Hindsight is a wonderful teaching tool in that it allows us to review in detail where our thoughts/decisions may have led us astray. Hindsight also informs us of the cues and/or chances presented throughout our experience that would have ensured a favorable outcome to our event.
Hindsight is unfortunately usually bundled up with Regret, and hence not fully utilized as a teaching tool where it should. Instead, it transforms itself into the whip we use for the mental lashes when deciding just how stupid we were “in hindsight”.
Foresight is a commonly undeveloped tool inherent in all of us. It is the ability to clearly mentally picture an outcome at the inception of a thought/action. It is not driven by Fear or individual desire, but Truth. We have tools for success in all of us. These have been turned off or away for various reasons stemming from childhood experiences. A common factor to all turned off tools within us is in their accuracy to determine our outcomes.
In order not to be ostracized as a child, we may have “ignored our gut feeling” or in joining our peers’ universal language, “agreed that we are seeing things”. Foresight is more often than not turned off because it is very accurate. This accuracy is scary for it does not take into consideration our human relationships and/or need to fit into society.
For example, we may be planning a weekend getaway with a bunch of friends. This happens to be the one weekend whereby everyone is free and has no hindrances (financial, familial or work obligations). We have been planning this weekend for the last year and are looking forward to it. What we are unable to inform our friends is that from the moment the date was set upon, a gut feeling informed us that this trip would not take place.
We proceed with booking the day off and setting the funds aside for the trip, even though from this juncture, all conversations held with our peers in regard to this trip sound very hollow to our ears. More likely than not, to permanently shut the door to this gut feeling (within which we are unable to see this trip materialize, meaning we just can’t see it) we make a huge time or monetary contribution to the trip.
This could either be footing the vehicle rental expense on our credit card to be repaid by all at a later date, or making the commitment to purchase the required food ingredients for the trip. We have refused to turn up the dial on our gut feeling, and thus are unable to determine why the trip will not take place as planned. Regardless, the truth is, whether we know the reasons why or not, it does not matter. The trip will not take place at all, whether we change the dates or companions.
We have not turned up the dial in our example because we know this fact and are afraid to mentally explore it, let alone inform our friends. A day or two before the trip, one of our friends has to drop out due to an emergency. We are informed of this decision at a time when we are unable to replace her and to top it off, in lieu of us renting the vehicle, our friend had previously agreed to take care of our expenses during the trip.
We do not have extra money for this, and as much as they try to reconfigure their trip budget, our friends are unable to help us out. This means that we are unable to travel as we have tied up all our funds in the credit card rental booking. Our friends would have to cancel as well, as they do not have Drivers Licenses and it is now much too late to book a train or bus ride.
In all, we have made purchases toward this trip, tied up credit cards and booked time off work in vain. We are unable to say anything to our friends at this point because a “I knew this was going to happen, I just knew it!” is not going to help anyone. If anything, it will only create temporary problems with negatively placed feelings/thoughts.
In the same vein, we may very well inform our friends that we do not have a good feeling about this trip. From the moment the date was set, we felt this unexplained sense of terror which includes a quickening of the heartbeat. As the date approaches, we are filled with trepidation toward the trip. We are also feeling cornered at this point because our friends have told us to “quit being a party pooper” or “relax, nothing will happen”.
The trip takes place on the planned date, however things go wrong from the start. Important items are forgotten, prices previously researched are off, and hurtful arguments color the trip among others. At the end of the trip, we are more than sure that the next time we get “such a feeling” we will make sure not to proceed with the planned trip. What we fail to realize is that this is not foresight.
Foresight in itself is an emotionless tool. It is a simple truth that states facts. “This trip is not happening” is simply that. The trip is not happening. “Do not go for the trip” is foresight. In our second example, we determined that going for the trip is a bad idea and experience negative feelings toward this. As the planned event seems to proceed, our sense of foreboding increases. We did not have a gut feeling telling us not to go for the trip, instead, we felt that going for the trip would be a bad idea.
On examining the origin of our thoughts, we would have been able to see that we are not keen on travelling with one or a few of the other companions due to hard-coded impressions of them, or do not have the financial means to go for this trip yet fear judgement of our (mis) use of money. There is something to be said about the power of thoughts and our ability to directly influence possible outcomes in any given situation. In the case of foresight, we are unable to “will” a different outcome. It just is what it is.
The same should be stated on Hindsight. It is an emotionless tool that is not genetically built to be used as an internal whipping system. It is a fact based standard of review that states the truth simply. In the event that we utilize hindsight once the trip we worked so hard to realize does not take place, we would be aware of the facts in a manner such as this: you knew when the date was set that this trip would not take place. You knew when you booked the vehicle that this trip would not take place. You knew when you received the phone-call from ABC that it was about the trip and it would not take place.
All these tools have one common factor: the messages are repetitive and factual. They are not peppered with feelings and thoughts (negative/positive). The latter attachments are man-made creations to validate what we feel. We want others to see that they should have trusted in our intuition not to go because we knew the trip would not be a success. This is a nice way of “sticking it to someone” with an “I told you so but you never listen”. On further examination of this thought are we then better able to understand and accept deeply ingrained resentments about our friends’ inability to listen to us. Do you see the difference?
A third wonderful compliment to foresight and hindsight are Cues. These are the things all along the way that assist us whether we listen to or ignore fore/hindsight. They are hard to recognize as they are embedded in everyday life. We dismiss Cues as Coincidences, Ironies and “how crazy was thats”. We place the importance of cues in direct reference to our idea of the individual/place the cue is coming from.
For example, we may have informed a co-worker of the upcoming trip and the fact that our gut feeling is letting us know that this trip is not going to take place. Our co-worker may inform us that it is best to follow our gut, inform our friends and not make any purchases or promises toward the trip. We may nod our head and make verbal sounds, however, we immediately dismiss our co-worker’s advise. Our thought is, that what s/he said is “easier said than done”. Our co-worker does not know our friends and/or the planning that has gone into this trip etc. We did not listen to understand, but made assumptions about our co-worker.
We may not know that our co-worker has an important example in his/her life, had we asked for clarification, that may completely shed new light on our predicament. We simply assumed that our co-worker was speaking to be heard. While attempting to book the vehicle for the trip, we may encounter a few server problems, or find the vehicle we are interested in booking is unavailable. We simply proceed to try the site again until we finally get through, or book a different type of vehicle, making note to advise our friends that they may need to re-adjust (reduce) their luggage or (increase) budget. As stated before, Cues are embedded into our everyday lives and are therefore easily missed and explained away. The truth is, what is meant to be or not, occurs naturally and definitely.
These three friends are not ego-driven. These are tools for success and not to be utilized to undermine ourselves and what we see/feel. The trick is to listen to what you tell yourself. Should you have an immediate feeling/emotion related to your thought, then acknowledge that this is not foresight speaking. You can then proceed to examine the origin of your thought and mend that aspect, or if in fact it is foresight speaking, immediately act on it. You never need to explain yourself. The universe has an amazing way of working with you for as long as you act from Truth. In explaining oneself, internal defence mechanisms kick in and obliterate true intentions. This causes friction and future problems.
Consider that we punish ourselves for not “catching” something, or learning from an experience. The tools we have within us do not have or follow these constraints. They diminish or disappear because we do not use them. They do not return to remind us again and again of our lack of perception. Remember that if we miss out on foresight, we still have cues that will take place, and to finish off, hindsight to let us review the experience. Our personal growth is guaranteed if we shed off our personal feelings on a past experience and look forward to utilizing these tools on the next.