WHAT IF I had actually paid attention in school instead of taking the easy way out of slacking and relying on my good memory? Maybe I would have more confidence in my abilities and definitely better work ethics. Maybe I would be in a job I love right now excelling in my field.
WHAT IF I had been serious about my health and worked out more often in my younger days? Maybe I wouldn’t be dealing with the slight beginnings of middle age spread. Maybe I would be a much more active person enjoying life to the fullest.
WHAT IF I had spent more time on my appearance when I was younger? Maybe the world would have reacted to me in a much better way. Maybe I would have generally felt much better about myself. Maybe I would have been married sooner.
What are the “WHAT IF” games that you play? Maybe it is about money (e.g. what if I had not bought that Arabian racing horse? It would be nice to have that 50K back, especially now that I am in 30K credit care debt…;) or maybe it is the ever popular, “WHAT IF” I had been ‘perfect’ and kept this or that boy/girl friend?” …or “WHAT IF” God had chosen better parents for me?
As I was wallowing in a bit of regret this week about certain aspects of my life (especially regarding my career/education and health), I suddenly realized I was exchanging the possibilities of a better tomorrow for the definite losses of yesterday. Even a child will tell you that swapping potential for a sure loss is a BAD trade.
Instead of grumbling internally about where my life has ended up (not that it is bad in anyway – but I feel like there was so much potential for even more), I was best to cut my losses and just take steps to ensure I learn and make better choices for tomorrow. It is SUCH a psychic waste of time to beat myself up for the loss of past opportunities…granted some of those opportunities will never come again BUT nothing will change that. I cannot bring them back even with lots of analysis and self-stabbing. However, a surefire way of missing even more opportunities is to go over my mistakes/laziness/disorganization over and over in my head, resulting in my feeling terrible about myself…which of course leads to paralysis because of the fear and negativity this berating creates in my mind.
SO, maybe the opportunity for an amazing 20 year old body is lost to me forever BUT I can be the best healthwise for a 33 year old that I know how…and that starts with the simple choice of taking a walk to work, working out today or choosing greens with my lunch instead of fries.
SO, maybe I wasted a lot of time and money at school not studying BUT I have about 30-40 years of working years left in me….why not do some informational interviewing and soul searching now to make the rest of years fulfilling career wise?
I am learning (very slowly) to stop the “What if” game and instead play the “What can I do NOW?” game.
(hence this blog post….I love writing, so I’m writing)