Look back to the past from time to time; a glance for perspective perhaps, but don't leer too long or it will affect your path. In fact, you'll drift, distracted by what is behind you instead of what is in front of you.
We've all done this. We all do this.
The valuation of our past is often greater than the valuation of our present. The past carries a powerful spell with it, a nostalgia, a longing for a second chance.
The future lives off in the vague distance on the periphery and to think of the future as promised or inevitable is a gross overestimation of what's to come. It's detrimental to healthy progress because it assumes. And that stunts growth.
How often we live in these psychological locations (past, present, future) shapes the loop we live in. This can be mind bending. If your mind lives anywhere other than the present, then you deprecate the present. If you deprecate the present, you deprecate your future, which then deprecates your past. Again. Which is where you seem to live most of the time anyway, which deprecates the present. Again. The loop restarts. The madness of your life ensues.
What I did vs. What happened to me are two diametrically different ways to evaluate oneself. And the fact that those are two different starting points means they have two different futures. Where you anchor yourself changes where you go.
Someone who looks at their life from the lens of "what happened to me" probably won't grow in life. They won't develop a strong identity able to amass fulfillment while in the throes of desperate struggle. Even though that's the secret tactic and those who can do this operate with a kind of magic the rest of us can't comprehend.
However, the person who looks at their past through the lens of "What I did" or "What I have accomplished" drives an ownership that emanates high participation in the present. A high participation in the present creates an expansive and intricate future. It propels a person forward; an eagerness to experience ambiguity begins to develop. This is where satisfaction and fulfillment seed and bloom.
Move forward in your life. Make adjustments as your environment changes - navigate. Glance back in the rear view from time to time to see what is behind you, but keep your eyes forward. Aim ahead.
That is where you're going. That's where you are.