Wishful Thinking

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.”

George Bernard Shaw

“Some of the worst mistakes of my life have been haircuts.”

Jim Morrison

Reimagining your past is a slippery ledge. We’ve all had those thoughts. “Ah, if only I could go back and not say that…”, “Why did I stay so long at that job (why did I stay so long with that person), now look where I’m at…”, “I wish I could go back, I would relive it so much better than I did.” These types of thoughts keep us stuck in the past and away from the present and future. It’s applying negativity plus 20/20 vision to our imperfect selves.

Of course, just saying “don’t do it” isn’t very helpful. 

Half the time I don’t even realize I’m dwelling in unhelpful thoughts. My mind wanders and I slip into wishing things could have been different. But at the end of the day, they can’t. And sometimes that’s painful. But I can start doing something about it now. I can be better next time.

I find it helpful to remind myself that I’m far from perfect and no one is. Anyone who looks perfect just has a really great social media team behind them photoshopping out the mistakes.

We must learn to look forward and be hopeful, despite what has happened to us, or what is happening to us. I’m not talking about painting the future as all sunshine and happy kitten yawns. (That only applies wishful thinking towards the future.) Rather, knowing things will most likely turn out okay, and knowing that we’ll inevitably make a few more mistakes along the way, and that’s okay too. Vincent Van Gogh once said, “Even the knowledge of my own fallibility cannot keep me from making mistakes. Only when I fall do I get up again.”

There’s always a way forward, even if you don’t like it. Not liking it doesn’t make it go away; It only keeps you planted where you are. If you don’t like it, find a different way. Just don’t dismiss reality for fantasy. Ground yourself, find a silver lining, and then optimistically pick yourself up and keep going.

”Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.”

Billy Graham

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #908

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