How to Make Pondering the Past Productive

False future or permanent past

Life is like a chess game. That is how my personality type defines the way I think.  I am always considering my next move.  However, as I have journeyed over the hill the last couple years, always thinking in these terms hasn’t been as powerful as you might think. I have spent a lot of time in my mind creating what I now recognize as false futures. Dreaming and planning for the future I want to create while totally missing the power of the present. In view of my age, my perspective is changing. It’s very likely I have more years in the rearview mirror than ahead in the windshield. While I’m hardwired to be future-minded I do find myself pondering the past more than I have before.  Ultimately, whether I’m pondering the false future or the permanent past I’m missing the powerful present.

Pondering the past is just a peculiar way of procrastinating the present. @KarenZeigler tweet

Turn pondering the past into a productive powerful present

While we can’t keep our mind from going to the past, we can ensure that our time spent there is productive. In other words, turning our thoughts of the past into power for the present.  When I find myself stuck in thoughts of the past, I grab my journal and write out the following aspects.

All you need to bring with you from the past today is: P-the Positive experiences A-your Accomplishments S-that your Survived T-what you are Thankful for tweet

In my final analysis, I remind myself of the wisdom of this quote by William Ward.

To live each day with zest! To daily grow and try to be my highest and my best! I have the opportunity once more to right some wrongs, to pray for peace, to plant a tree and sing more joyful songs! -William Arthur Ward

Grab your journal; it’s your turn to grow

Take a few moments and reflect on where thoughts about the past tend to land for you.

  1. Take a moment to journal through the P-A-S-T acronym above regarding those past thoughts that seem to reoccur for you.
  2. What are your William Ward activities can you engage in to return to the present?
  3. Who in your life right now is stuck in the past? How can you encourage them to move to the power of the present?


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