Size really does matter! Did you ever think about the comparative size of a car windshield to the rearview mirror? One is much larger, more expansive than the other. A windshield shows things in true size while a rearview mirror causes objects to appear larger than their actual size. As we drive we look out through the wide span of glass in front of us with optimism and clear thinking in anticipation of a safe trip. We have something to do, someone to see, someplace to go and we look forward to the journey. When we look in the rear view mirror it is only for an instant to check our path as we confidently move forward or check for other vehicles. We are smart enough to know that prolonged staring at the rearview mirror can cause major problems for us in the future. Strange as it may seem, the windshield/rearview mirror is an interesting way to think about other people and our own lives.
When we meet warm, optimistic people they seem to spend a great deal of time enjoying the moment and eagerly looking forward to their tomorrows. We can almost visualizing them looking out of their windshield expecting something interesting and good to pop up on the horizon. Just being around them seems to give us energy. Regardless of the challenges they face they remain committed to making the future even better than today.
Conversely, we may meet others who seem unmotivated or unsuccessful in their lives. They seem to be constantly viewing life through their rearview mirror which causes difficult events of the past to become larger in size and significance than they were at the time of the actual event. Time spent with folks like this seems to drain our energy and we subconsciously count the minutes before we can make a graceful exit. They seem to feel that life has been unfair and they are stuck in the ‘if only’ mentality and their life, at best, is stuck in neutral. They have forgotten that life is simply a reflection of what they have been willing to put into it – nothing more and nothing less. The longer any of us spend looking back, the slower our progress in the future.
Teaching ourselves to view life consistently through our own windshield with just a quick, occasionally glance in our rearview mirror allows us to move almost imperceptibly from a view of ‘what might have been’ into a ‘could still be’ type of thinking. Optimism is the greatest elixir we can take. It results in a much more energizing and satisfying thought process for our tomorrows.
Have a great few days!