Chasing Past vs. Building Future2024-05-20

Strength does not come from winning. Your struggles develop your strengths.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

Everybody has encountered some adversity in their lives, which may have affected them more the earlier in their life journey it occurred. Those challenges make people stronger or weaker, and they may spend many subsequent years consciously or unconsciously trying to re-create, correct and overcome the adversity. That is why asking ourselves occasionally questions like where do we come from, why are we doing what we are doing, and where are we headed, is important. A close friend, coach, or therapist can help us be more objective.

After 25 years as a clinical psychiatrist, it is apparent to me that the majority of time, people should focus on viewing past adversity as a stepping stone, and using the learnings to make life better moving forward. Most of our time, energy, attention, and money is best invested not in ruminations, but in making life better for self and others. Whether that involves biology, sociology, or psychology, tools are available, and we live in an era of unprecedented access to, and abundance of, information.