The past doesn't equal the future

I am convinced that the future is one of our most powerful motivators.

Terry Arzt

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By Terry Arzt

Tony Robbins said “the past does not equal the future”


  • No matter what you’ve done or didn’t do in the past
  • ‍No matter what mistakes you’ve made
  • ‍Whatever knowledge or education you didn’t get
  • Whatever limitations you allowed to hold you back

Doesn’t mean you are doomed to live that way in the future.

I am convinced that the future is one of our most powerful motivators. We are completely free in the future to try it a different way.  We can be better, smarter, more productive and more informed in the future. We can try something completely new.  We can do anything in the future.

In the future we have made no mistakes.  None.  

We are completely undefeated in the future. We have a perfect track record.  It’s a blank slate, a chance to start fresh.  It is pure hope.

However, I believe that the past is the best predictor of our future.

We are all prone to repeat life patterns, perceptions and reactions over and over again.  We tend to repeat predictable routines.  Even if that routine is destructive and pointless, we’ll continue to do it just because it’s familiar. It is as if we are hardwired to react and think in a certain way.

The best predictor of what you will earn next year is what you earned last year.  The best predictor of how your habits, thoughts and relationships will be next year is what they were last year.


You change.

I believe that to create a future that is significantly different from our past we need to change ourselves, our beliefs and our thinking.

We need to change our daily habits and our overall strategies.

It is important to examine where you have gone wrong in the past carefully.  Recognize where you’ve made the same kinds of mistakes over and over again.  The longer the pattern has been a part of you, the more likely you are to going repeat it again.

Make notes.  Get curious.  Don’t judge.  Don’t beat yourself up over these mistakes.

You just want to look at your history as if it were an archaeological dig.  Brush off each experience and examine it for patterns.

The past isn’t the future, but the way to keep the mistakes of the past from ruining the hope of the future is simply to acknowledge them. Examine those mistakes and see where they came from, how they started, and why you did them.

Then make a plan for the future.

Recognize your old habits and your daily routines and then create new systems to ensure that they are replaced by more productive behaviors. 

Decide to make some changes right now so the future will be everything you want it to be.

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