4 Ways to Make the Past a Platform – Not an Anchor

Memory predicts the future.

You are becoming, to some degree, the person you remember. Character and potential are formed, in large part, through rehearsed memories. 

Successful leaders make the past a platform, not an anchor.

you become like the people you remember

4 ways to make the past a platform:

#1. Remind people who they are. They remember what they did.

  1. Tell me of a time when you succeeded. Who were you then?
  2. What does being disappointed with failure say about you?
  3. What qualities and behaviors helped you succeed in the past?

Turn the attention of discouraged people to who they are, not what happened.

#2. Remind people of past successes. They remember failures.

Replayed memories establish future direction.

Leaders instill hope by using the past to energize future endeavors. An over-focus on past failure and disappointment is self-limiting.

#3. Invite people to recall the noble behaviors of admired others.

You become like the people you remember.

Memories of my dad’s grit fuel my resilience. He was the toughest hardest working man I have ever met. He never quit.

Remembering an admired gritty person helps  develop endurance.

#4. Explore, don’t make light of negative memories.

Help others maximize negative memories. Don’t say, “It’s not that bad,” when someone thinks it sucks.

  1. What has this experience taught you?
  2. How are you better?
  3. How is this impacting your plans?
  4. How does this impact self-perception?

Heeding warnings from the past:

  1. Anticipate a disappointing future, if you repeat behaviors that didn’t work.
  2. What caused others to fail? How might you avoid it?
  3. What will you do about nagging negative patterns?

Planning and the past:

Planning is preparing for the future with the past in mind.

  1. How might you reproduce success?
  2. How might you prevent failure?
  3. What went right? How might you repeat it.
  4. How might you intervene to prevent negative patterns?

Go beyond memory when planning. Include aspiration.

How might memories hold people back?

How might leaders make the past a platform, not an anchor?

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