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Windshields and Rearview Mirrors

Embracing the Future: The Power of Leaving the Past Behind

In Tim Elmore's Habitudes For The Journey, he states that everyone focuses on something - the past or the future. "Often, we must let go of the comfort from our past to make progress."

I am learning that in the journey of life, the past often acts as a shadow, influencing our present actions and shaping our future. However, there is an undeniable power in focusing on what lies ahead and letting go of the familiar that is the past. In other words, rearview mirrors are good to glance at, but not to gaze at. For those of us who can drive, we understand the wreckage that can occur if we spend too much time looking at what's behind. The power comes when we learn how to embrace the future and look to what's ahead in expectation.

"When our dreams are bigger than our memories, we gain energy from the hope that lies ahead."

Release the Burden

One of the first steps towards a fulfilling future is acknowledging and releasing the burdens of the past. Carrying past mistakes, regrets, or failures can weigh heavily on our shoulders, hindering our spiritual growth. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says "This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!" By consciously letting go and "letting God", we free ourselves from the chains that bind us to history.

Are you a victim of old patterns? Do you stay involved with people who hold you back? Are you a victim of comfort or nostalgia? Do you fear that your best days are in the past?

As you release the burden, try these mindset remedies:
  1. Replace comfort with curiosity.

  2. Reject being a victim of your circumstances.

  3. Renew your commitment to embrace opportunities.

  4. Relinquish the past and create new memories.

Learn and Grow

While leaving the past behind, it's essential to extract valuable lessons from our experiences. Every challenge, setback, or triumph has something to teach us. Instead of dwelling on the pain, focus on the growth opportunities. Learning from the past allows us to make informed decisions and evolve into better versions of ourselves.

Set Clear Goals

Focusing on what lies ahead involves setting clear and achievable goals. Define your aspirations, whether they be personal, spiritual, or professional, and create a roadmap to reach them. Having a vision for the future provides direction and purpose, guiding your actions in the present. Michael Jordan believed in the "building block" approach to goal setting. In other words, his short-term goals compounded and allowed him to reach his long-term achievements. Looking at all of his accomplishments, it's clear to see that he spent most of his time "gazing ahead".

Present Mindfulness

Being future-focused doesn't mean neglecting the present moment. Cultivating mindfulness allows us to appreciate the journey, savoring each experience as it unfolds. By living in the present, we enhance our capacity to make the most of every opportunity that contributes to our future success. Present mindfulness is really being where your feet are.

Surround Yourself with Positivity

The company we keep greatly influences our mindset. Surrounding yourself with positive influences, supportive friends, and mentors can fuel your aspirations. Let go of toxic relationships or negativity that may anchor you to the past, and embrace those who uplift and inspire.

Adaptability and Resilience

The future is inherently uncertain, and challenges are inevitable. Developing adaptability and resilience is crucial for navigating the unknown. Instead of fearing change, embrace it as an opportunity for growth. Resilience enables you to bounce back from setbacks and continue forging ahead.

Christian author, Hannah Brencher, challenges readers to "stay in your lane". The only way to do this is to keep looking ahead, through the windshield - not to the right or left of you. Fix your gaze!

What you focus on is what multiplies in your life. Choose your forward journey:
  • Abundance over scarcity

  • Community over competition

  • Serving over scaling

Focus on these good and noble things and watch the results compound, watch your resilience rise to each occasion.

Celebrate Progress

Acknowledge and celebrate the progress you make on your journey. Small victories build momentum and reinforce the positive changes you're implementing. Recognizing your achievements, no matter how modest, instills confidence and motivates you to continue striving for your future goals.

In the tapestry of life, the threads of the past are interwoven with the present and the future. While the past contributes to our identity, it should not overshadow the potential for growth and transformation in Christ.

By consciously focusing on what lies ahead, releasing the burdens of the past, and embracing the opportunities of the future, we allow God to create a fulfilling and purposeful life journey. As you embark on this path, remember that the power to shape your destiny lies in your hands, and it starts by acknowledging where your at and fixing your gaze on what's ahead!

Habitudes, by Tim Elmore

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