Do you spend a lot of time reminiscing about the past? If the answer is yes, that’s okay. Thinking fondly about the past and looking back at the way things used to be isn’t a bad thing until it is.
There is a difference between thinking about the past and living in it. Sometimes, we tend to live in the past because it’s familiar – we know what happened; we know the outcome – there are no surprises. Think about why you watch your reruns of your favourite old sitcoms “Jangan Ketawa” or “Pi Mai Pi Mai Tang Tu” over and over again.
This is what happens when we live in the past. We choose to live there because it’s familiar. We know everything that happened. When the past was really good, you can live there because just thinking back on it gives you a feeling of comfort, glory and happiness.
I spent 5 years in the MCKK and am proud to have served many years in MCOBA, the alumni association of MCKK. I have many more seniors who also served and although they has been separated from the MCKK and MCOBA for many, many years, they still lives there. Every story they tells is about his days in the MCKK or MCOBA; every situation or scenario that is currently happening is compared to the ‘good old days’ being in MCKK or MCOBA. No doubt they have been ‘infected’ by the DMTS (During My Time Syndrome) and suffer from the WIWC (When I Was Complex). Their unreasoning prejudices are bred out of the continual living in the past glory.
They have this notion that when they were there, everything had went well and dandy to a point that compared to current situation, it is incompetent and moved by ‘unlearned’ people. People who live in the past generally are afraid to compete in the present. We’ve got our faults, but living in the past is not one of them. There’s no future in it. Perfecting the past or saying the past was perfect blurs your focus of the future.
Are you living in the past? You can ask yourself the following questions to help you figure it out:
1. Is there one particular period from the past that you find yourself clinging on to?
2. Do you feel that you will never reach that level of happiness / status / satisfaction / acceptance / etc. again?
3. Are you frustrated with where you currently are in life?
4. Are you fearful of the future?
5. Does thinking about the past actually make you sad?
If you find that you are clinging to a specific period from your past because you don’t feel there is anything in the present or future that could possibly better, and if thinking about the past in that way actually makes you sad, you may be stuck in the past.
The only reason time seems to be moving rather fast is that sometimes we’re too busy living in the past. You can’t have a better tomorrow if you’re thinking about yesterday.
I can tell you that the past is a great place and I don’t want to erase it or to regret it, but I don’t want to be its prisoner either.
To my senior brothers, a piece of advice, brothers; Nothing that happened before this moment has any power over you whatsoever, except to the extent to which you carry it into this moment. Dwell in the present, get involve with full forgiveness of yourself and others, and your life will be lifted to divine right order…perfection, prosperity and peace. Over reliance on past glory is the past tense of success and the present tense of failure. Your inability to do what you are noted for doing is a critical step to wading off your past glories of excellence!
I don’t believe in living in the past. Living in the past is for cowards. If you live in the past, you die in the past.
In the words of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow “..Look not mournfully or glad fully into the past, it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present, it is thine. Go forth to meet the shadowy future without fear and with a manly heart.”