the past fiction

The Past Is Fiction

A car accident involving two cars occurs at an intersection and there are three witnesses. If you were to ask each driver and each of the three witnesses what happened it is very likely that you will get five totally different responses.  The accident was an event that absolutely happened but each person has their own story based on their viewing location and the time that they had to see what actually happened. Each story is based on the unique perspective of each witness.

Just like an automobile accident our personal histories and stories all depend on our perspectives.

The past is nothing but a story… a series of events that we witness from our own perspective that we create our own narrative about. Even if we were there, chances are that even in a short amount of time we rewrite our own history in an effort to make it grander or more disastrous than it actually was.

The past is a story and in many ways fictionalized. In terms of self-growth, goal setting, and setting out to achieve our goals, it is sometimes common to have insecurities, doubts, and fears based solely on our past experiences. Our expectations of the future are assumed to be no different than our results of the past.

Tony Robbins says:

“The past does not predict the future
– unless you live in it”.

The bottom line is just because you attempted something in the past, it does not automatically mean that you will fail on your next attempt or attempts in the future. Past results do not equal future results.

In terms of goal setting and life achievement, letting go of the past can be a very rewarding exercise. If the day before, the week before, or the months and years preceding did not meet our expectations,  hanging onto those memories or history serves no purpose. But, if we greet each new day for what it is, a new opportunity to excel, and another chance to succeed, then we no longer need the past.

When Carlos Casteneda wrote Journey to Ixtlan, he quoted Don Juan to say… “It is best to erase all personal history because that makes us free from the encumbering thoughts of other people. I have, little by little, created a fog around me and my life. And now nobody knows for sure who I am or what I do. Not even I.”

It is that that last sentence that says it all…. “Not even I.” By erasing his own personal history he can no longer be encumbered by his own thoughts about himself. For Don Juan, there is not the first consideration that future can equal the past since the past is functionally cut off and discarded. It is an extreme and absolute example but it does show how effective it can be to not continually reference the past when it comes to designing an awesome future life.

It is okay to have fond remembrances to reflect on. Those are the treasures of life, but to wallow in the past and base future expectations on negative thoughts does no good.

Make your goals grand and go for them. Discard past results and experiences and expect the best. The past is fiction anyway.

Andy Wooten M.A. Counseling – Certified Life Coach – Aspen, Colorado