Staying in the Moment

How many of you are old enough to remember this classic line from the not-so-classic 1976 movie “The Gumball Rally”?

Perhaps it is too much of a stretch to turn Franco’s (played by a youthful Raul Julia) flamboyant utterance into a philosophy for living and working, but through a certain lens ….

I hear the line as a call to be present, to stay in-the-moment with what is happening right now.  If you’re wondering about what could have, should have, or might have been, you are somewhere other than right here.

In most of the organizations I work with, too much time is spent unproductively looking at the past, trying to assess blame for something that has not turned out exactly as planned.

If there has been a mistake that merits some focus, far better to ask “What needs to be different in order for this not to happen again?”

I’ll grant you, sometimes the past (“what’s behind me”) IS important.  After all, that’s what makes each of us who we are.  It is the target for reflection and learning.  And what about the famous adage that those who don’t know their past are condemned to repeat it?

All very good points.

BUT, the past is valuable only insofar as it helps us understand our present moment and informs the decisions we make about the future we want to create.

That’s very different from looking in the rear view mirror all the time, worried about who (or what) is coming up behind us.