Why You Cannot Live in the Past

“Don’t live in the past; you can’t do anything about the past. It will never change whether it is yesterday or last year. The future is yet to be determined and can be influenced by what you do today. Today is the only day that really matters.” ~ John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach.

Remembering vs Residing
Fondly reminiscing about the past and looking back at how life used to be is not a terrible thing… if done in moderation. When the line between remembering the past and living in it becomes blurred it can become a serious detriment to your success.

It is easy to understand how living in the past can be appealing. It is familiar and predictable with no unpleasant surprises.

Thinking back on it gives you a happy feeling of comfort, like your favourite pyjamas. Compared to life in the here and now, the past can seem much more welcoming and desirable.

Why It Is a Problem
If you continue to live in the past, however, there is little chance that your present or future will ever be as happy a place to live as your past seems to be. Living in the past permits you to avoid dealing with the issues that are weighing down your present and preventing success in your future.

Further, focusing on what may be an idealized memory of the past during times of difficulty can make the challenging times seem worse. This kind of negativity is never productive and can have disastrous repercussions on every area of your life.

While the past is a lovely place to visit, it is nowhere to set up house. Your hope should always lie in a future that has been built upon your strong and engaged present.

What you accomplished in the past may be a reason for pride but what you may accomplish in the future with an engaged, present-focused positivity is boundless.