Why do people dwell in the past?

Wouldn’t it be so easy and simple if we worked on auto-pilot? We saved experiences that left us feeling good about ourselves, and discarded experiences that did not provide us a sense of enlightenment or was simply a challenge to our well-being. I mean why is it so hard to accept these setbacks and simply to remove how we feel about certain things? Ultimately the question roles down to — why do we care? Why can’t the caring switch be controlled by an experience to the point that when that experience is over we can switch back?

We all go through setbacks. As ugly as that sounds, it is true. You live in a world where growing up comes with challenges — whether it is being fired from a job, breaking up with your boyfriend or girlfriend, losing a loved one, breaking ties from your best friend, finding out that your feelings for your crush are only one-sided etc. We tend to dwell so much in the past and create these images or bubbles of how things could play out if we acted differently or perhaps just stayed silent and not reacted..

A setback is basically an exam. If you pass you pass the course. If you don’t pass well you only take away lessons. You learn from mistakes. A wise person once said life is 10% of the person you are and 90% of how you react to it. In essence our attitude is how we can control how our future plays out. So quit living in the past. Quit moping around. Quit hating yourself for what you could do and what you did. The past is where it should stay — in the past.

A close friend once said to me if you want things to change you have to leave situations. To which I thought what bullshit. That is simply a cowards escape. You don’t run away from things and expect things to work in your favour. But then as I thought about it — when you love and respect yourself — you will not settle for any less. You can leave when things no longer serve you purpose. Bored from that 9–5 job? Quit it and do something that makes you fulfilled. Don’t keep saying to yourself — I wish I could be more like this person or I wish I could have a 6 figure salary. There is a difference between the dreamers and the doers. Do something that will be fulfilling to you today and perhaps 5 -10 years from now. Because life is ultimately in the now. Create goals and work towards achieving them. Be so busy loving yourself that you don’t have time for the what ifs and the buts.

You only have this one life. Would you rather spend most of your time trashing yourself and nit picking on your struggles or would you rather spend this time learning from your mistakes and doing something about it? Well, the choice is yours.