All this month on Virgin.com we’re discussing turning points, with a variety of blogs from entrepreneurs and thought-leaders on the subject. A lot of the authors use hindsight, as a way to learn from past in order to turn a corner in the future. While I believe that hindsight is a wonderful thing, I’ve always preferred to keep my eyes on the road ahead.
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How much time do you spend looking back, when you could be focusing on what is right in front of you? How often do you waste energy worrying about past mistakes, rather than planning future successes?
The windshield effect explains how, if you want to go forwards, you need to concentrate on the windshield and what is ahead of you. However, you can't do this without glancing in the wing mirrors to see what is either side of you, and at the head mirror to see what is behind you. In order to progress, one must understand and accept what has came before, and learn from it.
Richard Branson car window
Personally, while I prefer not to dwell on the past, I often take the mistakes I've previously made and apply them to new decisions. Nevertheless, if you spend too much time wallowing on what is behind you, rather than looking in front, then you will crash and burn. Prisoners of the past have no escape to their own futures. Try to balance learning from the lessons that have gone before with throwing yourself into the challenges of the future.
Don’t look back, keep looking at the road ahead – if your eyes are fixed on the rear-view mirror, you’ll miss that important turn coming up. Oh, and remember to clean the windshield every now and then!
Richard Branson walking
How has not dwelling on the past enabled you to see a turning point? I’d like to hear about your experience in the comments below.