Look At Your Past To Learn Valuable Answers

Look at your past to learn valuable answers. Looking back in life can be a valuable exercise, but it can also keep you locked in the past wishing, hoping or just remembering "how it used to be" or "how...

Looking back in life can be a valuable exercise, but it can also keep you locked in the past wishing, hoping or just remembering "how it used to be" or "how it could have been."

Well it wasn't and isn't, so get over it. Nothing can be ddone to correct your mistakes in the past, except you can learn from it and modify your attitudes, behavior or life outlook to change the outcomes in your future.

Why is it that many people stay locked in coulda beens, shoulda beens, if only's, I wish I had circumstances?

There are a number of reasons why people live in the past or don't use the past as a tool to prepare for the future.

One: They have their ego or identity vested in certain outcomes.
Two: They believe that life is predictable, controllable, or that it should follow the rules of human expectations, desires or whims.
Three: They see life as difficult and un-forgiving. Four: They have unrealistic fantasies about people, work, relationships, goals and life in general.
Five: They want other people to follow their rules, behave as they feel they should, and generally live their life according to the way they believe is right.
Six: They enjoy beating themselves up.
Seven: They don't believe they deserve more, better or even good incidents to happen in life.
Eight: They lack confidence in themselves or their world, and do not believe that the future is better than the past.
Nine: They are stuck.
Ten: They believe living in the past or future is safer than spending time in the present.
Eleven: They have a basic negative and pessimistic outlook or life philosophy.

Twelve: They lack an interest in personal growth and choose to continue to live with old information, regardless of its source.

There is risk in spontaneously attacking life and its unknowns with joy and wonder. I love Scott Peck's opening line in The Road Less Traveled. "Life is difficult." Scott goes on to explain that life is only difficult for people who expect life to be easy. People that expect life to be difficult, are not negative but see life with realistic eyes. They hope for the best and plan for the worst. He closes the book with an equally compelling thought. "If growth is hard, and it is, why grow? Why not just live as if ignorance was bliss?" Well it isn't. He goes on to say that you can't help but grow. So why not look at the growth or changes in life as opportunities to build a better you.

Historical events, decisions, actions, opinions, judgments and so on, are a permanent part of your past, but they don't have to become a permanent part of your future.

Why not complete the questionnaire at the end of this article to determine where in life you may be repeating old behavior, seeing life through an outdated set of filters or just plain stuck in unrealistic perceptions, interpretations or attitudes. I guarantee if you complete the exercise you will gain some interesting insight into your current thinking patterns, life dramas and behavior.

You have these habits of thinking, feeling or acting because they are comfortable for you. They may be sabotaging your success, productivity or happiness, but nonetheless you enjoy keeping them in your life. The key to growth and change is to discover why you won't, or can't let them go.

Life is dynamic and filled with change. There isn't one area of your life that will not experience change in the next twelve months. You can either look at life as an explorer and student, or you can look at life as a victim. I am sure you can guess which is the more mature and positive approach.

I overheard a conversation last night by a young women sharing her life dramas with three of her friends. I wanted to interrupt their conversation, and share a little bit of insight with them as to the nature of their expectations, attitudes and philosophies, but I resisted the intrusion. I couldn't help but wonder how many millions of people were having similar conversations all over the country. She was stuck in her interpretations and perceptions about how life should be and how people should act. Until she is willing to re-look at these attitudes as an impartial neutral observer, she will live a life filled with stress, frustration and disappointment. Not a pretty picture.

Now for the questionnaire.

1. In what area of your past life do you feel stuck?
2. What lesson(s) have you learned too late in life?
3. What is your biggest regret in life to date?
4. Why do you regret this?
5. If you could live one segment of you life over, which segment would it be?
6. How would you change it, if you could?
7. Do you feel it is too late to change it?
8. Generally when you think of your past memories do you have a positive or negative feeling?
9. What should you carry in your consciousness?
10. What should you not carry?
11. Do you feel in control of the direction of your life?
12. If no, why not?
13. Do you know what your life mission or purpose is? If you do, are you moving boldly towards it?
14. If you don't know what your purpose is, why don't you?
15. If yes, describe it 25 words or less.
16. What is your philosophy of life?
16. Are you happy with your current lifestyle?
17. What would you change if you could?
18. What repetitive mistakes do you continue to make in life?
19. How would you define a mistake?
20. Are you attached to other people's opinions or judgments of you?
21. Are you optimistic about your future?
22. Why or why not?
23. In what area of your life are you working on improving to guarantee a better future?
24. What is your biggest disappointment in life thus far?
25. Are you emotionally attached to any personal outcomes in your life?
26. Have you ever failed at anything in your life?
27. What were the consequences? Short term? Long term?
28. How would you define failure?
29. How would you define faults?
30. Do you have any?
31. Where do you have blind spots in your life?
32. Do you have any illusions that are negatively impacting your life?
33. Are you an optimist or a pessimist? All of the time? Under what circumstances?
34. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
35. Are you fully aware of your strengths and weaknesses?
36. In what areas of your life do you practice blame, resentment, guilt or anger?
37. How are you handling getting older?
38. Do you feel there is enough time for what is important in your life?
39. What circumstances, events or people add stress in your life?
40. How are you handling your stress?

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