Does your focus on past, present, and future go in cycles?

By Leca
@lecanis (16739)
Murfreesboro, Tennessee
May 24, 2007 7:52pm CST
I've found that mine does. There will be times where I am completely focused on either past, present, or future, and it's hard to change that focus. Right now I'm in a "past" cycle, and I'm hoping to move out of it soon. There are a lot of people who prefer a certain focus, I've noticed. Some live in the past because they feel it was better, or in the future because they feel it might be. And some live in the present only. I think I would like to acheive more of a balance, because I tend to obsess on whichever one is my current focus. I do want to think about the past sometimes (in order to learn from it) and the future sometimes (in order to be prepared) but I'd also love to learn to enjoy the present more. Have you had a major change of focus like this in your life? Which type of person do you tend to be, or do you move in cycles like I do?
3 people like this
7 responses
• United States
25 May 07
Well, lecanis, I'm definitely more FUTURE-oriented. I like 2 imagine what COULD be, and hopefully, what WILL be! I DO, however, reminisce, from time 2 time. But, since I'm an introvert, I've done a whole LOT of REFLECTING on my past, 2 learn about MYSELF! And though there's ALWAYS MORE 2 learn, since I have a tendency 2 OVER-analyze things, I can get frustrated and CONFUSED, as well as bored and FATIGUED, going over the SAME past stuff in my mind, trying 2 look at things from different angles. I think I've "delved" into my past ENOUGH, 4 now! Of course, they say that being in the "moment" is the IDEAL way 2 go. The past is done and over with, and the future is just a "figment of your IMAGINATION"! And, when the "future" arrives, it's NOT the "future"...it's the PRESENT! So, the PRESENT is the "gift"! This is MUCH easier SAID than DONE! At least, 4 ME, it is! Like I said, I focus more on my FUTURE, how I'd LIKE things 2 be! My problem, though, is that I tend 2 worry about things, based on how my PAST has unfolded. I DON'T wanna REPEAT past patterns of behavior, that have NOT manifested the things that I want in life. So, it's a definite CHALLENGE 2 BREAK those patterns, and 2 REPLACE them with newer, HEALTHIER patterns! I would say that I DO move in "cycles", 'cuz my moods "shift" CONSTANTLY! But, OVERALL, I'm lookin' 2-wards the FUTURE!
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
*nods* I have a big focus on breaking the patterns of my past too, which actually in a way leads to all three perspectives. Investigating the past and making decisions in the present in order to affect the future. Thanks so much for your response, and for sharing your perspectives with me!
• United States
25 May 07
My pleasure!
1 person likes this
@toe_ster (771)
• United States
25 May 07
I am in awe of this discussion almost. I never thought about it this way, but it is exactly what my life is doing these days. There was a point (probably teens) where i couldn't wait for the future and focused solely on that. Then had a kid and was stuck only in the present. I felt trapped. Like no way og going back and not knowing the furture. Then I am at the point of only looking back. I found this the hardest one to get out of. I haven't found the balance yet, but i am working on it. It hasn't gone in cycles it is still the same cycle. BUt I am glad to know i am not the only one.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
Thank you, toe_ster! (What an interesting name, by the way!) It is very hard to stop looking back, isn't it? I have that right now, it seems like, when I should really be spending time in the present enjoying things, like my baby's first birthday next week! Nope, you're definitely not the only one!
• India
25 May 07
I am a person who lives 20 percent in past, 30 percent in present, and 50 percent in future. That is the probable ratio. I am happy with the focus I have on my present and future. Actually I repent less on the different events in my past. I just dive in nostalgia when I think of past. But I get the most happy to think about my future. It gives me a nice pleasure, to imagine days full of colour in my future.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
Thanks for your response! I like your use of percentages here, very precise. =p
@rowantree (1190)
• United States
25 May 07
Wow, great question and I'm so glad you asked it! I don't feel like a freak anymore (ok well not so much). Yes, I have days where I am so totally focused on the past. I find myself getting angry at myself for thinking about things that have happened, things that are done & over with, things that cannot be changed. I do have days where I'm focused on the present and it's a mix, things that are good, things that are bad. I also might spend a day dreaming about the future, whether it's planning a vacation or wondering about what prom is going to be like when my daughter is of prom going age. I have always been the type of person who has to have answers. I think I focus on the past sometimes because I never got answers to why this or that happened.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
Thank you. =) I think I should work on being in the present more personally. There are a lot of really great things in my life right now. What brought me into focussing on the past is a decision I'm trying to make, and much of my past applies to it. *nods* I have a lot of those unanswered questions as well. It's hard to live with sometimes.
@sigma77 (5385)
• United States
25 May 07
I think everybody rotates around this at one time or another. But it does little good to dwell in the past wishing it would come back. Of course, there are past events and experiences that are part of our practical living in today. It does little good to alway focus on the future, because it is not yet here. Focusing in the past or future steals your life from you as you will not be focused in the present. That is the only time you are living in. That is where the past is forgiven and forgotten and the future is prepared for. But that has to take place right now. Everything that will make your life exactly the way you want it to be will be found in the present moment. When you give up living in the present moment, your past will become your future. You will never change or grow unless you make the present moment your main place of being.
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
*nods* I really think you're right about the present being the main place of being as the ideal. I appreciate your response, and your wisdom.
@filmbuff (2909)
• United States
25 May 07
I often find that I don't want to dwell on one or another. Meaning I would rather think of the past, rather than the future, or the reverse. I am rarely in the present. The only time I seem to be is when I doing something I am very passionate about, or something that is "all consuming" that does not allow me to think about either the past or the future. It's very hard for me to be in the present. Okay..it's the present, no wait now it's the past..okay now I'm thinking of the future..that is now the present and by the time you read this has been long past. My head is going to explode. :)
1 person likes this
@lecanis (16739)
• Murfreesboro, Tennessee
25 May 07
It is a question likely to cause head explosions, isn't it? =p I think you make a good point about not wanting to dwell on one or the other.
1 person likes this
• India
28 May 07
Yeah, though it is something that I try not to do consciously, I do find my thoughts wandering, often. Sometimes I think about all the good times that were, and feel bad, other times I remember the nasty times and feel good, but I do look back. I don't look too much into the future. I mostly cycle between the past and the present.