What influences us to choose to let the past dictate what happens now

written by Halina Jaroszewska

So true that a picture is worth 1000 words. One of my favourite Peanuts & Lucy cartoons still so relevant today despite being created in 1969.

Lucy: Sorry I missed that easy fly ball, Manager

Lucy: I thought I had it, but suddenly I remembered all the others I’ve missed.

Lucy: The past got in my eyes.

How often do we stop ourselves from achieving what we want based on the uncertain evidence that our brain delivers up? How often do we forget to trust ourselves?

For Lucy it was potentially an easy catch. What happened instead of being in the moment and catching it? It was an easy one after all. Something intervened. That something was the memories of all the balls she had failed to catch in the past.

Instead of using those incidents as learning opportunities to improve her performance she chose to use them as evidence that she couldn’t catch.

As she said, “The past got in my eyes.”

And what about the role of the Manager in this case Peanuts? Simply looked surprised or bemused or lost for words.

What was the opportunity do you think the Manager was presented with?

How do you think the Manager could have dealt with this situation?

What are the learnings from your perspective that this simple, yet effective cartoon offers?

Our brains are extraordinarily powerful however they are essentially hard drive storage for everything about us with no discrimination at all. Our brain will always search for and present us with what we ask without thinking “Ah! What she really wants is examples of when she has made great catches.” Our thinking dictates the evidence that our brain searches for and presents it to us delightedly. We need to be really clear what we ask for.