How We Use the Past to Shape Our Future

“Learn from the past, but don’t let it rule you” This is the title of Harvey Mackay’s Outswimming the Sharks column in Thursday’s business section of the Strib. The title pretty much sums up the content of the column. He also shared a couple of quotes I liked:

Eleanor Roosevelt: “Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.”


Mackay’s Moral: “If you don’t learn from your mistakes, there’s no sense making them”

I also came across the following reading during my morning quiet time in A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People

“I believe that, as a general rule, the weight of my prayer when I turn to God to acknowledge my failure should rest neither on self blame nor on petition for forgiveness but on my overarching need for divine help, for wisdom to see and strength to do what is right”. From the Heart of Pilgrimage by Christopher Bryant

As I have been reflecting, often obsessively I might add, on my past 25 years spent as a police officer I recall many successes and many mistakes. These two stories that I came across this week reinforced what I already knew, but often forget to practice. It is important not to forget the past, and in reality not easily done. But we have to remember the past, we need to live in the present and look to the future.

Take some time today and reflect on how the past impacts your daily thoughts and actions. Don’t let them consume you, but use them to help improve your future. Go the “glass half full” route, it is good for the soul!