How much time do you spend thinking about the past? Besides the obvious influence over your past self, how is it still influencing your present? When you think about your past, how do you feel?
The first and most important influence the past has over our present is from an emotional point of view. Whenever we think about some shitty parts of our past, we get sad, angry, frustrated or hopeless. If we think about the great parts about our past, we can either feel joyful or we can again feel sad because that’s over. Whatever the case is, it’s clear that the past still has an influence over our present because we let that happen. If we did something that triggered a chain of reactions which came into our present and took a bite out of our asses, it’s more than an emotional impact, but that’s another discussion.
The thing is that we’re bringing our past back to life pretty often even when we’re thinking about two weeks ago. Besides learning from those situations, why do we keep thinking about it? We cannot change it. We can only change our present, which will affect our future, but until a time machine is invented, the past is done with us. We’re the ones that are not done with it.
A good thing about the past is that we can assess our present. Where were we 10 or 5 years ago and where are we now? What improved? If nothing improved, why? How satisfied are we with our evolution? If we’re not that satisfied, what can we do to change that?
It’s true, we cannot change our past, but if we still get some negative feelings because of it, we can either stop thinking about it so we can focus on our present and our future, or we can change the way we see it or else we will relive the same negative feelings over and over again whenever some stinky thoughts appear. We cannot let our past influence our present because too much of it will f*ck up our future. Our future will change only if we do something today to change it.
When your future self thinks about his/her past (which is your present), what kind of feelings do you want him/her to have?