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Should You Let Your Past Determine Your Future?

Should you let your past determine our future?  Well, yes and no.  Have you ever held a grudge so long and so strong that you hogtied yourself to keep yourself from doing anything different in the future?  Hate has captives.  For the rest of their lives these people think that they have no choice but to repeat the past  or to control their behavior in such a way as to avoid falling into a trap that they fell into in the past.  Have you ever heard of superstitious behavior.  This often happens when something happens just before something good or something bad happens and the person involved believes that they should either keep on doing that behavior or going into that situation or avoid it all together in the future when maybe it was just a coincidence.  This is common among gamblers and athletes.

You have a mind. Use it.  Learning should never stop and just because you have figured out one solution to a problem doesn’t mean you should always solve it that way in the future.  Be flexible, be creative.  Use the abilities that you were born with.  Don’t rely constantly on other persons solutions to solve your problem.  Just like shoes, other people’s solutions don’t always fit your situation  just like Wearing other people’s shoes  which might give you blisters, hammer toes or bunions, etc.

Now Is The Time That....

Now Is The Time That….

 

Sometimes even the “facts” that you learned as a child are erroneous and can trip you up.  With “good” parenting, children can get an accurate picture of themselves and their good points and bad points.  If parents have lots of problems themselves they can mess up their children’s lives sometimes permanently.  Get some perspective on your situation when you were home growing up and see it with another person’s eyes.  Children can often be gullible as they want to be loved and accepted. Some children have been raised by parents who still are children themselves and they may even see their children as rivals.  This does not lead to doing or saying things that are in the best interests of the child.

With the voice of authority our inner voice of conscience  often mimics what our parent  said to us when we were a child.  Others like teachers, grandparents, and neighbors can also effect not only your sense of conscience but also your self-concept whether it is good or bad.  Time for a reality check here.  Do your parents’ rules make sense now that you are an adult and on your own?  We do many things by force of habit (which is good when you are going for a bicycle rid)e.    Since most of these reactions are automatic, this makes it hard to change our behaviors even if they are self-defeating.  For example,  have you ever gotten your buttons pushed and reacted before you knew it letting the other person who pushed your buttons be in charge of your behavior?  This can be a demanding, controlling, or dependent parent or a rebellious child who does not respect you, who thinks he or she is better than you, and who wants to control you, not be controlled by you.

The harder it is to change and the more self-defeating your learned behaviors are, the more likely you should seek professional help as anger and depression can follow from a deep searching of your past experience.  It can destroy your equilibrium to delve too deeply or go too fast in your self-renovation project without good help.  I am rereading a book as I write this, Toxic Parents, by Dr. Susan Forward.  You can consult this book for more information and she also warns about applying this type of material to your situation.  She does this at the end of the book.

Past, Present and Future Which Is More Important To You?

Past, present, and future which is more important to you?  What do you spend your time thinking about?  You can’t change the past; you can just reinforce the effect that it has on you in the present and thus on the future.  Have you ever thought I can never live that down?  Do you realize that the person who hurt you has long forgotten about what they did and maybe even didn’t know or care at the time if your feelings were hurt?  The longer some people live, the more they have to regret.  Soon your memory is clogged with memories of the past leaving no room for the present or the future.  How many stories have you had repeatedly told to you by someone about their unhappy or unfortunate past?

Things of the present in front of the people o...

Things of the present in front of the people of the future (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or of the past, present, and future, is the future more important to you?  You may feel you have to be prepared for what misfortune the future might bring.  Worry can eat at your guts and tear at your insides and because of this are you really any more prepared when and if disaster does strike?  Yes, it might be silly or stupid to not plan at all for the future; but anxiety often does not help you to be anymore prepared for it.  In fact, anxiety can cause you to procrastinate in doing so and to wind up even more unprepared than you would have been.

Perhaps disaster does strike in the present moment.  Would you have paid an even bigger price if you had lived your life up to that point filled with dread for what might happen?  How many horrible things were created and experienced by your fertile mind when you could have been possiblely concentrating on the unspoiled peace and tranquility of the present moment?  In fact some people feel that the contents of your present thoughts have a lot to do with what will happen in the future, not only in a negative way, but also in a positive way.

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Generating Fear and Anger

Can't Get You Out of My Thoughts

Can't Get You Out of My Thoughts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Do you resent people for what you think they have done to you in the past?  Are you concerned about things over which you have no control in the future or in the present moment?  Do you continually have such thoughts and they make you anxious and get you upset?  Did you ever think about how easily you can be controlled  because of these thoughts?   You may be calmly sitting in your recliner watching TV when something is mentioned that you are concerned about but is not happening to you at the present moment.  Are your feelings aroused?  These are usually not positive thoughts.  They can prevent you from enjoying life’s present moments and keep you from being in the here and now.  What might have been a pleasant break from everyday responsibilities turns into an unpleasant reaction to hidden fears and concerns that are associated with the content of the TV program you are watching.  The news often does not calm you and fill you with gratitude for the things life has given you.  The current presidential campaigns have taken on a negative slant and they must think that it works or why do they this?   Why do people think that the best way to motivate people is by hate and fear?  Psychological studies involving behavior modification find that rewards do a better job of changing behavior especially when they are associated with a desired positive behavior.  Unwanted behavior when eliminated must have the behaviors that are wanted already in place to take their place.

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