4 June 2021

Looking back may be the way forward!

To many in this world, looking back is a negative thought and many believe in the old adage - never look back. This concept of not looking back has many connotations - it could be our 'not-so-good' past life, our addictions, habits, failures and so on. It could also mean that there is no point in wasting our time by looking at what has happened as it cannot be re-written and hence many of us like to focus on the present and the future.

I would like to share a few thoughts on some amazing benefits we receive when we look back:

  1. In our car, we look in the rear-view mirror to see whether we are safe and not cutting the other person off, especially when changing lanes or overtaking.
  2. While on a long journey, we occasionally look back to feel motivated on seeing the great distance we have covered and to feel happy to note how far have we come.
  3. While we are faced with a tough situation, we motivate ourselves by reminiscing the previous tough situations we overcame and the mysteries we successfully solved along the way.
  4. We always hear people reminding us 'do not forget your past'. This gives us an opportunity to remember where we have come from and how we have progressed. This helps us to keep ourselves grounded.

"It's not about comparing ourselves with others, but comparing our today with our yesterday"

The 10 key take-aways of looking back for me is...


Looking back and examining our conscience. Analyzing what we have done in the past. Recalling to our minds and to move on from there. Getting to feel what we felt during our past.


We live in a world of relativity and everything in life comes with comparisons all the time. Our performances at school, at work, in sports or even in our lifestyle - there are always comparisons. We have ranking, rating and testimonials only to differentiate for the better. So looking back and comparing our progress over the years can only aid us in reaching further and faster.


Reminding ourselves of the victories - including the challenges and failures can only help building up our resilience and making us stronger than yesterday.


Looking back is one great self-reflective way of appreciating our past and being thankful. This can serve as a solid foundation for our future. People appreciate the tallest building by admiring its peak, but it's also worth applauding its great foundation as well.


Sometimes, when we take on new challenges, we may think that it is insurmountable and tough to get past it. This thinking would be true until a close friend or mentor of yours reminds you that you have done something similar (if not the same) in the past and then you feel extremely motivated to take on that task immediately.


Looking back helps us to stay grounded. Let's face it - no one becomes rich, popular or a star overnight. It takes time. So when we look back and recall our humble beginnings, that can help us stay the course and not have that great fall of pride and that of being unbeatable!


Every learning is an experience and with it comes advancement. We are always taught from young that it's not a problem when we make a mistake, but it is a challenge when we don't learn from our mistakes. Looking back helps us to learn from our experiences, setbacks, failures or even successes.

8.Past is best future predictor:

When we look at how we relate to people, we always look at what they have accomplished in the past and based on that, we judge what their future might hold for them. In interviews, in social interactions and relationships we look back and conclude for forward-looking interactions.

9.Purpose and objective:

Very often, we get carried away with our success and may tend to drift away from our very own personal goals. We are reminded time and time again to rethink our strategy. Looking back helps us to stay on track of our objective and purpose of life.


Last but definitely not the least, looking back helps us to identify and feel the pain that others are feeling. It gives us an opportunity to look at this as a collective race and not one of a solo performance. Even the best of athletes have helped fellow athletes cross the line, sacrificing their medal, just to help the other. Looking back helps us with the bigger picture of life and not to get stuck in this rat race.

This article is written by Willis Langford, an unbiased, result driven & passionate HR professional who has a flair for technology and keen interest in making this world a better place with a zest for life.