We are beginning week two of “Quotes in Action.” I hope you have found some of these quotes inspiring, and perhaps have been motivated to take action in your life.
Today’s quote gives some perspective on our tendency to dwell in the past, letting it dominate the way we behave in the present. The quote is, “It’s okay to visit Memory Lane, just don’t live there.” – Jeffrey Lorimer
The older we get, the more “past” we have on which to reflect. For most, the past is a combination of fond memories, painful moments, achievements, failures, embarrassments, and more. In some cases, we suffer from a tendency to think that our past – for better or worse – defines us. We let our feelings about the days we have already lived overtake our desire (and hence ability) to move forward.
If you tend to think that your best days are behind your, or that you will never be able to achieve in the future the way you did at a previous time in your life, today’s quote is for you. Many individuals throughout history have recorded some of their greatest accomplishments in their later years. None of us know what impact we might have in the future. When we allocate too much of our thought time to reflecting on the past, we leave little room to dream, ponder, plan, try, and grow. The key is to believe that new things are both possible and worth the effort.
This is also true of our physical belongings. The majority of what we own should be items we use, need, and love in our current stage of life. I recommend every family member have at least one box designated for memorabilia, because it is fun to periodically look back and share memories and stories. One or two boxes that we pull out and enjoy are a treasure. In contrast, 20 boxes of memorabilia, stacked, packed, and accumulating dust in an attic or basement is a burden. When there is too much, we never pull it out and look at. Likewise, a home whose décor is a shrine to a previous life, a room full of supplies for an activity we no longer pursue, or a closet whose contents fits a previous body, can make us feel that we are no longer valuable. Such a mindset can hinder us from being open to wonderful things that might lie ahead.
Do you have a tendency to dwell in the past?