What Does Your Tomorrow Look Like?
It comes down to one simple question: Do you live in the past, the present, or the future?
Yesterday, you didn’t know what today would bring.
Tomorrow is a canvas yet to be filled.
Yet every day, we make decisions — choices — that will make our tomorrows better, worse, or leave them exactly the same.
Many of our decisions are the result of habits that have been developed over time and through repetition, until we’re hardly aware of them — or their consequences.
Good habits typically result in positive outcomes. Not-so-good habits have the opposite effect.
The truth about habits is they’ve become ingrained in our subconscious, holding on tightly until new actions adjust or replace them.
So how do we consciously decide which choices to make — what actions will be the best, every time?
I’ve noticed, for the most part, there are three types of behavior in the majority of people I meet.
Each has its merits — and lessons.
What I’ve learned is that much of the way we influence our future is based on how we think about the past. It’s our personal reference point — an internal font of knowledge we believe is real and trustworthy.
And it’s this foundation of experience that we rely on to determine how we will live each day.
See if you recognize these traits in the people you know and meet:
Some people live in the moment, seemingly carefree and focused only on their immediate surroundings and experiences.
They appear to be on-target, undistracted — and unaffected by their previous experiences. For these folks, the past is a few photographs, an anniversary date they hope they won’t forget, and an updated resume for their next employer.
A large part of the population lives in the past, continually resurrecting memories in an attempt to rewrite unpleasant or disappointing situations, to place blame on others, or to justify their current circumstances — especially when life falls short of the perfection and success they had hoped it would be.
These folks cling to unresolved experiences or relationships, struggling to make sense of their mind’s interpretation of situations or people who cannot be changed — except in their own mind.
Still, they refuse to let go, causing themselves distress, distrust, and discomfort.
Then there are those who look ahead with optimism, grateful their past has bestowed them with experiences and knowledge that make it easier to conceive and design a future that will bring them satisfaction, purpose, and happiness.
They’ve used past lessons to navigate through their life with ambition and inspiration.
And they have a positive, motivating attitude toward the future.
Which window into the past serves you best?
Will your tomorrow be plagued with needless regrets, or filled with the opportunity to create a better you?
Jill Reid is a writer and founder of Pathway to Personal Growth, featuring articles on self-improvement, personal success strategies, and tips for living longer and stronger through positive lifestyle choices, and Kitchen Spirit, a health, food, and fitness website. Follow Jill on Medium, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.