As the end draws near for the Apostle Paul, he shares a game-changing philosophy for living: learn to focus on what lies ahead.

Philippians 3:13-14 (NLT) Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

Paul uses the image of a race to describe how he meets every challenge that life brings his way. He forgets the past that he cannot change in order to focus on what lies ahead. He does this by keeping his eye on the finish line. For him, this means pressing on toward fulfilling his God-given purpose in life.

The greatest impediment to achieving a goal is looking back. For a runner, looking back over the shoulder helps no one but the competition. Runners have great peripheral vision and can sense when another competitor draws near, signaling the need to turn it up a notch. This enables them to focus on what lies ahead.

Of course, it’s impossible to forget our past altogether. Some memories serve us well. Paul implies he pays no attention to past failures and regrets. He refuses to concern himself about negatives that lie behind him. Instead, he chooses to focus on what lies ahead—the prize awaiting him at the finish line. Humans are not chameleons with the ability to look two ways at the same time. We must choose whether to look backward or focus on what lies ahead.

In the following short documentary, I follow a man who confronts a past that haunts him. He must choose whether to continue carrying the burden of the past, or leave it behind and get on with his life.

His experience represents a choice we must all make; whether to live in the past or focus on what lies ahead.