Writing down the tasks for tomorrow is something we prefer avoiding. Why? According to the book ‘Eat That Frog’ written by Brian Tracy, because that will bring the biggest impact.
Fortunately not all not like that, some of us are actually following this rule. But, are we following up on that?
As soon as I wrote this, as an intro to an article that would go on to describe “why we should list our every day and bla bla bla”, I sensed a pain and frustration because I myself have missed accomplishing countless of items on my list in recent months. Notice I said months, not days. And if anyone tells you they always make this list and always get all the items done, they are either lying or their list has no more than 3 items per day.
But here’s the thing: the items that I have ticked outweigh the ones I have missed. You can ask me how I know that, and my answer is the point of this write-up: there is no way to know that what would have happened if you had done or not done something in the past.
Once again, there is no way to know what would have happened. It sounds like common sense, and yet we often waste our time thinking about the past and playing this game of ‘What-if?’. What if I had gotten into IBA? I would now be working for a job with a 6-digit salary. What if my high school crush had not rejected my proposal? What if she hadn’t torn my love letter in front of everyone, only before reading it out loud to embarrass me and scar me for the rest of my life (mind you, this is purely fictional). What if, I were born in a rich family instead of a middle class one?
The bitter truth is, you can never predict. Yes, you could have achieved the respect for getting into IBA but you could have had a major accident on your way to uni one day and died. Yes, you could have had a romantic affair but it could turn out that she is a Cruella Deville or an Ursula inside and would have made you her bitch (for lack of a better term)? What if you started to misuse the wealth of your family and become a Yaaba addict like many in our country?
Such is the way of all life. We have no way of knowing our exact future. Neither can we change the events of the past. But we can choose to remember the positive aspects of the past and learn from the mistakes. We must understand that replaying the mistake over and over in our head and trying to find a better ending by imagining up alternative universe-esque scenarios won’t lead to a better future.
Please stop doing this. If you have failed in life, good. If you want something but you can’t have that, good. You know what it’s like now. You remember the mistake or the wrong step that led you here. Now work on correcting it. But most importantly, be happy with what the past has given you. It could have been worse. What ever it was it’s gone, and that’s the best part.
The what-if game never leads to true satisfaction, fulfillment, or enlightenment. It only leads you to short term escape from reality. It can only remind you of what you lost, and what ‘you think you could have’. This behavior is as bad as trying to high-five the bottom of a red-hot frying pan with an already burnt hand. All it does is hurt you more and leave a much worse scar.