How to Use your Past to Design the Future

Recalling about your past is a natural thing for any human being. Your past is a two-way sword: your success and two failures. Both sides can impact your present life and your ability to move forward. I read a paper written by Kathleen Arnold, Kathleen McDermott, and Karl Szpunar on Memory and Cognition. The authors indicated that your memory strongly influences your ability to envision the future for the past. Through this article, I would like to share how both sides of your past sword can impact your tomorrow and how you can mitigate those impacts and move forward.

How Can your memories Impact your tomorrow?

We use our past to predict our future, assuming that all conditions remain constant. If we consider different situations, we can use our experience as lessons learned. In cases that fail, we will try as much as possible to avoid them in our plans and include those that were a success. The following are lessons from the past that can assist planning the future.

Selection of friends

In terms of using your experience to select your future friends, commonly, you will start thinking of your past friends who contributed to your success and plan to continue with or get some more of the same kind. However, you may wish to go without friends with whom you found yourself to the ditch. Thus, using your experience, you can envisage the kind of friendship that will lead you to achieve your goals successfully.

Time Management

You may think of how you managed your time in the past, memorize the resultant situations, and plan how you would like your future.

Cash flow management

Cash flow aspects can be part and parcel when using experience to design the future. In this case, you may consider your past revenues and expenditure line. Recalling how your past sources of revenues may assist in analyzing what worked and what did not work and hence, correctly predict the future. Along with the revenue side, the past expenditure habit can make lessons for the future. Proper financial management calls for your revenues to be more than expenditures.


Lifestyle can sometimes be a reason for success or failure. Your lifestyle can explain if you are existing or living. Living and existing may seem like a synonym to each other, but they are different. I prefer living to exist because living involves meaning and purpose; hence, you have a reason for being there. To exist means that you are just there with no purpose in life. We pass through different paths, and we face challenges that define us today depending on how we dealt with them in the past. Lifestyle can lead you to bad experiences, bad choices, etc.

Some tips that can let you  forget your past and move forward

1. Focus on the present

One of the most effective ways of letting go of the past is to embrace the present. Let bygone be bygone to avoid getting consumed with the past negativity. Keep yourself active and enjoy the present moment, learn new things and exert effort into them. Meditate, exercise, and stay away from troubles and distractions. Give proper value to your ideas instead of taking them for granted because they might be your way to success.

2. Think about your responsibilities and people around you

Stop thinking about yourself for a second and think about people who look upon you, including your kids, spouse, family, and everyone who might need your support. You will get energized and more zeal to move forward when looking at such people.

3. Think of the People whom you want to prove wrong

Remind yourself about the people with negative mindsets about you, the people who always wanted to bring you down, and try your best to stay away from them. Meet new people and new friends worthy of your time and make them feel proud of you. In such an environment, you will get motivated to move forward.

4. Be happy and forgive who wronged you

Most people find it hard to forgive others because of what they did to them; instead, they hold grudges, not knowing that is harmful to themselves. Forgive everyone, let them out of your mind, focus on your happiness, eat healthily, try new things, and do what makes you happy, and do not forget to get time to listen to some soft music if it can make you happy. Trust me; you will start ignoring your past and powerfully move forward.

5. Disconnect for a while

Take some time away from the environment, places, people, and things that can remind you of your past. Consider putting off your mobile phone for a while; you will stay away from social media to avoid distraction. Thus, new places and new people can be medicinal to clear up your head. While disconnected, give yourself a treat, a chance to experience new things, and start designing your future path. If possible,  go to places that you have never been there before. Trust me; you will experience energy you have never experienced before on your time back.

6. Stop blaming others; start to make positive change

You do not always get what you planned because life can go otherwise. In such cases, stop blaming others. Look at things through a positive eye and start making some positive changes. Stop pointing fingers at your parents, college professors, and friends. The energy you use to think about others and throw out blames can make necessary inputs for your future. Thus, reserve such energy, design the end of your dream, and move forward.

7. Learn from your past and move on

Those negative experiences you had can be your teacher correcting your way and learning new things. Use your failures, mistakes, mistreat, and negatives that happened your way to achieve positive results. Most people dwell on their past experiences and can’t let them go, but moving on is possible and vital.


  • Your past is your best teacher for your success tomorrow; use it to design your future.
  • Learn to be thankful to GOD for every occurrence in your life; learn to be a God-fearing person.
  • Keep on treating yourself, and do not wait for a treat from somebody else because you will keep waiting until you die.
  • Help people in need of your help as a way to thank God for making you what you are.
  • Be focused and move on because life has many things that can deviate you from your goal.
  • Be upbeat, solid, and full of commitment to succeed.

By. Deodatus Robert Mgembe