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Looking backward can be instructive … i.e.: mustn’t do that ever again … or … yikes, that was great, must repeat! But the past is just that, the past … it’s downstream … and time spent there, is often time misspent.
Looking forward is very useful … planning, visualising, day-dreaming, possibility-thinking … it allows us to get stuff done. But if we spend all of our time looking forward, we might very easily miss out on reaping enjoyment from the present.
Being present is where great living is done - where most of our living is done in fact. When we are in a state of action - we are usually ‘highly present’ … perhaps that is a big part of the appeal of action-filled activities; they tether us to the present.
Truth is … we need balance. The time-machine that is our pre-frontal cortex allows us to recall lessons and memories from the past, plan forward into the future - and enjoy the now we call present.
I know people who are all about the present - but they have failed to plan for the future, and it has arrived … and it isn’t as pretty as they has hoped. I have known people who spend all their time moaning and dwelling on past hardships … and they have failed to uncouple from that past and are unable/unwilling to move forward and re-invent themselves. The trick - as always - is to get the balance right. Balance in all things. - JBW