I like the above car analogy. The author is unknown, but it reportedly first appeared in print in 1998 uttered by a US youth football coach whose team had had a bad season. It is pretty self-explanatory when driving and can be applied to most of life’s situations. Simply put, it means that where you’re headed is much more important than what you left behind. The past is the past, it can not be changed or undone. For some it contains painful and regrettable experiences and decisions that have caused pain and suffering to themselves and others. It can be business failure, rejection, personal tragedy or plans that didn’t pan out as desired.
However, if we are always reflecting on what could have been instead of looking forward to what is before us then we’d constantly be missing out on opportunities that lie ahead. The future is so much bigger than the past for everyone. Closing our eyes to what opportunities are out there by focusing on what could have been, will only limit our futures and what can be achieved.
That is not to say we don’t need the rear-view mirror, it’s necessary to keep an eye out on what possible dangers could be closing in on us. Poor choices, repeating the same mistakes and judgements have a way of trying to catch up to us after we’ve long since passed them by. Just like rearview mirrors, “these objects may be closer than they appear”. We could think that the danger isn’t close enough to harm us but on closer inspection is barreling towards us at a high rate of speed. Choose to step on the accelerator and let them fade back into the manageable distance, or adjust things, alter your journey, and perhaps take a different road. Either way, constantly glancing at our rearview mirrors helps us to avoid whatever negative situation is trying to creep back toward us.
How do you look ahead? Start focusing your time and energy on what you want to create. Talk about it. Visualize it. Associate with people who are ahead of you on the same road. Ask for directions. Seek out Help. There is a lot of uncertainly, distrust and the fear of the unknown in New Zealand at the moment, but ultimately whatever comes to pass and is decreed as the new normal, each individual is responsible for creating their own future. We still live in a relatively free democracy, protesters in Wellington haven’t been shot and all our choices matter at election time.
Your life will head in whatever direction you give the most attention to, So, stop looking in the rearview mirror and look ahead - that’s where you’re going.
One more thing - when you look through that windscreen, there’s someone on the same road who’s ahead of you and inspiring you to move forward.