September 27th, 2021

Why There’s Benefit to Framing the Immediate As the Past

This article aims to express the importance of viewing today’s happenings with the perspective that time away from them provides. In hopefully helping you attain an even perspective on today’s hardships, this information may also help you manage others in stressful times. 

A difficult, lengthy wooded trail becomes less intimidating once you’ve hiked it through. 

One wonders if they’re yet to pass the halfway point when hiking an unknown trail. What’s unknown is discovered with progress through the trail. Being midway through a hard hike entails not really knowing how the second half plays out. The hiker can extrapolate the first half to fit the second, and often such anticipations help them perform well. 

However, hikers can also lessen their experience by feeling anxious for unsubstantiated extrapolations of what’s yet to come. They can create plans for visions of the future that will not materialize, and can conjure barriers they shy away from without proving their existence first. 

The hiker’s promises to never hike a difficult trail again fade quickly as they drive home from that trail. The next three weeks leave them thinking they should hike that trail again.The trail itself does not change with time. It was and still will be. A hiker’s interpretation of it does, however. 


How Would Your Future Self Interpret Today’s Tough Times?


A liberating mental exercise is one of comparing your interpretation of past events with identical events of the present time. A simple example is a traffic-filled commute to work. You’ve sat in traffic many times before, but today it just hurts more. Why? How will you remember today’s bout in traffic in comparison to the countless ones you’ve sat through prior? 

You likely don’t suffer from the collective history of sitting in traffic in the past, so why does suffering at the present time make sense? Is the fact that the current moment binds you to the act the only painful thing about it? 

If you were to separate any iteration of an act from the concept of time, those iterations dissolve and only the act itself is left. Your interpretation of that act is heavily influenced by time’s effect on it. The inability to rise above and over the present moment fuels impatience and thoughtless action.  

Exercising that escape from the present moment – at least by visualizing it passing by and interpreting the current moment as if it already passed – is beneficial in putting any one act or instance in a perspective that represents reality. 


An Optimal Solution to Any Issue Leaves No Space for Being a Prisoner of the Moment


The general goal for this visualization exercise is to set the context for optimal decisions to be made during tough times. Detaching yourself from the present moment, viewing it as if it has already passed, and analyzing it with a perspective not tainted by the burden of immediacy sets the stage for you to implement effective action. 

Whether you’re anticipating needing to lead an important meeting at work, or going on a first date with someone you’re fond of, pressing the fast-forward button in your mind smoothens any one moment’s edges. 

An effective communication of this visual will help those you lead perform better in any given trying time. Your ability to ease the anxieties of the present moment can pay dividends even if you’re not the person feeling those anxieties yourself. That ability to calm others in trying times must be authenticated by you truly being able to remain calm yourself.

The effect your mind will observe whilst visualizing today’s moment as the past will be one of poignant empowerment. It’s bitter-sweet, the usual. 

Viewing the present moment as an objective future-self will arm you with the ability to sustain continuous intensity. You’ll jog further knowing that your future outlook won’t consider it so bad. 

Seeing things today through rosy lenses of the future allows for even progress. Things won’t be so good nor so bad. 

Once you’re there, you’ll begin to notice those who allow moments to overwhelm their perspective of the present time. Some crack early, others later. You’re somewhere on that spectrum now and will continue to be. 

Performing action rooted in detached analysis is a joy in and of itself. Your resulting actions will be marinated in wisdom’s juices when you plan them from the future. Let each case play out inside your mind and imagine you’re already down that line looking back at where you came from. See today, with the present moment turning the future into the past. 

Even if this perspective offers nothing more than a new vantage point inside your mind, it introduces options for detached thought. Our minds tend to flirt with any opening. 


No Single Moment Escapes Time’s Healing Properties


The perspective this page seeks to introduce is a sense of peace in addition to the tactical benefits of detaching from the present moment. Being reminded of the healing properties that time infuses into life is beneficial in smoothening today’s sharp edges. 

Even if you’ve no hope in your immediate surroundings, know that time affects all you know. It slowly swallows and digests any memory or experience that you have. What was great last week may seem like nothing special in the present day and turn into a regret tomorrow. 

Time affects and changes what you remember, know, and believe. With that knowledge comes smoothing relief when times are bad and honest humility when things are good. 


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Disclaimer of Opinion: This article is presented only as opinion. It does not make any scientific, factual, or legal claims in any way.