Sometimes, I wonder what my life might have been if I had made different choices. If I had continued to dance, if I had pursued my dream of living by the beach, if I had followed through with becoming fluent in French.
I’ve noticed these thoughts surface when I am discontent with my current situation. I do long to teach dance again, to catch a wave or two. And sometimes I dream of what my life would have been if I had done things just a little differently.
Unfortunately, these dreams of what life could have been only make me want to go back and make different choices. But is this thought process helpful to me? Does wondering about those “if only” choices in the past help me to grow into who I want to be?
Dwelling on what might have been often brings regret and remorse.
Seriously, though, what if I had made different choices? Would everything be as brilliant as I imagine? No, because if I can’t be happy where I am now why would I be happy anytime, anywhere else?
The easiest mindset to have is ‘things aren’t great now; if I had only done this or that life would be amazing!’ This is an unlikely outcome. Certainly, we can make bad decisions that lead us into rough terrain and sometimes the results are life changing.
But it is how we choose to view our lives now that determines if we are happy and content.
Do I live with longing or gratitude?
If you are struggling with your perspective on life, start a gratitude journal. Begin every morning with what you are grateful for - write it down. End the day with some quiet time to reflect on your experiences and discover what you are most grateful for. You will quickly discover your life is abundant with amazing experiences and opportunities.
To live life fully we cannot look back with regret; the past cannot be changed. But we can look forward and do what fulfills our desires now. Look at your life with appreciation and take action to achieve your new dreams!
I will look back and smile at all the amazing experiences I’ve been blessed with but then I will look at today and take a step towards my new goals.
Grow from your experience but don’t look at the past with longing. You cannot return to what life was but you can move to what you want now.
Don’t live your life wishing for what ”could’ve been.” Explore what life can be now.