Driving a car is a wonderful analogy to reference the past and the present. As any good driver knows we need to constantly look out the windshield to see where we are going.
We also periodically glance into our rear view mirror to see what is behind us. That mirror is small and we should only reference it occasionally and it also provides a wonderful guideline for looking at the past. It should make up a small percentage of our focus and only be done periodically. Yes, we do need to reference the past. The question is how much energy to devote to it. Returning to the analogy of the car, if we largely focus on the rear view mirror, sooner or later we are going to crash. We would have become so enmeshed looking backwards that our present course would have become neglected. The same thing can happen when we obsess about the past and ignore the present.
As far as the windshield is concerned, it’s size represents its importance. Our focus as we drive is to look at what is directly in front of us. However, we only have limited visibility to see further down the road. In life the same is true. Our task is to stay as much in the moment as possible. We can attempt to look towards the future, but must acknowledge that we have limited visibility at best.
Personal Reflection: Do I look through my rear view mirror too often?