Back to the Future

Back to the Future

Back to the Future – Is it possible to move forward without looking back?

There seems to be polar opposite opinions on this question. When examined, there are many opposite views, opinions and research thoughts on the question: Can we move forward in our lives and not have our past influence that path?

Tony Robins tells us that “your past does not determine your future”.  While Steve Pavlina believes Tony is dead wrong. An article in Psychology Today suggested that psychological scientists who study human behavior agree that past behavior is a useful marker for future behavior. But only under certain specific conditions:

-High-frequency, habitual behaviors are more predictive than infrequent behaviors.

-Predicting future behaviors works best only over short time intervals.

In her very popular Ted video, Jane Fonda spoke about The Third Act: the time of our lives after we turn 60. “Our second full-adult stage” as she suggests is an awakening and movement towards our full potential and creative being. Ms. Fonda suggests in order to truly embrace our Third Act, we must examine our past and in fact go back and do a life review in order to embrace the full color and potential of our future.

Personally, I am a believer of it all. I know our past absolutely does affect our future but it does not define our future. Who I was even one year ago is a completely different person from the one on the keyboards right now.  And I see all the flaws, mistakes, regrets and accomplishments as the color on my canvas that now is being added to. This past week, I attended my first ever “Creative Art Retreat”.  Now, you must first understand, I am not an artist. I’ve never drawn anything, let alone paint it.

As I approached putting color onto paper last week, I found that instead of me saying, “I need to fix “what I just did, I began saying, “I need to add to what I just did”. And that’s the difference.

Here are a few creative questions to help you be more curious about your past, and move towards your future.

A Life in Review…

1. When you were 10, what was your biggest goal for your life?

2. What, to date, has been your proudest accomplishment?

3. If you could talk to your 14-year-old self, what would you ask her/him?

4. What have you done in your life that you still love doing? ie: sports, gardening, being outdoors, arts, crafts, being around people, cooking…?

5. What have been some of your bigger regrets?

6. What has been your favourite day of your life, up to this point?

7. If you could change a decision you made earlier in your life, what would you change and why?

8. From a heritage point of view, what were your parents/guardians like?  What were their parents like?

To the Future and Beyond…

I couldn’t resist that movie quote, and here are a few questions to get you more curious moving forward.

1. If you could spend one whole day with anyone in the world who is currently alive, who would you select and why?

2. If you were to receive any existing public award, what award would you like to win?

3. If you could spend a day with any historical figure, who would you choose and why?

4. Who inspires you?

5. What are 3 things on your bucket list?

6. If you had an enormous yacht, what would you name it?

7. If you could foresee a single day of your future in its entirety, what date would you select?

8. What are you passionate about?

9. Where is your favourite place to dine in your community?  What do you like about it?

10. What is your personal mission?

11. If you could achieve one thing within your field, what would it be?

12. Where do you want your career/business/organization to be in 5 years?

13. If you were trapped in an elevator with several wealthy investors from any field, which field would you want them to be experts in? What would you say to them/talk about?

14. If I could change 1 thing about your life, what would that be?

Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame