The speed at which you forget the past

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Ajit Varwandkar


It is natural to experience joys as well as sorrows in life. You walk into a garden and appreciate the rose. You love the beautiful view, and also the fragrance. With an intent to make this experience a part of your routine life, you venture to pluck the flower. That’s when the thorns do show up and scratch their existence on your skin!

What would you do when you visit the garden next? Or will you stop going to the nursery? Would you accept your experience and continue with the practice to pluck flowers? Your answers to these questions can reveal a lot about the type of personality you bear! Under such circumstances, usually, there are three different types of responses people make. Basis those, the categorisation of personalities can be made as below:

A. People whose thoughts are glued into the past
B. Those who keep extrapolating their past experiences to cast their future!
C. Those who prefer to think for and live in future

Let us understand these three different personalities in detail.

A. When your thoughts are stuck with your past experiences, there are many severe casualties. Mental peace is prominent of those. Living in the past and not relenting to the emotional hazards of a bygone era can only make a person growth resistant. For such people, happiness is always a function of the happenings of the past!

Excess belief and reliance in the past can render a person unfit to gel in the concurrent world situations. It is like sitting in the driver’s seat of your car and wanting to move ahead based on all that you can see in the rear-view mirror! Some rules can never deviate. If you wish to move forward, look in that direction.

B. The second kind of people do not spend all their time in the past but still get firmly hooked to their experiences. These personalities are no better than the first ones. Such people indulge in excess mining of historical data to make decisions of the future.

Such people claim themselves to be moderate and flexible in accommodating their past. However, that’s false because for such people, if something did not work yesterday means that it may not be possible even today.

Laddu was one such person, who believed that he is an evolved, futuristic and a responsible learner. Once, when he got stuck with some significant decision making, he met me seeking specific advice. On detailed discussions, I realised that Laddu had an excess emotional indulgence with his past. I could feel his strong attitude to justify every step from his past. Knowing the fact thoroughly well that there is no undo button in life, Laddu would want to redo all his acts from the standard reference points of his past! It was an effort to convince Laddu that future is never travelled as per the milestones of the past!

C. The third category of people is those who never engage with their past. For such people, one can have the future on one end of the present and only ‘experience’ on the other end! Past is nothing but an experience to be unlearned as soon as possible!

Once, I was travelling from one city to another by car. Somewhere midway in the journey, I landed up at a place where the road was severely damaged. Somehow, we drove a few hundred meters ahead. That’s when the driver raised the alarm. He said, ‘sir, this road is so bad, it may take us nowhere. Let’s return’. Somehow, my instinct did not allow me to accept the U-turn. We kept moving ahead and after a few kilometres, almost when we had lost hope and sense of direction, there emerged a highway! Eventually, we realised that our destination was very close. Had I got influenced by my previous road travel experiences, I might have taken more time to arrive at the destination!

Friends, the speed at which we let go our past decides the proportion of happiness we have in our life. Higher the rate, more significant the volume of joy in our mindscape! The more obnoxious and intoxicating the past is, all the more it is must get out of its clutches.

Recently I met a cancer survivor. He is the General Manager of Human Resource function with a leading organisation. While discussions related to his health, he said, “I am never at dis-ease with my physical situation. The reason being I never allow my past to interfere with my future. There are no reference points, only aspirations, beliefs and hopes for the future! See, I am not a sponge which absorbs the past like the way it sucks the ink!”

Fantastic Inspiration was drawn from the discussion. I am sure, if a person wishes to live life to the fullest, he/she has to transform from the type A or B into the type C personality. The garden will always have roses to bloom. Still, only those who come inside it with a fresh attitude of joy can experience the ecstasy!


DISCLAIMER : Views expressed above are the author’s own.

via TOI Blog

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