Archive for January 25, 2018

Did you ever find yourself wondering what might have been? You know “How different would life have been If I had done this… or if I haven’t done that?” “What would have changed if I would have taken the job or didn’t get fired, if I went on that date, or skipped that class?” I think we all do it at one point or another and here’s what you need to know about it…

It’s a complete waste of time…

For one thing, your past, at least in part, made you who you are, and that’s probably not too bad. We are the sum of our gifts, talents and experiences. The roads taken and not taken, the opportunities used and the opportunities squandered all contribute to what we do and who we become. Looking at what might have been can lead us to places of ingratitude for the work that God has done in our lives, and that is never a good place to be. Instead what if we looked back in gratitude and forward in hope? Would that attitude change your path? In most cases, I believe the answer is yes. But, for the sake of argument, let’s suppose that your past is such a mess and hope is hard to find. What can you do?

Look time travel is great for SciFi, but in the real world it is impossible. The past is gone and there’s no going back, but there’s good news. You see they say, hindsight is always 20/20, but the problem with hindsight is it gets you looking in the wrong direction. when looking back and thinking “if only” the very best you can see is an idealized image of something that never happened. Yes, it might have been good, but you have no way of knowing that. It may just as soon have been an even bigger mess and again the point is moot, even if it turned out, ideal, there is no going back. The only direction we can ever really head, at least with respect to time, is forward.

The good news starts here. The past is gone except for the memories that remain and considered properly they can be a free (even if they were very costly) education. We can learn from the past and point ourselves to a different future. Wish you had never taken your first drink? Let that point you to sobriety. Will it be hard? Yes but what in life that’s good is easy. Wish you had taken a different career path? Start working toward what you need to do that? Wish you had been a better parent, spouse or parent? Start today and do what you can to make things right. At the end of the day, the past is gone but we can work toward a better future.

This is especially important to us as creatives. Some people will tell us we’re ahead of our time. It’s simply not true, because the only time you have is this one. We need to make the creative ideas we have and move forward with them. We may be powerless over things past, but, with God’s help, we can create a better future, so we’ll know that what might have been cannot hold a candle to what is still to be.

In case you need a musical reminder… Here’s one.