The Challenge of Looking Forward or Backward!

I was driving to town the other day remarking to my wife about our extremely warm, late winter/early spring weather. The trees are starting to get their leaves, and fruit trees are beginning to blossom. Some of our neighbors are putting vegetables in the ground. Normally, people don’t start planting until mid-May.

My first thought was that these temperatures aren’t normal. I started quoting the average high and low temperatures for this time of year. My conjecture was that it surely has something to do with global warming. Then I moved on to worrying that there may be a frost that would damage the fruit.

All of a sudden, I realized what I was doing.  I was putting my attention on either the past when I was comparing today’s temperatures, or the future, when I was worrying about a frost. While doing this, I was missing out on the beauty of today!

This is familiar to most of us. We spend time worrying about the future. Our inner questions are about what could happen. The more attention we place on the future through the lens of fear, we are both less present to what’s going on around us and see fewer possibilities.

Focusing on the past has even more interesting consequences. We look at the past as if it is a predictor of the present and future. We forget that every moment is unique. The myriad factors that make up my experiences right now can never be replicated. So, believing that the past will be duplicated is a formula for disappointment.

The only way to clarity is in the present moment.

Until later,


Author: Thomas White

Over the past thirty-five years, Thomas White has created and led private and public organizations that initiated breakthroughs in areas as diverse as computer software, publishing, printing, market research, leadership development and organizational change. The common ingredients in his success are simple. He looked beyond the limitations that others believed and found real solutions to needs that business leaders have. He attracted the best talent to translate these innovative solutions into practical products and services that were of high value to customers. He created cultures where people love what they do, work at their best and produce extraordinary results. In addition to his role as a business leader, Thomas has been a pioneer and inventor of technologies in the computer-networking field. He is a patent holder for innovations in business process and workflow technology. As part of his passion for educating others about the interface of human and computer systems, he was the co-author of “New Tools for New Times, The Workflow Paradigm”. He has also written articles for numerous publications. In 2001, he turned his attention from leading companies to supporting leadership teams in creating organizations of excellence. After many years of being a part of the machine of change, Thomas recognized that business is the most powerful force in the world. It has a major impact on public policy and governments everywhere. It is a key influence on how we use our resources and sets an example of the values that shape communities from local to global. He formed the consulting firm of Profoundly Simple to be a guide for exemplary leaders - leaders who wisely uses the power they are entrusted with to serve their constituencies first and themselves second; leaders who know that it is good business to treat people with respect, honor the environment and act with impeccable integrity – leaders who inspire greatness in those around them and by doing so create great organizations that are notable examples of success. Feeling the itch to get back into the game again, Thomas joined with two long time friends, to start the C-Suite Network. This network of business leaders offers an online network, events, services, and insights to its 500,000 member community. In addition, the C-Suite Network produces and distributes television and radio content to an audience of over 5M per month

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