Life in the Rearview Mirror

What separates those who do from those who simply wonder about doing it?

This is a question I find myself mulling over regularly, as my work often finds me in a place of listening to others talk about all the things they wish they could do.

The list of “what ifs” runs the gamut of personal and professional exploration. Changing career paths, starting a new business, leaving an unhappy relationship. A litany of life changes that no doubt, if pursued, will propel one’s existence into another dimension.

So what prompts us to pump the brakes in these scenarios? Is it fear? Practicality? Obligation? In many regards, it’s a combination of all of the above. And while I understand the grip these emotions can have on us, there’s yet another reality that I personally find to be more powerful. To the point that we should all stop in our tracks and listen when it speaks up.

And that is the possibility of experiencing regret.

To be clear, this is not the I-should-have-could-have-would-have form of regret that comes from hindsight. That type is past-tense and factual, based on an outcome we’ve already realized, giving us an opportunity to step back and assess. The regret that can fuel us, however, and that we often choose to ignore, is instinctual. It strikes us before we’ve even tried something, leaving us to wonder what will happen if we opt not to pursue it.

Where will we be if we don’t answer the “what if…?”

Because when the fear of never giving it a shot becomes more intoxicating than the fear of failing, you, my friends, have found your springboard. And you should heed your soul’s desire to wander and prepare yourself to experience the possibility of something other-worldly, because you will not be the same person once you commit to diving in, absence of net and all.

Yes, there will be fear. There will be impracticality. And there will be plenty of people telling you that you shouldn’t be doing what you’re doing.

But you will no longer be standing in place wondering.

No, instead, you’ll have your breath taken away daily by the thought of how you came so close to missing out on the new world around you.

And your only need for a rearview mirror will be for assessing how far you’ve come.

One thought on “Life in the Rearview Mirror

  1. Well said as always…I have a short one:

    If you believe you can or you believe you can’t…YOU”RE RIGHT.

    Phyllis Oestmann

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