The Benefit of Hindsight - An Awesome ...
You know those days where you sit down at the end of it and find yourself thinking ‘man that was such a good day!’ Or perhaps it’s the last day of the week that rolls around and you take a moment to reflect, and find yourself smiling, ‘WOW! what an awesome week!’
As I write this, I wonder how many people actually do this deliberately – take stock of their day or their week, or if it is just a ‘me’ thing. To be honest, I can’t actually say that I have always been conscious of this but it’s ironic how something happens in your life, that completely turns you upside down and ends up being the turning point in changing the way you think.
Even more fascinating (read - often annoying) is how it’s only when we look back, that we can see how far we have come. I wonder why the Universe made hindsight such a thing. We stumble along for most of our lives, trying to figure out what the heck we are doing and what it’s all for. We switch our paths and change our minds, making millions of decisions, some good, some not so much. It is only when we look back some time later, that we can clearly see the things that actually made the difference.
So, as I pondered my amazing day, I asked the question, ‘So, how do I / We keep this going?’ a wise man replied, ‘We choose to’. My instant reaction was to scoff and roll my eyes but as the week progressed, I couldn’t stop thinking about it.
Is it really that much up to us? Do we have more influence in determining what makes a great day than we think?
I read a book once that highlighted the importance of living deliberately. It suggested that we should be conscious of every activity and to ‘check in’ with ourselves (and head space) regularly. The idea was to become aware of how we feel and where we are at, in every moment. It gives the chance to tweak or improve where required before going too far down the rabbit hole.
My mind goes back to a conversation I had with Ben in the car one morning where he was telling me all the dot points he had been thinking about a particular subject. He had clearly analysed it to death and was sharing his findings with me. I had always blamed my overthinking and detailed analysis of things as a result of my professional background where I was paid to pick things apart, but I couldn’t help smiling as I listened to this gorgeous boy. My immediate thought was ‘Oh wow, he sounds just like me! God help his dad!’ I wondered if being analytical was actually genetic.
Someone said to me recently “… depression is living in the past; anxiety is living in the future; we really only have the now to work with …”
So, some time ago, I set myself a challenge. Begin being very deliberate and aware of my thoughts. I must say, it’s been quite a thing and like any new activity, the more we practice it, the easier it becomes. What I have discovered so far is three simple points that seem to have a huge influence on my day.
i The picture I see.
ii How I choose to react.
iii The action I take moving forward.
Is what I am thinking or doing right now bringing me closer or further away to who I want to be or how I want to live? Am I having a positive or negative impact on the people I meet?
For some of you, this may all sound a bit airy fairy and I am okay with that.
Perhaps it’s just ‘where I am at’ at as I write this, that it all makes perfect and fantastic sense to me.
As I look back on excellent days or wonderful weeks, I am always reminded that the single event that changed the direction of my life 20 months ago has not changed … but I have. Over time I have just learnt how to let it drive me … and not run me over.
It’s up to us what we believe. It’s up to us how we control our reactions. And it’s up to us to change.
“… Real. I had never before realised how deceptive a word can be…” – Eben Alexander.
Have a fabulous week!