Hindsight Vs Foresight

“Hindsight explains the injury that foresight would have prevented”

– Unknown

Success and failure give each other company. It is difficult to identify a specific successful person alive today that can claim, in absolute good faith, that he never failed at anything. The failures so endured help the analytical, and the committed to learn from their mistakes and move much farther ahead in life. How do they do it? More often than not, their hindsight offers them a fair run-down on the chain of events that precipitated it.

Hindsight is the diagnostic tool that locates trigger points reaching up to the end. The true strength of this trait lies in scrutiny and recapitulation. These activities allow us to recognize risks and abstain from unnecessary obstacles. The facts so brought out point towards the mistakes and/or errors already committed. The lessons help restore the damage.

Executives with great planning skills report to the Board of Directors for their lack of control. No matter how far-sighted their judgment, the accomplishment of the project determines their continued power. This is where their leadership comes into doubt. Too much confidence in one man over others is the primary reason that compromises team synergy. Favoritism sows the seeds of uneasiness that grow as non-collaboration and end in a chaotic mess.

I recall growing up in the early 60s in India, where corporal punishment for youngsters was the rule rather than an exception. I understand it continues in most developing countries in different notable forms or styles. Sometimes teachers helped their favorite students run away with less responsibility than the rest. The ones lagging in their study, attendance in class and/or poor demeanor were the easiest to isolate out for the severest discipline.

Such imbalance resulted in a large proportion of children falling out of school at an early age. They felt embarrassed. Lack of good friends made them more vulnerable to the unethical pastime. It gave them the pretext to run amok, and they did that by pulling pranks or picking up fights for no purpose. They found relief from the constant bickering of the teachers and parents alike by acting as bullies.

In hindsight, I can say irresponsible, short-tempered educators remain a significant contributor to the lack of education in those regions. Reports from India highlight the dilemma of the majority of eight-year-old kids in the Public School system that cannot yet write their full names. There was a disturbing Video Report on ZEE NEWS channel from the states of U.P. and Punjab just weeks ago. Conditions are so much better in the Private Schools where large fees and six to seven figure donations are the standards for parents to have their child admitted. These institutions provide excellent instruction, at a high cost beyond the capacity of an average middle-class family.

I wish those in government the past sixty plus years had the foresight to set up the satisfactory environment for educating the forthcoming generations. It is an opportunity for the present administration to straighten out the mistakes of the earlier regime. The suffering wreaked upon millions took place because they neglected to use foresight and squandered away public funds.

I wish we could relate to the force of hindsight in sharpening our own foresight. That may serve us avoid the shock of such a pronounced mess. Due to a shortage of culpability at multiple stages, the complete education chain has turned into a helpless prey. Thankfully, certain exceptions remain. The bulk of the students keen to pursue higher studies originates from educated families where parents always paid respect to knowledge as the foundation even at the expense of their personal happiness and enjoyment. They give up their holidays and work overtime to generate enough money so the children have no stigma later.

What can you expect from a corrupt society or broken system that received no recognition from the supreme authority for over sixty years since independence? The majority of the municipal institutions in the villages across the country run without a building/shelter/protection against unfavorable weather, out in the open. They lacked the basic amenities. If you deprive the children and the youth of basic amenities, the entire nation pays the price.

I look forward to the most recent actions of the current regime to show more success in eliminating the problem. I hope this hindsight shows the legislators an unusual mechanism of foresight to forge stronger foundations through empowered children, intelligent youth, and skilled workers.

Same rings true for companies no matter how big or small. Pay respect to the workers, employees, the ones responsible for picking up the clutter of the high-flying executives. Talk about the workers’ needs, and challenges; offer ambient conditions to promote productivity and observe how your expectations turn to realization with excitement. Our hindsight holds the keys to prosperity until we close the gaps left unattended far too long.

Soon we use hindsight for reflection and direction foresight becomes a powerful instrument. Failure to gain from earlier shortcomings shows us a murky view of our real virtues. With overlooked air bubbles in-between, the foundation will finally weaken and bear down the complete organization.

Seasoned executives/decision-makers/authoritative figures need to rise to the challenge and use the knowledge so obtained from their struggles to address difficult circumstances. They are duty-bound to analyze business trends both past and present and study aggressive players whose decisions could create a sizable influence on the market. Only then, they can solidify their individual position enough to buy out their opponent. This is where foresight comes into play and influences the prospect of great numbers of employees.

Innumerable examples feature the potential of hindsight and foresight as crucial to success in life. The same fundamental laws can help pave the way whether it applies to family, profession, trade or the government. The skill involved in their alchemy is where your leadership qualities determine the result!


Bharat Mathur
Bharat Mathur
WHERE goal setting and systematically achieving each one of them has been the ‘Mantra’, where earning trust by delivering value has been an uncompromising principle and where deeply impactful experiences have made an indelible impression to look directly into the eyes of toughest problems and tackling them head-on has been a major cementing glue in the foundation, Bharat Mathur fits the bill, hands down! Creating value for others, out of the challenges his career in the “C” Suite kept throwing at him left, right and center, Bharat now finds solace in being a ‘Guide by Your Side’ rather than a ‘Sage on the Stage with An Eye on What You Buy’! Past 4 decades of Bharat’s life have been no less eventful than that of anyone else in similar circumstances. However, the way he lived from one challenge to another and stayed focused on his goal is clearly visible as much in his Coaching as in his #1 Best Seller Book: “you Are YOU-nique: Realize Your True Worth”! His next book project tackles ‘Internet of things’ (IoT) from the viewpoint of a layman and helps understand this fast-approaching revolution in simple, easy-to-understand language with live examples: “SMART PHONE + I o T = INCOMPARABLE OPPORTUNITIES” Nurturing a number of successful businesses, mentoring a lot more towards astronomical growth and helping them identify and eradicate trouble spots, Bharat has rightfully earned the nickname: ‘Achiever’ Send him Bouquets or Brickbats, Bharat loves it all!

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    • Thanks a lot Ms. Carol, for your very important contribution here! I tried to relate my personal experiences of childhood to the present-day common governance scene in almost every society across the globe. There are bosses and then there are manipulative bosses. The question is where do you draw the line?

      It is incumbent upon the decision-makers to use hindsight for the sake of a sharper foresight that carries them forward with pride as well as TEAM-spirit. TEAM for me means Together Everybody Achieves More or Together Everybody Acquires Money. Take your pick!

      Warm Regards

  1. Bharat I enjoyed this. It is something that we all struggle with. Somewhere there is a balance between the two, Maybe hindsight is where we visit our regrets and foresight is where we forget what we learned in hindsight. Great article my friend. I always enjoy your insight.