Time is a fickle relative pain in the ass. Sometimes we seem to have too much of it while at others we never seem to have enough. The sick joke of humanity is that we are acutely self aware of the fact that our time on this planet is limited. This is the exact opposite of “ignorance is bliss”. Biology and society alike place stressors on us daily that seem to guide our every decision. We are nostalgic of the past, struggle in the present, and dream of the future.
I prefer to plan my future rather than dream of it, but, that is not what is on my mind today. No, today I am struggling with something we all do. We let our day-to-day lives exist in a vacuum. We foolishly believe every action has dire consequences for our future while our past has no bearing on today. This cognitive pitfall is nothing short of egocentrism. Even the best of us can struggle to remember that, indeed, the world does not revolve around us.
So what do we do? What does one do when pressure of today seems all consuming? Your thoughts spiral out of control and you feel like a failure, you can’t succeed, or you made an unfixable mistake. Well, the sheer fact that you have made it another day on earth means you did something right yesterday. Humans (me specifically) are terrible at remembering our past success. We quickly dismiss prior triumphs to instead focus on the negatives of today.
When I am distraught or lost I try to let my history shed light on the path ahead. I have faced and overcome hardships in the past so it is foolish to think I can not overcome them tomorrow. It is important to note that the difficulties of life are relative to your own experience. While kids in the U.S. might struggle to pass calculus there are kids world wide fighting to live another day. I am not here to preach perspective but quite the opposite. How you face hardship is relative to the life you have lived.
Let your prior success act as an indicator of future performance. As I said earlier, given that you are here today means you did something correct yesterday. Cherish those memories of victory and know it can happen again. Whatever formula worked than can certainly work again. Learn from the past to focus on today to reach your destination tomorrow.