Oogway: "There is a saying, 'Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift! That is why it is called the present."
We must learn from the past, prepare ourselves for the future, and keep our mind in the present.
The life we live is only that we experience on the day to day basis. Therefore if we spend all of our time worrying about things done in the past, or worrying about what the future might hold; Then we are failing to stay in the moment of time that is our life.
Learn from the Past
Yes, we need to make sure that the actions we took were good, and make sure the bad decisions are corrected in a new occurrence. Although this may be true, there are a lot of things the past can teach us. Learning from the greatest minds of humanity, they can teach us how to live. Learning the vast amounts of subject areas and careers can teach us what area we would like to work in.
Living in the past however is where we draw the line. Someone close to me always thinks about the past, even a decade in before, then relives the bad or even good memories again. Wasting precious time that could be instead doing something new, spending time with loved ones, or achieving greater levels of oneself.
Try to Prepare for the Future
I'm a futurist at heart, and this is where I falter a lot personally. Spending too much time in the future, and thinking about what will happen. Or really: could.
Especially in the past I would spend a lot of time yearning to get out of the school system, that felt like a prison to me. I think for a lot of people reading this blog it could be the case as well.
Yearning for a new time where the constraints you are facing now are no longer present. Sometimes that is all that will get us through that time, and that is okay. However we must balance that out by moving on after the experience. Being one in the present.
But in the Present stay Focused
We never know what could be lurking around the corner, is it a tiger? Is it a bear? Is it your ex-spouse? Whatever fear that it could be, then we must be aware that danger could be near. Sure in our modern world we have been accustomed to a new way of living, one without fear of survival (in most cases, not particularly food for a lot of people). Being aware of your surroundings, such as when you are driving, so that an accident won't occur.
In some places you may even have to worry about crime, and that is something to keep in mind too. Beyond just physical safety however we must stay present mentally too.
We can't be thinking about that deadline all the time, or the issues caused by some quarantine. Focus on what you CAN do, not what you can't.
The Future and the Past Coming Together
The balance of who you were, and who you will become. That is the person you are today. I believe we can connect the dots looking forward, like stepping stones, we can plan out our course. Over time the dots will connect on their own, just as they do when looking back on your life.
Po in the video above ^, is talking to Master Oogway about finally becoming the Dragon Warrior. The ideal combination of Kung Fu as the Shifu (master) puts it. We find out in that movie that the origin of Kung Fu was from the Tai Chi based Pandas, who were experts at manipulating Chi (or the energy within us).
However Po while being a panda himself, he was also a mega-fan of Kung Fu as a whole. Understanding the importance of each style, and taking a Polymathic approach to mastering Kung Fu. Which is why he is the leader of the furious five, whom are the embodiments of each real life styles of Kung Fu.
He was able to bring the past into the present, while preparing himself and others, with the hope of what the future could bring.
You are the Bridge Connecting the Two, in the Present
In this case you are Po, you are the Dragon Warrior of your own life, and you must be the balance between your past and future.
The Balance of the Middle Path
Finding your way through life is a matter of being present in the moment, and enjoying the gift that life is.
The passion we experience, the joy we feel, and the pleasure from being it in moment. They all come from the same source, by not being too caught up in the past or future.