more important, to learn, and to grow. I feel that most elderly people live this way, which is why they’re so full of wisdom and happy, despite the realities of getting older.
As with most things, I think it’s better to balance both approaches at life. I think it’s equally important to learn from the past but readily embrace a future of better experiences.