If you could live in any historical time period, what would it be? Would you rather live in the past or current times?
Picture middle America and a forty year-old man (we’ll call him Hank) who woke up one day and couldn’t move. He could move in the literal sense, he wasn’t paralyzed, but he was like a zombie. Hank had a big project coming up and work and wasn’t making any progress.
Hank kept thinking about all the mistakes he had made in past. He kept replaying previous failures in his mind. The more he did this, the more fear and anxiety he felt. Eventually, it got to the point where he felt helpless. He was stuck in this place and couldn’t move forward on his next big project.
Take Hank out of the workplace and put him as a professional athlete. One of the greatest skills athletes possess is the ability to move on from the previous play and “play present.”
Have you ever heard someone say, “I miss the good ole days!”?
I’ve heard it more than a few times. And it’s not just in the workplace. People look at the headlines, see only the bad, and choose to believe the world is a bad place.
Sure, we all have had great experiences in the past. I have awesome memories with great people from grade school, high school, college, early and mid twenties. But do I want to go back in time and live in that era?
Well, maybe…those were some incredibly fun (and now I realize pretty carefree) days. But I don’t want to live in the past, and neither should you.
-I mean I don’t miss those awkward early teen years, do you?
-My wife doesn’t miss wearing braces or those awful, horrible days where women didn’t have a straightening iron.
-I don’t miss having lunchables, school lunches, or college dorm food.
-I don’t miss the days of living in a fraternity house (probably should’ve been condemned) or a one bedroom apartment.
-I’m grateful I have two amazing son’s I get to raise and who I love more than myself. I don’t live in the past where all I had to worry about was myself.
People like to live in the past, it doesn’t cost as much now. Sometimes the past isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Nostalgia tends to cloud our memories of the past.
Here’s why the past wasn’t so great:
-Our life expectancy wasn’t so good back in the day.
-A lot more people lived in poverty globally back in the day.
-We live in the most peaceful time on earth. Yeah, yeah I know ISIS, Taliban, Terrorists. I’m not downplaying these at all. But back in the day there were far more of these monsters. People used to kill whole towns and then stack their bones. They put heads on stakes..fed people to lions. You get the point.
-If you wanted to call someone, you had to look for their number is yellow book about 1,000 pages deep. Seriously, who has time for that?
-Medicine. Does this even need an example or explanation? Be thankful you’re alive now and not in 1800.
-This list could go on and on and I think you get the point. If not, have fun with the MASH reruns, but I’m pretty sure you’d enjoy this new little thing called Netflix.
When we get to caught up in the past, we lose out on all the good around and in front of us. When we live in the past we limit our thinking and hold ourselves back. The longer we choose to live in the past, the less future we have to live in. Don’t look in the rear view and ask why, continue to look ahead and ask yourself, why not?
It’s funny how you tend to see what you’re looking for. If you believe you’re best days are behind you, they are. However, if you believe in humanity and the power of your dreams, the best is yet to come.
Don’t look in the rear view. Look to the horizon.
Believe and achieve!
As always, thanks for reading, have a great week, and be an RGP today!
Coach Elmendorf is available to speak to your team, group, or organization. Message him for details.