3 Ways to Make the Most of the Past in the Future
The problem with memory is it feels reliable.
Looking back over an entire year may do more harm than good. Research shows you forget, embellish, even make up memories.**
6 problems with gazing into the distant past:
- Heavier weight to recent events.
- Exaggerate your own efforts and importance. You’re the star of the show in your memories.
- Over-emphasize negative experiences.
- Disappointment pollutes accomplishments, especially when it comes to others.
- Over-generalize reasons for successes.
- Judgments are based more on feelings than realities.
3 ways to make the most of the past in the future:
- Record the exploits of your team in a journal of remembrance every week. (52 times) Include your own exploits as well. Refuse to make a single negative entry. Just record highlights.
- Take a walk down memory lane with your team, quarterly. (Place a tickler for this meeting on 3/2/2015, right now.)
- How are we making progress?
- Where does it feel like we’re pushing ropes? What should we do?
- Which teammates are on the rise? How can we fuel their progress?
- Which teammates are stagnant, drifting, or on the decline? How can we refocus, reassign, and/or develop their talent? (Act with compassion, resolve, and the best interest of all parties.)
- What are we learning from failure? Succss?
- What does success look like three months from now, specifically, in terms of people.
- Read an entry from your journal of remembrance about each person around the table. (See #1)
- On March 2, 2015 send these questions to your team and schedule your quarterly walk down memory lane.
- Take a walk down memory lane, literally, with team members. Invite teammates on a walk to discuss their personal and professional trajectory. Identify and affirm one behavior that energizes organizational and individual progress. Do more of that.
The future is the past unless you change something now.
How can leaders make the most of the past in the future?
**How Many of Your Memories are Fake
**How much of Your Memory is True
I think, but think 🙂 that leaders should always focus on the future, regardless of the past and if it was good or negative. If I focus on the past, let it only be positively. So enjoy the future.
I think its good to honor milestones
Great one! Ending 2014 on a high note! Thank you
Dan’s post is truly excellent, not only because of its relevance to our introspection in the New Year, but also to the significance of our past on our future. We “spend” lots of time each year walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Perhaps it’s time to “invest” in a walk-thru to the rooms of our lives…not looking for flaws, but for “potential.”
Let’s not look at where we are, rather “how far we’ve come.” Who among us cannot attribute this distance to someone or something in our past? If we think hard enough there is certainly someone or something in our past to be grateful for—so that our entire past is not blighted by bad memories, and perhaps we can even remember good and fun times. Somewhere we learned to make the most of all that came and the least of all that went. We learned and learned, and we learned.
Everything happens for a reason: People change so we can learn to let go, things go wrong so we learn to appreciate them when they’re right. And, good things fall apart so better things can fall together. That “some good can be derived from every event” is better than everything happens for the best… which it assuredly does not.
The true value of our moments are not known until they have undergone the test of memory. A person’s memory is history. Like a person without memory–a people without history cannot grow wiser, better. We conquer by continuing.
Dan’s post made me think of the parallel of a leader’s and organization’s health–and one’s personal emotional health: Each must go where our goals manifest “fulfillment” …not only where they just become reality. That’s what making the most of our past in our future is all about. Our goals must be greater than our past. But that doesn’t mean our past was bad. Our past got us to where we are and we should be grateful and even joyful.
This was a great & interesting read! Thank you!