Hindsight is 20/20

In just a few short months, it will be 2020. It’s pretty amazing considering so many of us can vividly remember the “Y2K scare” as we anxiously awaited what we thought would be the world shutting down. How is that already 20 years ago?

Time flies by. I remember my parents saying time only goes by faster as you get older and I completely get it now, especially as I watch my two little boys figuring our their world and we count down the weeks for baby boy #3 to join us. I swear I just blink and a year goes by.

But almost simultaneously, I wonder how it’s possible that so much has changed in such little time. My passions and talents still remain the same, but the things that matter most to me have varied and, as a result, the way I do things and the reason I do things have changed.

We talk a lot about how life likes to present us with both opportunities and challenges, and both are great teachers when you learn where to see the lesson. Next year, I think we’ll start to see and hear the phrase “hindsight is 20/20” a lot as people look to explain away a mistake or a poor decision they’ve made.

So, before the phrase becomes overused to a fault, I’m taking a stand: “hindsight is 20/20” should never be an excuse. It should never be the reason why you believe something could have been done better or differently.

As a coach, I guide my clients to learn from their past but to spend more time in their present. With greater awareness in this moment, more options become available and possibilities increase. Spending time dwelling on the past distracts you from today, the place and time where life is happening.

So, instead of “hindsight is 20/20,” I’m encouraging everyone to replace it with a more productive phrase: 20/20 vision. This is about seeing clearly, not looking back. Though there are lessons when we review our past, what is more valuable is to be fully tuned in and present in the moment – to have 20/20 vision today. That takes effort, intention and commitment. It requires getting past habits and routines and seeing things new and fresh.

So, as we approach 2020, don’t think to yourself, “well, hindsight is 20/20 and I should have done XYZ.” Instead, use it as a reminder to bring your best and clearest vision to your day. Have 20/20 vision as you look at where you are and what is possible. Use this to see things clearly and to get energized for all that life can offer.

Let’s get started.

Take Action
Challenge yourself to take 10 minutes out of your day to create three lists. On one list, write down everything you love to do. On the second list, write down everything you’re really good at. And on the last list, write down everything that really matters to you.

You’ll discover that the real challenge is not to find the time to do it, but instead to avoid using each list to create the next one. There may be some overlap, but the point of this exercise is to illustrate that, for example, you may have existing passions (what you love to do) and talents (what you’re really good at) that are aligned but you may never have considered exploring as a job, career or hobby.

Let the term 20/20 not make you focus on hindsight, but rather be an inspiration to see clearly today. See the real you. Define what makes you happy. Find your fit in today’s world. Then go make it happen.

By Kristin Allaben

Consider reading Managing Your Self-Talk

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