Understanding Life • The Power of Hindsight


“You must never take for granted the power of a second – or the power of a second chance.”

Your life has played out the way it’s intended to.

The people, the places, and the choices. They were all meant to happen. Every mistake you made was a stepping stone. Every fork in the road was explored off a self-made decision. If you look at where you are – whether it’s good or bad – it’s where you’re supposed to be.

Your accomplishments – be they big or small – are you.

They are milestones in your life. A trophy of your concurs. Proof of your potential.

Although, if your life has gone wrong and disappointment is constant – realization is the bittersweet battle. You now have the power of hindsight. You now have the ability to use your past to revise your future. The ability to use the challenges defeated behind you, to battle the ones ahead.

Unfortunately, hindsight stirs anxiety.

You spend your days left to wonder where you went wrong. What you said in error. The ridiculous regrets that exhaust your mind. You overthink the things you wish could be forgotten about. You think everyone remembers your mistakes without realizing they’re trying to erase their own.

It’s an uneasy circle.

You must choose to take control of your thoughts or live victim to your past. You must never take for granted the power of a second – or the power of a second chance.

This image was illustrated in collaboration with Lemon Chicken Por Favor

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  • Hindsight can be both a real bitch and excellent teacher!

    • I completely agree! As long as we use it more as a teacher, we’re making the most of it.

  • I seem to exist somewhere between that “distorted reality”, captured by the exhaustive constructs of “could have been…” – broken – and the days where I feel fine.

  • This is my entire life. Or, at least, that’s how it often feels.

    • It’s my life too! So glad to have found others who can relate 🙂

  • The trick, I have found in my old age, is to look, learn and shelve. Dwelling on hindsight does no good but looking through hindsight and learning from the incident and then letting it go – put it on a shelf so to speak – gets the best from the past and causes the least problems in the present. Dwelling on the past too much kills the present and the future. Learn, don’t dwell.

  • I used to disagree passionately and beyond about many things with one of the closest, dearest friends I’ve even had in my life. On his death bed he still marveled that we grew to know each other as well as we did and love each other as much.
    Mostly we disagreed about matters within the socio-political spectrum.
    We often found that we both had the same goals in mind, the same destination in our sights but just differing paths.
    Sometimes it was just a matter of defining our terms.
    That’s sort of where I stand on this post.
    With an additional four decades of both the blessing and the torture of hindsight over your two, I know entirely what you mean. Been there, done that.
    I really only have five, maybe six true regrets in life. Lots and lots of “what-the-f***-were-you-thinkings?”, but half a dozen regrets tops.
    Okay. Maybe seven or eight.
    Only five repeatedly come to mind.
    Two of the top three came when I was nineteen and twenty, and there remains no question in my mind that they are both indeed major regrets.
    Thing is (and here’s where it involves defining one’s terms), while I realized at the time or shortly thereafter that I had really blown my handling of a situation badly, maybe even catastrophically, it wasn’t until years later that I fully realized the import of the matter. It took time for me to be totally run down and dragged over the pavement for a few hundred yards of the ramifications of such …
    stupidity? Inexperience? Naivete? Apathy? Innocence? Even more stupidity?
    I’ve spent a few nights in jail, all of them before the age of twenty-five. A night here and there. Drunk driving, possession of a minute amount of pot, disorderly conduct… and aiding and abetting the crossing of state lines with intent to incite riot (charges dropped the next morning), but nothing whatsoever that cost me more than one uncomfortable night’s sleep.
    Hardly worth regretting. They really had no appreciable impact on my life from that moment on.
    But those two matters I refer to? Oh yes and oh no, things were never the way they could have been from that moment on.
    It’s hard to imagine anyone under the age of Adolescence doing something, ANYthing that merits regrets. And for someone in their early-to-mid-twenties, I can’t see a whole slew of those things having piled up.
    Thing is… with any amount of good health and better luck, anyone in their third decade will have more than enough time and opportunity to “use (their) path to revise (their) future”, just as you said.
    The regrets of which you speak shouldn’t come unless and until someone in their fifth or sixth decade comes to the torturous realization that they didn’t do exactly that.
    So maybe it’s just defining terms according to our viewpoints, maybe it’s just a word game, but I hate to see anyone so early in life having what they allow to be “regrets”. As long as there’s time there should be hope that one can turn such things around.
    Gruundehn put it very nicely. Hindsight should provide us with a reference point, not an entire roadmap.
    Sometimes our screw-ups turn out to be nothing but research.

  • yes! the power of second chance! it seems like we get lots of chances over time. some we take a chance on, and some we miss entirely.

    if you have loved ones that really care for you, they’ll give more chances than you can imagine.

    i go over the things i’ve done, wished, and failed at doing a zillion times a day. i obsess about things that the people i think i’ve wronged don’t even remember the incident that i cannot forgive myself for.

    thanks for the positive message! 🙂

  • smilingldsgirl

    Have you seen the new show Hindsight? It is really clever.

    • No! But I’ll definitely check it out. Is it many episodes in?

      • smilingldsgirl

        Only 5 so you won’t have to make up much. It’s so good

  • “You think everyone remembers your mistakes without realizing they’re trying to erase their own.” Thanks for this! 😀