Hindsight : An important advisor

Hindsight is a powerful tool to add clarity to past mistakes and change them into future successes.


Hindsight is a wonderful thing. You may have heard this phrase, or even thought it to yourself after encountering a time of challenge. Yet, you’ve managed to come through the other side and can now see the positives that came from the negatives. But what does this common phrase truly mean and how can we use it to help us in our future?

It’s easy to think of a certain time where you have felt like something in your life hasn’t gone to plan. It may have been a promotion you didn’t get or even losing a family member unexpectedly. At the time of this difficulty, it may have felt like nothing good could come from it and you might ask yourself why me? However, later down the line, an epiphany happens and the positives from the hardship are finally recognisable. The ‘epiphany’ you experience is down to the work of hindsight. To put it more formally, the Cambridge dictionary pins the exact meaning as ‘having the ability to understand an event or situation only after it has happened.’

As human beings, we make mistakes. No amount of planning, protecting or double-checking will change this- it’s part of our nature. Reflection allows these mistakes of our pasts to have the chance to become the successes of our future. Using the clarity that comes from hindsight, is one of your most useful tools to guide and manoeuvre future obstacles to work out the way you wanted previous failures to result in. This could apply to business when looking at numbers and identifying what worked well and what didn’t, as well as personally when recognising moments of importance in retrospect and making the most of these when they come around again.

It’s easy to critique past choices and say why did I do that? Or if only I had done this, but it’s important to not beat ourselves up when something goes wrong as at the time we didn’t have the 20/20 vision that hindsight allows. To be wise after the event is effortless but it is only after, that this wisdom is available. The shorter the window in registering hindsight, the faster you’ll be able to appreciate the gratitude of your past and therefore have more faith in your future. In some cases, this window can be longer, but this can mean resentment felt for past decisions can equate to fear for making the same mistakes again, therefore, holding you back. It’s important to view mistakes in a positive light and say ok, this may not have gone the way I was hoping it would, but what can I change for it to be better next time, or even for it not to happen again.

Indeed, hindsight will not cover your back for all the mistakes in your future, but it can be used as an aid to ensure you don’t continue making the same ones. Take your hindsight and use it as an advisor for your life- it’s cheaper than a therapist or an accountant. Allow it to help you realise the moments that truly matter with family and friends as well as teaching you what is successful within your job or business. 

Words by

Ellie Dalton


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Issue 4
Ellie Dalton