Last week, as I was walking my Golden Retriever, another dog passed by with its owner going in the opposite direction. Naturally they caught the attention of my dog, who never wants to miss an opportunity to socialize with anyone. After we passed, he kept looking back at the dog continuing behind him, as if to say, “That chat wasn’t nearly long enough.” I tried to bring his attention forward again but he kept looking back. The next thing I knew, he had walked right into a parked car.
That’s what happens when we focus so much on the past that we can’t see clearly in the present. Of course it’s important to learn from the mistakes and the successes of the past, but only if it helps us to take action in the present that will make for a better future. I’ve seen people become so fixated on the past that they are paralyzed in the present and have no future.
The key to life is to keep moving forward, making the best decisions that we can. Sometimes we have to have the courage to take a few steps into the dark until we can see more clearly, but all the while having faith that the future will be bright.
In his last public address, prolific inventor Thomas A. Edison gave this timeless advice:
“My message to you is…be courageous! I have lived a long time. I have seen history repeat itself again and again. Always America has come out stronger and more prosperous. Be as brave as your parents before you. Have faith! Go forward!”