Focus Forward

Failure is in my history, but greatness is in front of me.”

This past weekend I was watching Back To the Future starring Michael J Fox. In this classic movie, Michael’s character Marty Mcfly, and his scientist friend traveled through time in their DeLorean automobile time machine. If they were unhappy with their results, they hopped in the DeLorean and went back in time to make corrections. Their DeLorean gave them the opportunity for a “do over” if they made a bad decision.

Have you ever made a hiring decision, and after 30 days, wished you had a DeLorean to hop into? Or maybe you gave a sales presentation, but were unable to land the account. What about the time you interviewed unsuccessfully for that position and had regrets about how you answered the questions?

I have experienced each of these setbacks and can relate to the regret that you feel when they occur. When you hang on to the regret you waste time that should be invested in moving forward. The question becomes, how do you maintain a forward focus in spite of a painful past?  The answers below will help you to make better use of your time and experience less stress.

The inquiry I am referring to is with you.  Whenever you experience a setback, you should make an inquiry by asking yourself the following question: “What did I learn from this experience?”  Next,  make a list of your lessons learned and anytime you are tempted to beat your self up, refer back to your list.  Noted philosopher Edmond Burke said these very famous words: “Those who don't know history are destined to repeat it."  Focusing on the lesson will position you for future success and keep you from repeating the same mistakes.

The second key to maintaining a forward focus is to commit to daily improvement. Every day you should do something to get better at your craft and move towards your calling. For example, I have a daily reading schedule that results in me reading three books a month. If I had a major setback three months ago, I don’t dwell on it because I realize that I have read nine books since then. I am smarter today than I was three months ago based on what I have read.

According to modern medical research, the cells in our bodies completely regenerate and renew themselves every 11 months. This means that you are a new creature and the mistakes of your past were performed by the OLD you! Referring to your lessons learned list and committing to daily improvement will help you to maintain a forward focus and make the most productive use of your time.


Eric M. Twiggs
Your Procrastination Prevention Partner