Each hunter has favorites: favorite spots to hunt, favorite gun to shoot, favorite boots or gloves or even socks. Favorites are great: comforting, warm, even lucky. We run into trouble when favorites become habits, and we get stuck in a pattern that is no longer taking us closer to our targets. The past can be sneaky because it’s comfortable, like a ratty old college sweatshirt you just can’t throw away, even if your spouse hates it and others say “Dude, it’s time.”
The past is often hard to shake, both the good and bad parts of it. When you spend your time looking back, it’s impossible to spot the trails that can take you to your future. Even dwelling on past successes will not keep you fully in the hunt. When I get caught up in the past, I have a few down and dirty, kick in the pants and get back on the trail tricks I use to regain my focus on the here and now:
Learn from Past Mistakes
So often, the judge, that inner voice, starts circling like a vulture, poking and prodding and playing “What if” with your mind. When this happens, I tell myself “Farbz, you cannot change the past. What can I take away from this and do better next time?”
Break the Cycle
When you find yourself dwelling on the past, change the channel. You are in control of your feelings and your mind. We have a yoga class at the office every Friday, and the teacher is fond of saying “if you can control your breath, you can control your mind.” So take a deep breath in, and let it out to a count of five. Do it again. When you return to your breath, your mind finds calm in the present.
Trust Your Gut
I’m a feeler. Man, I sometimes think my gut is crazy. But more often than not, my first instinct is the right one. Many things from the past that creep up on me now I could have avoided if I just trusted myself. So trust yourself. Typically, you’ve got your back!
Look for Change
What’s new? What’s different? Keep your eyes open and your senses alert; the pivot you are waiting for is likely hiding just behind the thing that’s holding you back. Let go and let’s go.
Shed your preconceived notions and start thinking like a kid. My sons see the world from an entirely different perspective than I do. The more time I spend with them, the more playful and open I can feel myself becoming.
It’s hard to relive the past when there is so much to see and do right now. So take a few words of advice from a hunter who knows: the past is not going to put a big buck or a business deal or even a cup of coffee in your path. You’ve got to be in the present to see the future.