“learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow” Albert Einstein

Yesterday, today was tomorrow and tomorrow, today will be yesterday. It is a simple logical statement isn’t it. Did you notice that today is in the middle of both statements? But is this where are you spending your time?

The problem with yesterday

One of the biggest problems a lot of us face is that we spend too much time living in our yesterdays, thinking about their successes, their good feelings, their glory or wallowing in their failures, the associated bad feelings and misery.

Yesterday is over, we shouldn’t hold on to it with a load of what if questions, but we shouldn’t forget our yesterdays either.

All of our yesterdays have valuable lessons contained within them.  Those lessons are only powerful if we apply them to our today.

Applying yesterday to today.

Yesterdays success carries with it valuable lessons that can be re-applied today to help us succeed today.

When we look at yesterdays success, it is not to dwell in its glory and the associated good feelings, but to examine it in a way that sheds light on the steps that led to that success. If we can look back on those yesterdays and see patterns of behaviour that have led to success it makes it easy to repeat those behaviours so that we can use them on whatever it is that we are working on today.

Examining our successes from our yesterdays and re-applying the patterns of behavior that led to those successes will help us to build upon that pattern of behavior, and when we repeat any pattern of behavior over and over, it becomes a habit. I am sure we would all rather have successful habits than unsuccessful ones.

Similarly if we are dwelling on yesterdays failures and the associated behaviors that led to those failures we risk sabotaging what we are working on today but allowing those feelings to negatively impact on today’s projects. However, just like examining our successes and finding patterns of behaviour to repeat, we should examine the failures of our yesterdays in such a way that sheds light on the patterns of behaviour that contributed to those failures.

When we can clearly see the shortfalls in our previous patterns of behaviour we are afforded to opportunity to avoid repeating them. When we actively avoid repeating behaviours that have led to failure, at the very least we have set out on a new course that provides the possibility of an alternative path.

Applying today to tomorrow

The patterns of thinking and behaviour that we are building today, are forming the foundations for what we are building in the future. As mentioned above we would all prefer to be building successful tomorrows. Like any structure our success needs to be built on a solid foundation and that means that we need to make a choice to spend our time today applying the lessons from yesterday so that tomorrow we can build our success.

image by Zoutdrop Via Flickr