Tiny Wisdom: On the Future

“Whatever the past has been, you have a spotless future.” ~Unknown

Everyone has something in their past they wish they could change. Whether it’s a mistake, a regret, a disappointment, or a deep pain, we’ve all had moments that can feel overwhelming if we try to hold onto them while building tomorrow.

We can never change what’s come and gone, but we can always choose instead to focus on what’s coming and where we’re going.

The future is never set in stone, no matter how limiting the past may have been. The only thing standing between us and new possibilities is our attachment to the possibilities we lost.

Today, if you find yourself dwelling on something that happened before, and how you felt about it, shift your focus to what you want to feel right now, and then do something to create it. Take a walk, call a friend, or look up that class you want to take, and immerse yourself in that moment.

The future is unwritten. The question is whether we’ll write it in response to everything that appears to have gone wrong in the past, or in awareness of everything that’s going right in the present.

Photo by swanksalot

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha and Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. Her latest bookTiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal, which includes 15 coloring pages, is now available for purchase. For daily wisdom, follow Tiny Buddha on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram..

See a typo, an inaccuracy, or something offensive? Please contact us so we can fix it!
  • So true. Change is so much about just deciding to let go of the old. Fears, doubts and excuses. I would argue that it’s not the past holding you back. The past has no power. What holds you back is your attachment to it in the present. And you can choose to be attached or to let go in the present. I’ve often found in my life that I don’t even have to make an effort towards in order to change; I just have to stop resisting it.

  • Listened to a talk by Phillip Moffitt, on “Personal Defeat” . He says, “This can happen because you thought you had the capacity but something in that moment in time was different from the capacity you thought you had. It may be that you in fact lacked a sufficient leadership skill, or an analytical skill. Or, you may have lacked a natural attribute. Or, you simply may have had the wrong personality at that time in your life for that moment, and it just didn’t work out.
    It could be that you weren’t sufficiently mature or sufficiently experienced. That’s all it was, but it feels so personal to you, and it really was just causes and conditions. You may have lacked focus or clarity for whatever reason. You may have been too afraid, or unsure, or greedy, or aversive, or doubtful, or angry. You may have been lazy or too self-indulgent. All of these emotional hindrances may have arisen. . Everything I have mentioned is within all of us. There’s not one of those that you’re exempt from or that I’m exempt from. So, there arose some moment of personal defeat for you, and it stayed around. It haunts you. It’s like this ghost, this shadow, that travels with you through your life. Learn some skillful ways of “being with” your personal defeat. Just because the memory comes up doesn’t mean that it has you. I found this talk very helpful.