Did you hear, there’s a new superpower lurking around, and they call it Hindsight. I know, it doesn’t sound as sexy as flying or turning invisible, but it could really change things in your life if you use it right.
Hindsight is something we are all familiar with, but maybe don’t think about in such an obvious way. It’s usually an after-thought, but what if we could have hindsight before the big decision, meeting, interview, or whatever else it is that we have going on in our life. Wouldn’t that be great? To know the outcome ahead of time. Talk about making the decision process a lot easier!
We know hindsight is defined as the knowledge and understanding that you acquire about something only after it has happened. That, in and of itself is useful, but I think we can all agree that having the knowledge beforehand would be extremely powerful. Think of all the wrong turns you could avoid making, heartbreak avoided, time and even money saved. The list could go on and on.
We have all heard or even muttered the old saying, “Hindsight is 20-20.” Is it true? Of course, it’s true. Old sayings don’t become old sayings because they’re wrong. For example, let’s take an important decision you need to make. You weigh the pros and cons back and forth but still struggle to come up with the right answer. Maybe you are afraid of failure. Maybe it’s one of those decisions where there really isn’t a right or wrong answer… just an answer. However, if you knew all the consequences of your choices before ever making the decision, that would certainly change things. You would never intentionally make the wrong decision or take the harder path if you knew that before. Which leads us to the question, “Is it possible to have hindsight beforehand?”
The not so straight-forward answer is yes! It’s not entirely as black and white as being able to turn invisible anytime you want, but it is possible to get hindsight before in many situations. In fact, you have used it many times I’m sure… it’s called Insight! Hindsight turns into insight, but only if we make it happen. You must look at your past experiences and analyze them, study them to understand why the outcome came out the way it did. Unfortunately, not everybody will take advantage of this and will continue to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. They never turn their hindsight into anything more than just that, hindsight. However, if you are proactive, you can take your past experiences into your next situation, learn from it, and make a more informed decision this time around.
Your own personal hindsight from your experiences can only take you so far. So, let’s take a look at a few other ways that you can gain hindsight before those more critical situations in life.
- Books – Learn from those that have been there before and wrote about their experiences. See what challenges they faced and why they made the choices they made. Did they make the right decisions or was it a colossal failure? What did they do about it? Did they continue to make the same mistakes or was once enough? I’m sure you will find your more successful people in life tend to learn from their mistakes quickly.
- Mentors/Teachers – Mentors and teachers are incredible sources of knowledge. Generally, teachers are those that come to us early in life, during our formative grade school years. Kids are like sponges and learn so much during that time. As we move into adulthood, we should start to seek out Mentors as they have been where we want to go. They are able to offer insight from their own personal experiences and hindsight, whether those choices were right or wrong. You can learn just as much, if not more, from wrong decisions than right ones. Learning from their experiences can help you find your path and even steer you away from others.
- Google – With the introduction of the internet and the world wide web, it is amazing at the amount of information that is available to us 24/7 at our fingertips. Depending on your situation you can, more than likely, find someone out there in the world that has some knowledge on what you need. You will not always see your exact circumstances, but what you will be able to find is information from other’s experiences that help you form your own path with more insight. That’s always better than just going it alone.
- Collaboration – While we can use the internet to find someone with more knowledge on a subject online, you can also talk to “Your Tribe.” We all have people around us full of different experiences and expertise. Don’t be afraid to ask. People love to share their stories, especially if they think it could help someone from making the same mistake or maybe just make their life a little easier.
- Masterminds/Peer-Advisory – Masterminds and Peer-Advisory are business collaborations. They are small groups made up of like-minded individuals with shared goals and interests that meet on a regular basis to work through challenges/issues, strategize, offer feedback, new ideas, and generally hold one another accountable. Instead of just pulling from your own experiences, you are drawing from the entire group. This can be extremely powerful when heading into new territory for your business.
There are so many ways out there today that we can learn from hindsight, whether it’s our own experiences or someone else’s. Just not repeating our own mistakes will take us farther but using the insights of others can help to push us that much further ahead faster. You just have to be willing to ask… and don’t forget to listen.