When considering your valuable time, the one thing you can’t do is worry about the past.
It is a reality that you can not do anything about the past, it’s gone, it’s already happened. However, you can always reflect and learn from any outcome. You can’t change the past but you can have influence over a future outcome. Reflection is an effective behaviour that will help you take control of your future.
How often do you ask the question; Did that happen for a reason, the right reason?
There may have been circumstances, or luck, that contributed to the result, but you have to honestly ask yourself the question of whether it was meant to be that outcome. For example, other questions you may ask yourself; Did your contribution influence the outcome or was it always likely to be that output with the true input you gave? Did you want an outcome, that you simply just hoped for or would it have been better if you proactively make it happen?
Hopefully the outcome is more often than not the one that you desired, but it won’t always be the case. So how do you react to the disappointment of not achieving your desired outcome? Often the ability to move forward as desired, or as planned, is about how we react to such circumstances. Some people we allow the negativity to impact any future action. This behaviour may cause someone to freeze their activity or procrastinate more. Others will implement changes with determination and reflect on the detail. This will enable them to reflect on the previous obstacles that need be avoided and thereby create a greater opportunity for the desired outcome to be achieved in the future.
A BBC article today refers to the comment by England Football Manager, Gareth Southgate; England’s players will not be “bowed by the pressure of the past”. This was a conscious message he has transferred to his team that the players could not change the past and should not be influenced by it, but instead write their own history.
This is so common within elite sports. All the competitors in training will comment that they have given focus to what they desire (eg win the World Cup, 100m, Olympic gold). At times their ability may hinder the goal, but quite often the achievement is reflected by their commitment, attention to detail and focus of the high pay off activities required for success.
It is the power of honest reflection that often makes a winner stand out from a competitor. What did they need to do differently rather than just hoping the success arrives.
What can you do in the future to take away learns from all of your outcomes?
Next time you achieve or don’t achieve a desired outcome, then reflect what you did well to repeat it and consider what you could do better. If you did something (or avoided doing something) that contributed to the negative experience, then of course don’t repeat it.
On reflection of this blog article, if you identify that you could do something differently, then commit to do this without any distraction.