If you walk down the street in New York City and look behind you as you try to keep moving forward, you will smack into a bunch of people.
It will not be pretty.
Some people might yell. Some people might stop; others will probably just keep walking. Maybe you’ll lose your belongings on the sidewalk. Maybe not. Either way, you will lose time. You will lose your focus. You will be late to whatever that thing was that you were headed to. You’ll stop moving forward.
I think we have to apply this very same concept to our own lives.
If you’re constantly looking back, how can you stay in the present and move towards the future?
Now, let’s not misconstrue this — we’re not talking about reflecting, here. Reflection is good — it’s healthy, it’s part of growth. To be able to reflect upon your actions, and then critique them, and then ultimately learn from them, is a sign of balance and adulthood.
But to obsess about what happened in the past? That can strangle your future. That obsession will cause you to lose time and focus. It will stop you from growing and loving and learning, for when you obsess about the past, you are stopping yourself from living to your fullest potential, and that would be a crime.
That would be a shame.
How can you see where you are if you’re constantly looking behind you? How can you see what surrounds you if you never let yourself look to the left or the right? How can you possibly expect yourself to evolve if you’re stuck in what once was?
Look to the past to see how far you’ve come, but don’t forget to turn your head so that you can see how far you want to go. Look to your past to learn from your mistakes, but then let yourself grow in the present and move towards the future.