In A Shot Of Optimism

It’s been one hundred years since the birth sisters of Ann Landers and Abigail Van Buren (nee Friedman). These two women became legendary, giving sound, practical, frequently humorous advice in their daily newspaper columns. They addressed topics as diverse as sibling rivalry, difficult in-laws and the implications of infidelity, plus more serious issues of grief, addiction and abuse. Not only did the pair give advice, they generously passed on nuggets from their readers.

Dear Abby died in 2013, and her daughter picked up the column and continues giving sound advice. This past weekend, as I was relaxing with the Sunday paper, I came across a piece of advice from a reader worth sharing.

The reader wrote about how, in spite of having gone through difficult times her life, she’d gotten on the right track and was happy and healthy. Yet as good as her life had gotten, she had found it hard to not dwell on the problems of the past, until she discovered the following mantra:

Big windshield, small rear view mirror.

An invitation to look forward, toward the future.

Can we forget the past? Of course not. It’s why in every strategic planning session we always spend time on both the accomplishments and challenges of the past. But we don’t stop there – I also ask the following questions:

  • What were the factors that contributed to both your accomplishments and challenges?
  • What did you learn or realize as a result of your accomplishments and challenges?
  • What does this mean as we LOOK TO THE FUTURE?

Regardless of your age and stage in your life or in your business, the purpose of looking at the past is to help us create a clearer, bigger vision of our future.

Until next Tuesday,


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