Creating a Better Future by Changing Your Past
We often hear people say, “If only I could change the past, then…..” Not just the people on the internet, but people around us, and maybe even we ourselves have said, or hoped, that we could change the past.
Well, believe it or not, every single person on this planet Earth have a few things they wished they could change. Be it regrets or embarrassing moments, most of us have had our what if’s and convinced ourselves that things might’ve turned out better if we did this instead of that and did that instead of this.
But what if your “what if’s” are the one thing that’s stopping you from moving on and keeping you stuck on your what-if alternate universe that is your mind?
The fascinating thing about the past is that it is made of today, of now, and of right at this moment. But the annoying thing about the past is that we sometimes regret it.
If you’re reading this hoping I’m selling a time-machine that could change what’s already happened, well, I’m sorry, Youtube is probably the closest thing we’ll ever get to a time machine.
The great news though, we can change our ‘future’ past.
According to a journal by Luisa Pape and Luis F. Martinez called “Past and Future Regret and Missed Opportunities: An Experimental Approach on Separate Evaluation and Different Time Frames,” regret is an emotion that emerges when a person thinks a different decision could make the current situation better.
Citing from Gilovich & Medvec, 1994; Roese & Summerville, 2005, there are two causes of regrets: action and inaction. Example for an inaction action is for letting an opportunity in front of us passes untouched.
“In the short term, actions cause more painful feelings but inaction causes more regret in the long run.”
None of us like the feeling of regrets but when we acknowledge the fact that what we can do is only in the NOW, do our best, and accept the fact that what had been done are done; instead of dwelling on the past, we might have a better chance of moving on and creating new opportunities for ourselves that our future self will thank us for.
There’s no eraser for our ugly pasts, but there’s always a more colorful, a bolder pen to write our journey with. When you pay more attention to the bolder green, pink, and blue strokes on your journey that is the now, you’re slowly making progress on shaping your future self to be how you want it to be.
It’s easier to let the procrastination take control and it’s much more fun to live on your rent-free scenario-based head, but you’re not doing yourself any justice. You’re responsible for what you’re doing now, what you’re gonna do later, and most importantly, you’re responsible for the reaction your future self will have on the ‘now’ past you.
So find your drive and take over the steering wheel of your life, even if you’re a bad driver.