“You can’t have a better tomorrow
if you’re thinking about yesterday.”
~ Charles Kettering
What this quote means to entrepreneurs:
When most people think about yesterday, they focus on one of two things: glory days or past failures. The problem is, focusing on either of these brings your energy down.
When you think of “glory days” your energy is usually in the space of “Boy, I was awesome then … but not anymore.” Being in this space attracts more of “not anymore.” It brings to you lots of evidence that your glory days are behind you. But that doesn’t need to be the case!
When you dwell on your past failures, you are, again, bringing into your present more negativity … more failure.
What Kettering is saying here is akin to “Keep your eyes on the prize.” Don’t dwell on what has already transpired. Focus on what you are working to achieve. Your tomorrow is built upon your what you think about today. When you dwell upon what you want, what you are building, what your vision for you future is … as if you have it now … you create much better tomorrows than you do when you dwell on what was and what has passed.
In addition, thinking about yesterday can prevent a better tomorrow by building complacency. What if your yesterday and today are OK? If you focus on this “OK-ness,” then you’ll continue to have more “OK-ness.” As Einstein suggested, insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. In this case, if you want a better tomorrow, you can’t keep doing what you did yesterday.
You can build on what you did yesterday, but you need to learn, grow and modify to change the flavor of your tomorrows.
Now It’s Your Turn:
Do you agree with my interpretation of today’s quote? Why or why not? What are your thoughts on building better tomorrows? Are there times when your yesterdays are the best thing to focus on for a better tomorrow? Please share your thoughts, experiences and sage wisdom in a comment below.
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