I want to discuss how reflecting on our pasts can help us better appreciate today.
My Past Self Looking Forward
During a meditation session, I remembered that I once had lofty goals for myself a few years ago. My goals included being married, having a job, starting a family, and regularly going to the gym. During this session, I realized that I’d accomplished all of those objectives and then more.
A few years ago, I was flipping burgers, making minimum wage, depressed, unhealthy, bitter, and feeling like a loser. I never thought I’d accomplish so many things by this time.
By reflecting on where I wanted to be, I was able to see how far I’d come.
For this reflection technique to work, we must set regular goals. We have to plan as well as develop an excellent understanding of where we’d like to be. Without regularly setting goals, especially life goals, we don’t know where we want to be or why we want to go there.
When we set goals, we’re able to see how far we’ve come while preventing aimless wandering.
We are taught every day not to acknowledge greatness, especially personal greatness. Society does not want us to hope, and we never have to travel far before being bombarded by cynicism and small thinking.
Do you remember where you once were three years ago? What have you improved? Are you in better shape? Do you eat healthier meals? Are you a happier person? Do you have better friends?
We have to remember our pasts so we can better understand our future. Simply put, if we can make the smallest improvements, we can make significant changes if given enough time. If we can eat healthier in the morning, it won’t be long before we can eat healthier for every meal.
Our pasts behaviors dictate future behaviors, so it pays to invest in ourselves today.
Where to now?
Now we have to think about where we want to be in a few more years. I want to continue to improve my drawing, grow my family, start a farm, and more. By reflecting on my past and remembering how impossible I thought it was then to be the man I am today, I grow in confidence that I can accomplish the goals I set for the future.
That’s the purpose of reflecting on our past. We have to see that we have doubts today just like we did yesterday. However, we can look past those doubts when we understand that our goals require time, energy, and effort that is spread out over a few years.
We can do this. We just need to remember that we’ve accomplished great things before.
Becoming an individual requires that we’re familiar with ourselves and our own story. Reflect on your progress by looking back to where you were. Look at how you’ve improved in even the smallest of ways so you can gather your confidence towards mastering yourself and continuing on your journey.
The past offers us many opportunities for improvement and reflection. However, sometimes history shows us just how far we’ve come. Take pride in that and never forget what you’ve done.
- What is one thing that you’re proud you do today that you didn’t do a few years ago? Examples include remaining loyal to good people, smiling more, or eating better.
- What is a good thing you used to do a few years ago, but you stopped doing? Why did you stop doing that activity? And don’t worry about judgment or anything of the sort – this is a time for reflection.
- What would you like to accomplish in a few years? Where would you want to be? Don’t worry about drawing up a game plan – just write what you’d like to do in the next 2 to 4 years.
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash