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Present knowledge of past events

Are you familiar with the phrase 'Hindsight is 20 20'?

Originating in 1949, the phrase is said to have been coined by American poet & author Richard Armour. 20 20 ; a term used to express clarity of vision, measured at a distance of 20 feet, and hindsight; A clearer understanding of situations and events after they have happened. Hindsight is 2020 suggests we are able to clearly understand a situation after it has passed when we have had an opportunity to reflect upon it; a present knowledge of a past event so to speak!


With time to reflect, we are able to re-evaluate the information and any decisions that were made at the time. Things often look much clearer with the benefit of hindsight; almost as if the answers were 'obvious' all along. This sense of obviousness, may lead us to falsely assume that we could have known better at the time, and therefore, in some instances we should have chosen differently. We may start to think that we originally missed the obvious, resulting in feelings of 'stupidity', regret, guilt or even failure, which can have a negative impact on our self esteem and mental well-being.

It is important to recognise, therefore that we did not have the information that hindsight allows prior to making the decision, we only caught a glimpse; just a few pieces of the jigsaw; rather than the whole picture. With more information the bigger picture comes into focus - like the uncovering of Mr Chips on the TV show 'Catchphrase!


Regretting decisions after we have made them is illogical and futile and while the majority of us know only too well that we cannot change anything after the moment has passed, and that the best that we can hope for is to learn from the experience - having that understanding often isn't enough to prevent us from ruminating on the idea that we should have known better. In my experience, very few people, if any, genuinely have the ability to see into the future, although there is no end to the amount of people who will have you believe, they would have known better and chosen differently - highly unlikely; so say all of us! given they too are viewing after the fact, with the benefit of hindsight!


It is with the benefit of hindsight that I write my next blog entitled 'Breaking the Cycle', which for the benefit of those of you who know me, has nothing to do with Bicycles!


I hope you can join me and, as always - if you find this information useful, please comment below!



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