Is there something you need to forget from your past in order to grow and be happier?

Is there something you need to forget from your past in order to grow and be happier?

Happiness is focusing on the positives.

But happiness might also require forgetting some negatives!

This fascinating article via the Harvard Business Review suggests that selectively forgetting the past might help you grow as a person…

by Vijay Govindarajan

For 35 years, I have used the Three Box Solution framework in my work with corporations. This  practical approach integrates (Box 1) current business performance with (Box 2) selective forgetting of the past and (Box 3) creating the future. But it’s not only business issues that can be solved with the three box approach — some executives with whom I’ve used the framework tell me that it applies equally well to personal transformation.

As an example of how to think about the framework’s application to an individual’s struggles and challenges, consider the remarkable transformation of a single individual, the late Nelson Mandela, who went from embodying black South Africans’ armed resistance to apartheid to becoming a dominant force for racial reconciliation and national unification. During his 27 years in prison, Mandela thought about and discussed the future with his fellow prisoners. He came to see that the nation’s future could not be built on anger and recrimination — no matter how justified — over the brutalities of the past. Instead, it needed a foundation built on forgiveness and reconciliation. Mandela embraced a new identity, embodying change by becoming a man who, at his 1994 inauguration as South Africa’s president, invited his white prison guards to stand with him.

Had Mandela continued to define himself as an anti-apartheid insurgent—an identity reinforced every day by his jailers—he never could have envisioned, much less accomplished, the personal transformation that helped change an entire country. His personal and philosophical reinvention represents a transformation of the highest imaginable degree of difficulty—from liberation soldier, demonized and tormented by the government, into national healer, able to set aside the wounds of the past. If Mandela could reinvent himself from the miserable circumstances of his long imprisonment, then surely anything is possible. And though most of us will never experience the kind of epic personal transformation that Mandela did, we can learn much from this example.

The way people respond to change defines their destinies. Do they embrace change or do they fight it? Are they imprisoned by the past or can they, like Mandela, free themselves from it? Do they carry the past with them like a sacred lamp or are they able to set it aside in order to create something new?

Manage time’s three boxes of the past, present, and future successfully and you will thrive. Manage them ineptly or not at all and you almost certainly will struggle and fail…

…keep reading the full & original article HERE