Monday, April 30, 2007

Managing the Past

It is interesting to see how much time is spent managing the past rather than the present.

In management, in politics, even in our own personal lives, we spend an inordinate amount of time justifying our actions of the past, and trying to find explanations of why things happened the way they did.

Part of it, I think, stems from a need for reflection - we do need to analyze past actions to map out the future.

But a larger part surely also stems from our inability to 'manage' the future. Our plans are constantly scuttled by circumstances, our visions and look-aheads are rendered meaningless against the relentless assault of reality. So we turn to the past and try to convince ourselves that we were right after all. That we had actually intended things to happen that way all along.

Looking deeper still, this whole need to justify our past arises from a need to be able to control our lives. I wonder sometimes if it would not be better to simply accept that we cannot predict the future beyond a certain point, and that we cannot plan against every eventuality. May be then we would be able to let go of our obsession with explaining the past and focus on the much more important task of managing the present.

No comments:

Post a Comment