Bernie Anderson
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the blog

Current musings, whatever they may be. 

Vision: The past is not the future


But it's essential to know and understand the past before imagining the future.

In recent weeks, I've spent a fair amount of time ruminating on my past. Experiences, wins, losses, joy, pain, and everything between. People I've known. Places I've been. Experiences I've walked through.

It is possible to outright live in the past. Don't do that. It's an unhealthy and noxious practice, leading to either bitterness and regret or unhelpful, dreamy nostalgia.

Reflecting on the past is not the same as living in the past.

You must look back with a very specific intention.

When I hike, I inteionally look behind me. That's the outlook I'll need to find my way home.

When out on a photography walk, look backward. That's where you find the interesting shots and unusual perspectives.

So particularly when entering a new era of life, look back with the intention of finding themes.

What is the ongoing motif of my days on earth? What is the consistent melody of my life soundtrack?

Past and future are not equivalents. If we spend our entire lives looking behind us we'll eventually run into things.

But history is our inevitable companion while moving into the future. It makes sense to understand it well.

And understanding is essential for clear vision.