Learning from your Past

Reflection is a skill that most of us spend far too little time using.  In our fast-paced world we often move so fast that we are stuck in the present and constantly looking forward.  I have found that occasional reflection on where I have been and how the past influenced the present, and the future, can be of great benefit.  Even more, knowing what your past has provided can help you gain greater insight into what potential futures you might explore.  Let me share an example from my own life.

  • From 1994 through 2001 I spent a great deal of time, especially from 1994-1996 building relationships and developing and sharing a story about a vision that became reality within a community.  This experience prepared me well for the business development work I do now in my firm.
  • In 1995 I learned how to prepare budgets for a business that had yet to open.  This ability to predict and adjust has helped me in my own business that I started in 2010.
  • From 2001 through 2006 I worked in a new industry, something totally different than anything I had done before.  This work and relationship building experience helped me prepare the starting point for my own work in the Talent Acquisition and Talent Development world that started in 2006.

I could provide many other examples, but these three shown above give specific examples of how current work helped prepare me for future endeavors.

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Take the time to reflect upon what you have done and what you are doing.  How will it help you as you move into near term and long term opportunities in your plan?

Covey says you should begin with the end in mind.  Knowing where you are going is important, but understanding where you have been and what you have learned can make the future destination more attainable.