In A Shot Of Optimism

Whether in our personal lives or in our business, we’ve all heard the laments.

If only I’d…

fired/hired that person sooner
updated our technology
confronted my spouse about her addiction
taken that job
left that relationship sooner
had the hard conversation with my parents
been willing to explore a new career
said that/done that
  said that/done that

These are some “if only’s” about actions taken or not taken. Actions that were perceived to be high risk.

Every time we say if only, we engage in the fantasy that our life or our business would be better, we would be happier, richer, more respected, or whatever we long for, if only…

Yet when we focus on what we did (or didn’t do) in the past, we squander our time, energy, and imagination on something that cannot be changed.

Here’s the deal: We cannot change the past.

We can learn from it, but not change it. It’s why in planning with my clients, we always look at the previous quarter and ask what went well and what didn’t go well. Then we ask the most important question: What did we learn or realize, given what we accomplished and where we were challenged?

We make plans for the future based on what we learned.

All any of us can do is ask: Based on my experience, what did I learn and how does that inform the choices I make now, so I can create the future I want to have?

If you find yourself saying if only – STOP! Ask yourself what you learned or realized as a result of your action (or inaction), then ponder the question of what you want your future to be like and what it will take to get there.

Let me know what you discover.

Until next Tuesday.


Want help in your personal life?  Check out Live Large: The Achiever’s Guide to What’s Next.

In your business?  Check out Orchard Advisors – Growing Smart Companies.


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