May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been…
the foresight to know where you are going…
and the insight to know when you have gone too far.”
And it’s exactly at that moment that you will have your “light bulb” moment and learn from the experience!
Do you ever find yourself saying “What if?” or “If only I’d known then what I know now?”.
Experience itself is the best teacher we have and hindsight plays a very important role providing us with insight as to why we keep making the same mistake over and over. Unfortunately though, many of us miss the easy answer as to why we do what we do or keep ending up in the same bad situation. It’s because we miss the connection between hindsight and insight and don’t use it as foresight.
Sure, we all make mistakes, but there are two important questions for each of us to ask ourselves with regard to our mistakes.
- Do I really learn from my mistakes? And if I do
- Do I do anything about it so that it doesn’t happen again?
You see, the truth of the matter is, if we can’t say yes to both of those questions, then the answer to both is really no.
The other thing we can’t do is blame others for our mistakes! That would be too easy! Much easier than being honest with ourselves isn’t it!
Hindsight provides us with the wisdom we’ll need to not make the same mistakes twice or three times and also so that as we get older we can impart on those just starting out in life. You’ve heard the saying “the old and the wise” or “Older and Wiser”. You don’t hear “young and wise” you just hear “young and stupid” or you hear people say about the young “Oh, they’ll learn!”.
You attain wisdom the hard way! Through pain and through loss.
Through “light bulb moments”
You learn so that you never have to endure that kind of pain or hardship again! People can tell you but no-one can do it for you – You have to go through your life yourself.
We love it when our life is coasting along smoothly! Everything’s on track! Then bang, someone gets in our way, upsets us, we have an argument or disagreement with someone and things spiral down from there, we accidentally do something to offend someone we care about without realizing and then there’s consequences. Ever been there? Ever wondered why?
Well.. It’s to keep us on track! And others too I guess! All of us really! It’s so important that we are always accountable for the results of our actions. If we were to coast along doing as we pleased what sort of world would we be living in? It’s when things go wrong that life presents us with the opportunity to learn and grow to become happier, fulfilled little human beings. By analyzing these situations we develop hindsight to see how things could have been improved or done differently thereby giving us the insight and thus, the foresight to do things a bit differently next time to give us a better outcome.
We need to pay attention pretty much all the time. Having the foresight to act with a clean conscience and clean motivation goes along to way to keeping things on track, but we can get slack, we can get tired, we can get the ‘poor me’ or ‘expectant’ attitude – only to have to then analyze all over again because we’ve end up in the same mess or a slightly different mess. The big trap a lot of people get into however is they blame others straight away for their bad situation. That’s so much easier than finding stuff wrong with us isn’t it? After all..we’re perfect aren’t we? Nup! If we were..we wouldn’t need to be here. I have a saying that I came up with many years ago – “We aren’t perfect until all our fingers are the same length”. Ah ha ! You just checked didn’t you?
It’s not hard to do – analyzing your faults! It’s spiritual enlightenment. You just have to be really honest and really gentle with yourself. You’d give your best friend a second chance wouldn’t you? You’d accept their apology wouldn’t you? Be your own best friend and accept your own apology.
Stop now and look at your own life. Are you currently in a situation that completely frustrates you?
What is it that frustrates you?
Or someone else?
Ok, then what are the facts of the situation….does that give you a clue?
Have you been in this situation before?
What did you try then to remedy the situation?
Did it help?
Ok, so don’t try that again.
Now use that hindsight to give you insight into this situation.
Did that help?
There’s a good chance that you probably changed something you were doing right? At least I hope so, ‘cos that’s the only thing you really have any control over – is you!
Ok, you’ve done it once. Just keep practicing. By being more aware and using hindsight to your benefit and with a few simple adjustments in the future, watch what happens.
Did things get better or did they get worse? Either way, you can now use that information to adjust your life a little again and before you know it, you’ve turned your hindsight into insight and have started your own spiritual development.
The fact is, hindsight can only benefit us in the present, it has no application to the past. You can never change what has already happened and thinking about it is a complete waste of time. You can, however, use the knowledge you’ve gained to make better decisions in your life now. That’s what hindsight is for!
In the future, when you look back on the decisions you make today you will have new knowledge that you don’t possess right now. That means that from that vantage point you will probably see possibilities that you do not see at present. But you must remember that if you have done the best you can with the information you have right now, there can be no regret.
Once you become aware of the roles of hindsight, insight and foresight in your life, life becomes a continuous learning experience. At any given point, the life lessons we learn are exactly what we need to learn to keep the process going. Sure, some of those lessons are painful and costly. The higher the price of a life lesson the more likely we are to remember it and to benefit from it in the future. Every experience has value if we learn from it.
You’ve probably also heard the saying “What’s in the past has gone, What’s in the future hasn’t happened, you have this moment now and that’s why it’s called the present!”.
You are in the middle of your life right now. It’s happening, all around you. You no longer have the past – it was your present, now it’s your past. You gave it your best shot at the time (hopefully) and if you didn’t there’s another opportunity to benefit from hindsight. Don’t worry about what’s gone – just benefit from it.
Use everything you’ve been through to help you benefit now by making well chosen decisions each time you need to make a decision.
So, let’s practice some hindsight now at the end of this article.
Have a look at your life as it is today. Are you happy? What would you like to change? What wouldn’t you change? What would you love to bring into your life? What steps can you take towards bringing ‘that’ into your life?. Aha, you are stuck already aren’t you!
Read this article again.
The only person you can really control is YOU!