Don’t let yesterday ruin today

Never let yesterday use up today. Richard H. Nelson

When we tend to reminiscence there are two types of viewpoints that come to the fore.  One set of people are prone to look back at the good old days and lament that the world today is in terrible shape and that they would love to relive the past.  The other reaction is that of those who may have gone through terrible times in the past and are unable to exorcise the ghost of the past and they repeatedly relive that trauma messing up their present. What is common in both sets of reactions is the fact that the people involved prefer to let the past dominate their present and as a result they just cannot utilize the potential of today to the full.

The problem with living in the past is that the whole exercise is in the realms of fantasy or borders on psychological trauma. Either way we cannot either duplicate the past now nor do we attempt to erase the horrendous memories; the net result is that we continue to be in the vice like grip of the days gone by. This impacts us today in a wide variety of ways. To begin with, our focus on today is blurred by the constant unconscious interferences by the memories of the past. Indirectly, we become victims of past prejudices, unrealistic fantasies and frozen memories. Those who were blessed with a very pleasant and satisfactory past would make efforts to duplicate the same today thereby ruining the harmony of the present. This is because while the whole world has moved forward these people are caught in a time warp and fight progress in general and change in particular.

For those who experienced a traumatic past, the present seems to be an extension of the past in as much as they see a demonic future and so get sandwiched between the demons in the mind. They adopt a fatalistic mentality, become superstitious and seek refuge in the powers of the occult or succumb to the lures of faith healers and spiritual guides.  Today then becomes burden for this lot, painfully experienced, wearily lived and fatalistically approached. Innovation, change and progress are often sacrificed today simply because the way ahead is perceived to be best lived by emulating the past for then we have the past experience to fall back on should lightening strike twice.

One needs to become aware that the past is long dead and though history may repeat itself, with the help of past experience we can always face up to the challenge. One must also not let the past overwhelm us to the point where we cannot think logically, act intelligently and live confidently. We must constantly remind ourselves that today has to be encashed and the past is a cancelled cheque that is pretty much worthless.

Remember: “What you need to know about the past is that no matter what has happened, it has all worked together to bring you to this very moment. And this is the moment you can choose to make everything new. Right now.”

Try this:

  1. Read the contents of the following blog
  2. List out 3 most painful memories of the past and 3 best memories of the past. Reflect on how these events impacted your life subsequently. Objectively ask yourself if any of these events still play a big part in your attitude, behavior, style and temperament.  The feedback you get from others would be a good mirror to your life and a good reference point for evaluation of how your are utilizing today.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t let yesterday ruin today

  1. Reality thought!! The past is dead and we do not possess the power to change. It’s pure waste of energy and time thinking of the past. It’s “NOW” that’s important and we have the power to change. The future is unsure, but having a positive attitude towards the present will take care of all of our tomorrows.

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