day 801: Rearview Mirrors

“Do not say, ‘Why were the former days better than these?’ For you do not inquire wisely concerning this”

Here in America we are taught in driver’s training lessons to glance into the rear view mirror every 10-20 seconds. I distinctly remember this lesson as my driver’s ed teacher (who I don’t remember his name but taught health and P.E. in the normal school year) had a stopwatch and every 10-20 seconds would say to us, “Glance”. It has stuck with me as you can tell. But, that’s not to say that we should spend more time than this with the rear view mirror. I know a number of executives who spend most of their time and energy contemplating and remembering the past to either romanticize a time that they wish they could return to, or worse to complain and bemoan how the past were the good “back in the day” times. Understanding and knowing the past can be very helpful in not making the same mistakes twice and of course history does teach us lessons and in some cases does repeat itself. But, that does not mean we can take our businesses and live in the past or have our leaders spending too much time in the rear view mirror.

In our daily lives we can learn from the verse in Ecclesiastes. Our God is a God of hopefulness and about a future beyond our comprehension. For us to live in the past or looking over our shoulder for the “ifs and buts and “what ifs” then we are turning our heads to what God would have in store for us. And, we might well miss what God wants us to do for Him. At the beginning of this New Year we should be looking forward and setting our goals for how we will grow and develop throughout the year. Goals are future focused and other than setting the starting point, there isn’t any good reason to spend time in the rear view mirror. Let’s make 2012 the year of the future!

Reference: Ecclesiastes 7:10

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