Don’t look back in anger

Don’t judge me, but I was watching Kung Fu Panda II last week and it put something back on my radar I felt I should write about.

Yes, I am saying Kong Ffu Panda inspired me to write a blog.

Maybe as something I’d like to ponder over a bit more, maybe as something to make you think. It’s really about perspective if you like. And maybe about a different perspective.

For those of you who haven’t watched the animated movie and those of you who never intend to watch an animated movie about a Panda who becomes a Kung Fu warrior, I’ll paint the picture.(Careful: spoilers ahead)

So, there’s this Panda, right, and he’s called Po. His dad is a Goose, called Mr. Ping. And then there is an evil Peacock, Lord Shen, who wants to rule the world. But a prophecy predicted he will be defeated by a black and white worrier. To make sure he’ll survive, he kills every Panda in the universe, bar one.

You guessed it: this is where Kong Fu panda Po comes in. While the story unfolds Po finds out Mr. Ping is not his real dad and his panda parents got killed by Lord Shen. In the end, taught by his Kong Fu teacher Master Chifu, Po learns to find “peace within” and uses that superpower to defeat Lord Shen.

The moral of the story: The past might have made you what you are today, but it doesn’t define your future. Accept your past, leave it in the past and move on.

I appreciate this is easier said than done, but there is so much truth to it. I mean, can you think of any example where dwelling on the past has ever helped you moving forward? And by this, I mean using the past as an excuse not to try something new, stop doing something that holds you back or is bad for you, or not to allow yourself to achieve something?

Do you ever find yourself thinking or saying: if it wasn’t for X (person, situation, circumstance) I would’ve been Y now? Sure, maybe that’s true. But is there anything you can change about that? No, because it’s in the past. It’s out of your ability to influence. Which in my opinion makes it useless to dwell on.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not denying your past might have been awfully hard, life hasn’t treated you fair or you’ve made mistakes that had a big impact.

I’m not trying to preach either. Who am I to tell you to get on with life? What I’m trying to say, I guess, is that when I consider it, there is really nothing in my past I want to use as an excuse to hold me back. Even taking it a bit broader: there is nothing in the past, in general, I want to use as an excuse to hold me back.

I don’t think I’ve fully mastered “being at peace” with everything in my past. I might hold a little grudge here and there, and sometimes I do think: “what if I would’ve…”, or “what if that wouldn’t have happened” even though I know it’s not very useful. Sometimes being aware of doing something is a good start of changing it for the better. Most of the time I do choose to focus on what is now, who I am now and what I want to be when I grow up and it suits me well.

Life happens. And whatever comes your way, it’s your decision how to deal with it.

I’ve seen the lady (Martine Wright) in the video below tell her story live and I thought her it was incredible and it really puts things in perspective. Just food for thought…

Inspirational read: Option B by Cheryll Sandberg