Lately, I’ve been thinking about where I’ve been, how I’ve gotten here, what roads I’ve taken, etc. I feel like we, as humans, are very inquisitive; we always have a question. More times than not, and I can surely testify to this, we look back on our lives and ask ourselves a plethora of “what if’s”.
“What if I didn’t go to that party?”
“What if I studied more for that test?”
“What if I found out what would happen sooner?”
“What if, what if, what if?”
Questioning our past isn’t going to change it. Thinking of all the different ways we would have done things isn’t going to change it, either. I recently found a quote that I absolutely love. It really helped me to apply it to my life, and see if I am guilty of this.
It says, “You can’t start the next chapter of your life, if you keep re-reading the last one”.
An author doesn’t bring a published book to an editor and ask if they can rewrite a main characters story line. For example, JK Rowling wouldn’t bring the Harry Potter series, years later, back to her editor and say “You know, I’ve been thinking, what if Harry wasn’t a wizard? Why don’t we just take it all back and make him not one?” If she did that, there wouldn’t be any books to read! There would be no sequel. The same is true in our lives. We are never going to move on, if we keep trying to take back the past. We can’t tell everyone to pause their lives, just so we can go back and see how things would happen if we did them differently. You want to know why? Because it’s done. Over. Finished. If we keep dwelling in the what if’s of the past, we will never be able to live in the now.
This is also true when we ask ourselves what if’s of the future.
“What if I don’t go to this college?”
“What if I don’t take this job?”
“What if this offer doesn’t work out?”
We are stressing ourselves way too much on things that haven’t even happened yet! And the probability of them happening, isn’t that high. Has anyone else noticed that in our minds, we always jump to the worst conclusion? That we always blow everything out of proportion? Just in case you didn’t know, the world isn’t going to end if you don’t take a certain job, or go to a certain school. Everything will be okay even if your offer doesn’t go through. Life goes on.
Instead of asking ourselves the what if’s of the past and the future, maybe we should focus on the here and now. Because those are the choices we can dictate.
“What if I were to jump out of my comfort zone?”
“What if I were to start a project today?”
“What if I helped someone right now?”
When we focus on things we can do, now, we are in the right zone. Don’t worry about the past, it’s behind you. Don’t worry about the future, it’s not its time to arrive yet. Live now, think about what you can do now to help yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask yourself “what if”. But don’t dwell on the mistakes, or the anxiousness awaiting. You’ll waste precious time you could be living.
Your Adventures Await…Go Forth and Conquer.