Over the past few years, I have excessively indulged myself in looking in the rear view mirror of life with the aim to avoid repeating the mistakes that I have made. Recently, I realized that it crossed an extent where I was obsessing too much over the past, ultimately losing track of the present, as well as the future. After all, it is entirely human to dodge anything that gives us pain and embarrassment. It is also very common for us to drag ourselves down in this routine of avoidance, ultimately holding us back in life. A mental construct so harmful that it has kept many talented people from achieving their true potential.
Since childhood, elders and peers alike have given me the feedback on my potential to do something great in life; a potential ‘x’, that I am yet to figure out. I think failures, and the fear of more failures, contributed a lot towards my current mindset of looking back and contemplating excessively. Once in a while, it is a healthy habit to stop and look back. Self-reflection helps avoid repeating the mistakes, provide valuable inputs on areas where one is doing well, and charter a course of action for further self development. Thanks to a very dear friend, who very recently inquired me about my current passions in life, I realized that over the course of multiple setbacks – some life altering ones, obsessing over the past, good and bad, had become a habit and a ritual. This habit not only altered my thought process semi-permanently, but almost set me up for possible future failures, at a point, where my only passion was procrastination.
Contemplation and obsession over the past come with losing sight of the present and future, often, fogging crucial decision-making skills, altering emotional and mental peace, and increased distress. These are self-woven mental and emotional constructs that are very hard to break out from. Unknowingly, an honest question from my friend about my passions made me realize that being truly passionate about something is the beginning of breaking out of it. In words of Matthew McConaughey, having something to look forward to everyday and to chase something in life is one of the best ways to keep yourself away from this alternate reality.
Even though Matthew’s words do not provide an answer to where my passions lie, they do provide an insight into keeping a healthy mindset and to work towards something that you really enjoy and aspire or have aspired to be. So, if I were to ask you the same question today, what would your answer be? What are you truly passionate about to make it your future?