Life Must Be Lived Forwards

We are going to get a little philosophical here. How do you feel about your life? Do you understand it? These are weird, yet interesting questions. The answers are weird and just as interesting I assure you.

The great philosopher Søren Kierkegaard once said that “Life can only be understood backward, but it must be lived forwards”. What the hell does that even mean? Let’s analyze.

Philosophy is so interesting to me because it forces one to use logic and imagination at the same time. It’s also interesting to me how so many different interpretations of a theory are ironically very similar.

When you think of your life you can look at it as the past, present, and future, correct? To understand your life you’d probably attempt to analyze all three, but this will not work. Sure you can analyze the past, but the present and future are unpredictable.

Think about it. Unless you have superpowers, you can not even attempt to understand something fully while it’s happening or before it happens. Now let’s look at “living”.

You are currently living your life right now and as every second goes by you will continue to live your life unless you die. Hopefully, that won’t happen for a long time. Again, unless you have an Infinity Stone or a Delorean with a Flux Capacitor, you can’t go back in time and live your life again. Makes sense?

So, going by the logic above, it’s safe to say that life can only be understood backward but must be lived forwards. But wait, we’re talking philosophy here. Philosophy is all about answering questions with more questions. It can’t end like this…

If you really want to blow your mind think about the fact that your life is ever-changing and with that change comes new understanding. It’s safe to say your understanding of your past is going to shift form from time to time. Now you know why seeing a shrink is a life long commitment.

Without going deep inside the mind and shaking things up, we can fairly take away some great motivation from these theories. If you are going to spend your life stuck in the past you will never move forward. Without moving forward you can not live. You want to live right? So move forward.

This is not to say you should throw your past out the window and forget about it. While your memories do contain pain and suffering they also contain a great source for inspiration and motivation. Use your past to build your future. Worry about how it all played out later. Much, much later. Don’t look back unless you need to.

[Feature Photo by Sean Pollock on Unsplash]

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