Rear Views

I’ve made it a point not to watch those home video-type shows where an audience is laughing at other people’s pain. You know the type: someone goes plummeting down some stairs on a bike, slams into something and flips over their handlebars; or some unsuspecting man gets hit in his private area by a bat-swinging kid. Something just seems very wrong about laughing at their pain, so I usually don’t join in.

Perhaps this doesn’t apply to you and your perfect life, but metaphorically speaking, those videos remind me too much of my own life! If I rewind the video of my journey on this earth thus far, there are scores of things I could’ve, should’ve and would’ve done differently to avoid past trips, stumbles and downright crashes!

I could’ve used better marketing strategies in my failed business ventures before finding one that’s producing. I should’ve made better decisions to avoid two failed marriages before finally joining with Mr. Right. I would’ve incorporated better time management skills in handling a whole host of procrastinated projects if only…well, there’s no excuse and actually they’re still staring at me today from that proverbial shelf.

Yes, hindsight offers a lot of wisdom but life is about driving forward looking through the front windshield, not the rearview mirror. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is a great purpose for glancing at your rearview from time to time or else it wouldn’t be there in the first place. Its main purpose, however, is to administer quick adjustments to your plan, not to linger there with self-criticism.

I’ve found that journaling is a lot like glancing in the rearview mirror. When used effectively, it can present such a wider perspective on your whole journey; helping you reach your destination in a more profound and positive manner.  When you respond to your life’s experiences with raw, authentic thoughts written in a journal—or perhaps recorded electronically— on a daily or regular basis, you are giving your spirit permission to release any trauma, anxiety or angst associated with those experiences you wrote or spoke about. It’s there for you to briefly reflect on it; adjust any negative thinking or bad decision-making that brought you to that place; and then quickly revert to the front windshield to continue on in a stronger, more decisive manner.

If you’ve been struggling to lose weight, overcome illnesses, achieve higher income or maintain better relationships among family members, friends and loved ones, journaling may be your missing link. It may seem like too trivial of a task to lead to such major outcomes, but it has actually been scientifically proven that journaling releases stress and aids in one’s personal development, among many other benefits.

So, why not begin today to minimize the could’ve, would’ve, should’ve’s in your life? Take a few minutes to record words straight from your heart. Then buckle up as you speed towards your goal—looking forward with great focus and glancing back for quick adjustments.

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