Looking back doesn’t mean living in the past.
Many people equate looking back with living in the past. The two are not the same. Here are five benefits of looking back:
1) Looking back reminds you of your roots.
2) Looking back allows you to measure your growth.
3) Looking back allows you to assess mistakes and create new systems and "best practices" to avoid making them again.
4) Looking back allows you to celebrate where you currently are.
5) Looking back allows you to examine patterns of change within the industry and learn how to predict future pattern shifts so you can be better prepared. (History repeats itself.)
Looking back does not mean focusing on or living in the past. It does not mean continually kicking yourself about certain decisions or situations that could have been avoided. It means reviewing where you've come from so that you can focus better on where you're headed.
If you can't remember where you started, and the bumps along the way, how will you know which areas you have grown in? And more importantly, if you can't look back, how can you be grateful for where you are now? Without gratitude, growth is a slow and/or joyless process.
If you still have a copy of your first business card, I encourage you to pull it out and look at it (I know, this might be painful. Mine makes me both cringe a little and laugh). Take a few minutes and reflect on how you and your business have changed and grown since you began. What is the biggest lesson you have learned thus far? What difficult decisions are you most proud that you had the guts to make? What are the turning points you celebrate the most?
You’ve come a long way. Enjoy it.
Originally published February 2009