Do we live life forwards, but examine it backwards?

Topic #273:  Do we live life forwards, but examine it backwards? This is something the philosopher Kikergard pointed out long ago.  Do you agree? If you do, isn’t this odd? It seems we’re likely to make many mistakes in basing our future, which is forward thinking, entirely on the past, which is looking backwards.

I absolutely agree with this.  I’m a person that loves to analysis my surroundings and environment and the situation but something I tend to analyze a lot is myself (as does a lot of people too).  I believe in the concept of reflecting on your past, living in the present and looking forwards optimistically.  To me, all these things conflict each other.

It may be odd to do that but I would ask you this: How can one not examine the past when in reality, it has made us the person we are today? Of course we have our nature but at the same time, if you think back to 10 years ago compared to now, I can say that even in the last 5 years, I’ve changed immensely as  person mentally and physically.  Our mindset changes our motivations and our mistakes poses as criticism that helps us to improve ourselves.  In the end, we are affected by our past. Everyone, whether they like it or not, will subconsciously think and reflect on their past. Is that a bad thing, to be engaging in “backward thinking”?

I actually think that living life forwards is right. To look forward to the future, to plan out what we want to do and motivate ourselves and plan ourselves in the right direction.  I think that’s absolutely the right thing to do.  We need to stay motivated to be ambitious and attain our unique goals.  It gives us hope for the future and helps us stay optimistic to what is to come in our lives.  Can we just be in “forward thinking” mode though?

I think life works in a way that backward thinking and forward thinking are things that work well together.  At least for me, it works where I reflect on my past (backward thinking) to improve myself for the future and push or remind myself that I can be a better person and achieve what I want.  It helps me position myself in the right direction to my future (forward thinking).

Okay, does that mean I only look backwards to examine the bad things in life? Absolutely not.  Today is Thanksgiving (in Canada) and this whole weekend (and every other day), I remain thankful for everything that I have.  I do reflect on the past to see how much more thankful I am of everyone and everything that has happened.  The mere fact that I’m still alive to live through all every moment is something I’m thankful for.  I’m thankful for all my great friends that are there for me when I need them (with and without being asked) and who let me be myself without judging.  I’m thankful for having a wonderful family.  I’m thankful for having my boyfriend and because of that, having a second family who loves me and makes me equally loved as my own.  How can not examine my past to be thankful for what I have today? Almost everything is what it is from what we’ve done in the past.

Therefore, backward thinking is simply a tool to help with our forward thinking, to make us better prepare for our future. Although I have fallen into the trap sometimes of falling down that black hole, where I do my backward thinking a bit too extensively and all I see is the crazy flawed life I’ve had in the past, all the bad decisions I’ve made and it made me lose track as to what to do next and whether I could improve myself.  There’s always something that makes us be happy with who we are.  For sure, life is not going to be all joy and happiness but the least we can do is try to change our mindsets to be that way.  After all, I don’t know what will happen in the future, what God or destiny (whatever you believe in) has in store for us.

On a side note, I slightly deep topic for Thanksgiving but I think that it matched it so amazingly.  Along with the fact that I had drafted something reflecting on the past summer but never posted it.  Today is a day that I especially  am thankful to everyone and I can tell the people I love and care about instead of just doing things that show my appreciation. I think back and remember all the great things (good and bad) that has happened and all the people who has been there to share my happiness with me and to support me and has been there when I go through my rough patches.

If I may add, if you are reading this right now, I’m thankful to you because you just gave me that little extra motivation to keep writing and the extra push to keep myself in the PostaWeek Challenge, no matter how busy I am.  Thank you!


4 thoughts on “Do we live life forwards, but examine it backwards?

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