Thinking about the future or past is an important practice, but we must be careful to not to take either too far. Buddhists call this the Middle Way or the Middle Path. Taking any practice too far can be detrimental: over-indulgence or self-mortification is not ideal. We can apply this same goal to planning and reflection.
Think about the future too much and it can become anxiety or anticipation for something that may never come, but think about the future too little and you’ll be blind sided by predictable events.
Think about the past too much and you can become lost in nostalgia or regret, think about the past too little and you won’t learn from your mistakes.
Staying in the moment is a good goal, but we have to think about the future enough to plan for it and choose an ideal path, and we have to think about the past enough to learn from our mistakes and improve our current status.
Photo Credit: Lili Popper