One of the beauties of growing old is that things are put into perspective. There is a tendency to look back at what was done, particularly when selective memory is applied and we tend to remember the good stuff and forget the bad, unless it was really painful.
Talking to my friend of many years, Olympic champion Kriss Akabusi, reminded me of an important fact: every day you are building your future through all your actions. As small as these actions may be, they will shape your future.
Looking back can be helpful, but being stuck in the past is limiting. In his case, he will forever be remembered as the gold medallist and silver medallist super energetic Olympic champion. However, that does not fully capture who he is or who he became after his Olympic career ended. If anything, it marked a new beginning for him. I invite you to read his fascinating life story and incredible positive energy and determination to look forward; it’s truly inspiring!
To me, the essence of the matter is that one needs to be excited and driven by the future rather than dwelling on the past. If one focuses on what has been but no longer exists instead of what currently is or will be, progress becomes harder to achieve. Even if you do not intend to progress further in life, being fixated on the past creates a disconnect with daily reality. The driving forces between a vision based in the past versus one based in the future are entirely different.
If you do not define your vision for the future and refuse to let that vision define you from its inception onward, then you become defined by a vision rooted in the past—making it more relevant and real than your actual future—and it becomes where you reside rather than where you draw inspiration from.
comfort zone, it is unlikely that greatness would have been achieved in the first place. Remember: as great as being a world champion is, there is a new one proclaimed every year! It is when you strive to stay at the top of your game, pushing for greater achievements with an insatiable hunger for more, that things truly get better. Building upon your experiences and successes is wonderful—for inspiration purposes. You know you can do it and have done it before. But can you do it better? Can you do it in a different playing field or against different opponents? When Michael Jordan tried his hand at baseball, people couldn’t understand why he would venture into another sport. The truth of the matter was that he had nothing else to prove in basketball. As a mere mortal myself, what works for me is asking some simple questions: if I were doing something for the first time today, what would it take for me to give my best effort? What areas must I absolutely improve upon to achieve my desired goals? Conscious of the finite amount of time we have in this life, I also ask myself if the time-to-goal ratio makes sense.
Too often, we use our past to find comfort based on our own perception of who we think we are.
For instance, we may base our emotions and actions on our impressions or judgments of someone who may no longer be part of our journey. In such cases, we tend to replace them with someone else who justifies those same impressions—it becomes our way of explaining why we behave or react certain ways—based on past projections that become ingrained within us.
We need to let go of those representations or perceptions and focus solely on the vision of the future and the changes required to achieve it. This shift will transform all the energy we exert into a positive force for creation rather than defence. To put it simply using sporting terms: if you only play defence and never attempt to score, you cannot win a game. At best, you will avoid losing. Start today by changing your consciousness and remember that whatever we take from life, life will give back to us.
Sooner or later, the universal balance is restored. Embrace the vision of your future and immerse yourself in it. If someone tells you not to worry because nothing changes and old leopards do not change their spots, they are right. If you remain the same, nothing changes.
However, if you embrace your vision of the future, then you will become that future. After all, it’s the journey that truly matters.