These are the good old days, you just haven’t realised it yet

Only in hindsight do we realise how great right here and now actually is.

ste davies

Right here, right now. These are the good old days.

In ten years’ time you’ll look back on today with warm feelings of nostalgia and the benefit of hindsight knowing what was ahead of you.

When I think back ten years ago to 2007 I remember them as the good old days. I’d just moved to London and everything was new. I had the big city to explore.

When I think back further to 1997 I remember them as the good old days. I was young, dumb and clueless about the world. But I remember being confident and optimistic about about myself and my life.

Going back to 1987 and I remember them as the good old days. I was a child without a care in the world. My only worry was where my next packet of sweets were coming from.

Only looking back do we see things as the good old days.

Partly because we tend to remember things wearing rose tinted glasses. The human brain is clever and remembers the good more vividly than the bad. This is an evolutionary survival mechanism that helps us stay more resilient.

The psychological term for it is called rosy retrospection  and it’s what authors Chip and Dan Heath talk about in the book, The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact.

No doubt I faced challenges and issues during those times but I remember it all positively and with nostalgia. My brain only remember the peak moments.

When we’re in the moment, however, we just live our lives. We don’t stop to think if we’re living through good old days. Only in hindsight do we realise how good they actually were.

Look at a picture of yourself from ten years ago. At the time you probably didn’t like how you looked.

You likely picked faults with a facial feature or weren’t happy with a body part or two.

Now, ten years later, you’ve likely realised how handsome or pretty you were and how perhaps your so-called faults were defining features.

You probably see your younger self in a different light today than you did back then and have realised how much potential lay ahead of you.

The same applies today. Appreciate today as one ‘good old’ day. Take a selfie and ponder how handsome or pretty your future self will think you are.

We live in unprecedented times but there’s never been a greater time to be alive.

Some (most) people don’t see it that way, especially as one gets to a particular age.

People tend to become pessimistic about the future and long for days gone by. Their heads are full of rosy retrospection and a dim view of what’s to come.

They’re wrong.

Today, right here, right now. These are the good old days.

Written by Ste Davies

Ste ‘Stephen’ Davies is a freelance digital consultant, traveller, writer, podcaster and speaker based in London, UK. You can reach him here or follow him on Twitter below.

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