If any of you know me by now you can probably imagine that the title of this article is something that I loathe.
Almost nothing bothers me more than when I should have done something, could have done something, or pondered what would have happened had I taken action.
I’m not even talking about regret, although it certainly applies here.
What I’m really referring to is letting myself down. Because that’s what it’s all about. It’s about being proud of who you are.
And being proud of who you are consists of a continued process of keeping promises to yourself and not breaking them.
Look, it’s one thing to say something like “I should’ve bought Apple stock when its IPO came out” or “I should’ve eaten an apple instead of ice cream.”
These are more micro instances and don’t have incredibly huge impacts on our lives (although repeated instances can have large impacts).
That’s not what I’m talking about.
What am I talking about?
- “I should have started that business 10 years ago.”
- “I should have went up to that girl in the bar who was smiling at me.”
- “I could have been a pro athlete if I had only practiced more.”
- “I would have had way more time in my life if I just focused more, but I didn’t.”
The list goes on and on and on.
How many things in your life should you have done, could you have done, or would you have done that may have completely altered the course of your life for the better?
And again, this isn’t me saying you should hold on to regret and get depressed about it.
But it is me saying that you need to take a look at the patterns in your life.
Are you a should have person? Do you constantly try something only to quit and not see it through?
Do you find yourself focusing on past failures that are prohibiting future attempts?
That’s when you really need to examine your life and either do something about it or continue to fall prey to nostalgia and false hope.
It’s not easy but you can turn it around
Getting into a nasty habit of perceived scenarios is dangerous. It’s dangerous because it’s easy.
It’s easier not to try.
It’s easier to just imagine and not have to go through anything real.
But the more you do that, the less you’ll be. It’s that simple.
However, remember this:
It’s never too late.
- It’s never too late to start that business.
- It’s never too late to take that first guitar lesson.
- It’s never too late to go on that trip you’ve been putting off for years.
What it takes is a start. It takes a small flame to get you going. It takes small steps and practice. You can get there, but you’ve got to start.