I recently saw a video where mothers were interviewed about their thoughts on how they felt they were doing as a parent. Most focused on their shortcomings, things they thought they were failing at, or areas that needed improvement.
The interviewers also asked their kids (in private) how they felt about their mothers. The children only spoke of the things they loved about their mom. They talked about how beautiful mom was, the good ways she treated them or the fun things that they loved to do with her.
The video was very moving. It was also quite profound and applicable to various aspects of our lives. How we view ourselves can be – and usually is – very different than others see us. We tend to focus on shortcomings, failures, things we still have yet to achieve, how far we still need to go and future not-yet-met long or short term goals….while others mainly focus on how far we’ve already come, how good we have made them feel, all of the things we’ve done for them, the love we’ve given, the fun we’ve had, the generosity, support and help.
That’s what others mainly see. If we went around interviewing people and asked what kind of person they thought we were, and the feelings they have toward us, I think it would bring us to tears. Emotional- happy-tears of course.
More than that though, is the “why”…
I think the reason is that part of our soul would smile knowing that somehow, some way, we were on the right path – that we are achieving and have achieved so much already.
One of the things that I tell my coaching clients all the time is: “Just move forward, theres a reason that the windshield is bigger than the rearview mirror, the rearview is just for a little perspective.” But now I see that it’s way more than just for perspective. The past should be celebrated. We tend to get so focused on the horizon, on future plans and the big-hairy-goals of our lives that we forget to periodically look back to to see the distance we have traveled and to be proud of it. Even if it hasn’t yet brought us to where we want to be….we are certainly on the way.
It’s completely acceptable and ok to want more, while simultaneously being grateful for growth, how far you have come and be happy with what you have already achieved.
As a matter of fact, I believe looking back and feeling the gratitude is an intricate part of the process to receiving and achieving more.
I for one, am super-grateful today for this reminder to look in the rearview and take inventory of past achievements. It’s just the fuel I need to keep moving forward.