Always Measure Backwards

Written By: Lance Piatt

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards.” – Steve Jobs

Understanding the significance of progress is a vital part of any development plan. It’s important to measure progress by looking back at what has been achieved in the past. That way, you can identify areas of success and establish a benchmark against which future performance can be measured. By doing so, you can set achievable goals and milestones that will help you stay on track to reach your desired outcomes. Ultimately, measuring the past is essential in order to measure progress moving forwards.

Looking at the past for significance is counter intuitive and just plain hard, but it is the ONLY way to truly measure anything.  It is illogical to “measure” success by looking to where you think you need to be.

Growth is a part of life and something we measure ourselves by. It can be both physical and mental, but it always has significance in our lives. Every day presents an opportunity for growth; whether it’s learning something new or taking on a challenge, growth helps us become more fulfilled individuals. As you continue to grow, take time to reflect on the significance of your progress, and how far you’ve come. It’s important to acknowledge growth and remember that it is an ongoing process–one that should be celebrated! Keep growing, keep learning, and always recognize the importance of growth in your life.

I believe that the person we are now is much more significant than simply a transient version of ourselves. We have already made large leaps and bounds in our development and are not finished. The experiences, beliefs, emotions, and values that shape us today will remain with us as we continue to grow and evolve as individuals over time.

Though our current state may be fleeting, it is also absolutely essential for where we go from here. Every moment of every day provides us with an opportunity to form new connections, learn new ideas, and gain fresh perspectives that can serve as stepping stones toward the people we are striving to become. Thus, the person you are right now is significant; it’s the foundation for who you will become.

How about an abbreviated version of Howell’s Learning “model”.

  1. You don’t know what you don’t know.
  2. You now know that you don’t know.
  3. You now know that what you didn’t know before, you are getting to know.
  4. You don’t know what you know and continue to know more without knowing it.

Obviously I am making light of something important… a sort of “psyop”.  The bottom line here is that we over complicate things.

As you become more cognizant of your uniqueness, you start to recognize what is static or rigidly opposed to growth. This gives you the power to identify and move toward those things in your life that are growing, which can have a profound significance for your mental state and well-being. Being mindful of this can help you create an environment of purposeful growth as well as allow you to be open to new experiences and opportunities. As long as you stay conscious of this idea, it can continue to guide and shape who you become.

Ultimately, understanding your own individuality helps make sense of the world around you; it allows you to search out the elements that align with what makes your heart sing and motivates you to fulfill your purpose. By recognizing what is blocking or limiting your growth, you can strive to break away from it and move closer toward greater self-actualization. As a result, this will fuel your passion and drive to become the best version of yourself.

Again, I fully get this is hard stuff.  Mostly because you are undoing what has always been pushed.

Five Questions To Consider Your Future Through The Past – As you answer these questions, consider your focus at the time, perspective and perception.  What was important then and what is and or will be important later.  Remember, nothing is static and preparation is vital for significant gains; planning isn’t measured by looking forward it is only a reference for direction… not success.

  1. Where am I right now?
  2. What are my wins from the past 90 days?
  3. What are my desired wins for the next 90 days?
  4. Where will I be in 12 months?
  5. Where will I be in 3 years?

Realize 3-5 are not being measured; They are not goals!  We are not attempting to measure ourselves against future gains.  Can you see how logically this makes no sense, much less fundamentally impossible.




The way you measure your progress can make all the difference in how satisfied you are with your success. It’s not enough to focus solely on goals that represent big numeric values or tangible possessions. Instead, consider measuring progress by its significance. Consider how it serves a purpose beyond personal gain and is making an impact on others – whether it be through a small act of kindness or scaling ambitious projects that help many people. This will give you perspective and satisfaction from knowing that what you do matters in a bigger context. Celebrate each step forward, no matter how small, and find joy in both the successes as well as the challenges along the way. By focusing on the significance of your journey, you’ll be able to appreciate every moment spent towards achieving your goals.

By tracking progress through its significance, you will be able to more effectively recognize both your hard work and determination and be satisfied with the progress you have made. In doing so, you’ll feel a deeper sense of satisfaction when you finally reach your destination. So start measuring the significance of your journey today. Appreciate each step forward, no matter how small, and find joy in both successes as well as challenges along the way!

The next time you want to measure your success, try looking at it from a perspective beyond personal gain – think about what kind of impact it is making on others or the world at large. Doing so will give you an appreciation for all that has been achieved thus far and motivate you to continue striving for greater success.

By focusing on the significance of your progress, whatever it may be, big or small, you can find joy even in the most difficult moments and be truly satisfied with all that you have accomplished. So measure your progress not only by its quantity but also by its significance! You will be sure to gain a deeper appreciation for your journey and more importantly – yourself.

So!… Let’s Look Backward

  • Where were you 12 months ago?
  • What were you focused on back then?
  • How has your life changed and improved?
  • What do you know now that you didn’t know back then?
  • How has your “measure of success” improved over the past 12 months?
  • What are you measuring now that you weren’t measure back then?

Peace on your Days!



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