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Hindsight: One of life’s greatest teachers


Life is full of lessons. Sometimes when we think about the likelihood of something happening, we can see it with some degree of certainty. After the event has occurred, we tend to look back and feel as if we saw it happening with more certainty than we did before the event happened. This has probably happened to you many times in your life. You know, that “aha moment” where you find yourself saying, “I knew that was going to happen!” This, friends is called hindsight. We are sharing three reasons why hindsight can be a good thing instead of that moment where you instantly and instinctively face palm yourself.

Hindsight breeds insight. Hindsight is one lens through which we view our past. Chances are that the lesson has already been learned and you are most likely thinking about how you should have seen something coming or how you could have done something differently to get a different outcome. Be kind to yourself! Your epiphany can easily become that moment where you allow yourself to think “what if” or “if only.” You cannot see the future (although, that would be pretty cool if you could) but you can use the past as a teacher. Let’s face it; as much as we would like to be able to sometimes, we cannot go back and undo or redo what has already been done. Instead, trying using the insight and knowledge that you have gained to find the lesson and try to make better decisions in the future. You can do it!

Hindsight leads us to make connections. The mind is a wonderful thing. When we learn new information, our brain associates this information with things that you already have stored in your noggin. This is how we are able to link experiences that we have together. You are probably less likely to make a mistake or make an unwise decision in the future if you can make connect it to a decision that didn’t turn out so well from the past or if you can at least identify some similarities between these situations. It is important to note that we do not just have to use hindsight to teach us how not to make bad decisions. We can also use hindsight to learn from brilliant decisions that we have made in the past too, and how to create positive things in our lives.

Hindsight means that you are still learning. Guess what, if you are experiencing hindsight it is because you still have more to learn about life. It means that you are still a work in progress. This is amazing because it means that you are not done. You cannot be a finished product, not just yet! You can still create wonderful and meaningful experiences in your life based off of the places that you have already been and the things that you have already done.

Hindsight is not about whether you were right or wrong that something was going to happen. It is about what you do with the knowledge and experience that you have gained afterward. Go forth and be wise!


About the Author

Geralyn Dexter

Geralyn holds a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Florida and a MS in Mental Health Counseling from Nova Southeastern University. She is currently working on a Doctorate in Counseling Psychology. She enjoys reading, yoga and art. Within the next three years, she hopes to complete her doctorate and transition from practicing therapy in a community setting to having her own private practice.