One of the greatest keys to success in life is the ability to be able to go forward into what lies ahead and away from the past with its success or failure. How often we live in the past. It is a difficult concept because our only frame of reference is the past and yet our past can become our biggest hindrance. I know a lady who lived during the Second World War, and it had a profound effect on her. As a result of living in a time when nothing was available, everything had to be kept – just in case. Although she never suffered lack, she could not shake this ‘in case’ attitude. In the process she spent her life hoarding things, most of which she never used or enjoyed. When the time came to move to a retirement home, most of the things had to be disposed of by relatives, much to the heartache of the lady! It is so easy to live in the past and in the process our past (however good or bad) can rob us of our present and future freedom.


Our past successes and our past failures can be our biggest hindrance. I once heard a story of an older accomplished motor racing driver who was busy training a new potential driver. As they got into the racing car, the older driver taught the younger man a valuable lesson. Before even starting the car he reached up, grabbed the rear-view mirror, and ripped it off, throwing it out of the window. He said what is behind you is behind you and you will never win a race if you are preoccupied with what is going on behind you or in your past. You win a race by looking forward towards the goal. That was all this new driver needed to be concerned about. In a sense this lesson applies to our everyday life. When we drive a car we cannot continually be focused on what is going on in the rear-view mirror. This is sure to land us in an accident. We have to focus on what is happening ahead. How much time do you spend looking in the rear-view mirror of life? We need to be radical. We need to rip out the rear-view mirrors of our lives. We need to stop focusing on the little we can see through the rear-view mirror and start looking through the windscreen, which is many times the size of the mirror and is the window on all that lies ahead.

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