Don’t Dwell on the Past

“Pragmatic Sales Psychology” short episode series, writing #19”

This title begs the question,”If we shouldn’t dwell in the past, what is the past good for?” I think the key word is “dwell.” Another translation would be “Don’t Live in the Past.” Many business people and sales professionals like to reference “the good ole days.” The naked truth is that romanticizing about the past is a fun thing to do at dinner over an adult beverage, but it was rarely as “good” as we remember it. Even if it was easier to be profitable in the past (depending on your SIC), only some of the marketing techniques from days gone by are available or still working in this “new normal.” One mistake I’ve seen companies make is to keep trying the old things that used to work, long after they quit yielding well in this new world of selling. 

The advantages that technology brings the modern day business professional are phenomenal and few of them were available in the old selling landscape. Yes, there are valuable lessons to be learned from the past and there is no substitution for experience, but experience is to be learned from, then those lessons should be applied to the new tools in the new toolbox. This is the best way to use the past and improve a person’s performance in today’s world. 

If you find yourself frequently ruminating on the past, this is a safe assumption; you are not spending enough time in an excited frame of mind planning for the future. All the re-rehearsing of the past only makes sense if you are looking for great ideas to apply to your future sales and marketing strategies. That is their only “moving forward” value. 

In summary, refusing to dwell on the past promotes better time management and productivity. Refusing to dwell on the past doesn’t mean you are in denial of its existence but it does allow you to keep it in context. To quote Amy Morin, the author, ”If you spend your time looking in the rearview mirror, you can’t look out the windshield.” There is an emotional toll that living in the past exacts on one, so adjust your habits if you find yourself using it as more than just a reference, or fodder for good ideas to apply to the now.  

“We do not heal the past by dwelling there, we heal the past by living fully in the present.” – Marianne Williamson 



Jack Klinefelter

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