The One that Got Away

“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.” -Theodore Roosevelt

Memory is a gift, the ability to remember what you had for lunch the previous day, or remembrance of a precious childhood memory…Memory can also be a curse, the memory of traumatic events, past failures, and everything else that has possibly gone wrong in the past. Let’s be frank, save for a select few it isn’t exactly easy or sometimes even possible to simply forget or brush aside negative experiences or missed opportunities. Lost relationships, lost job offers, lost chances to connect…allowing the things we’ve lost or mistakes we’ve made to control our future outcomes can be a choice we make without conscious awareness…the nitpicking in potentially available partners, the mind game played to convince yourself not to approach an opportunity or apply for a position, the lack of taking risks. More times than not our negative memories tend to overpower our positive ones, the infamous 5-1 rule, this rule is prevalent in our thought processes as well. Call it a bad habit, but as with any habit, this habit can and should be broken...

I find myself at times dealing with the issue of over dwelling on past decisions. I remember an opportunity I was presented with, a concrete, lucrative position…with many requirements I met and some that I didn’t, one in particular that I didn’t…time. Being a university student for the past few years has been my “full-time” commitment and although I like to think I am Superman and can do all things, others run on a much more clear-cut black and white scale. Drop school, accept job offer, make money, start real life…sounds good to me especially when the alternative includes writing exams and sleepless nights, yet after weighing my decision, which was a long drawn-out process…I decided to stick with school for numerous reasons but I found myself questioning my decision. I no longer question my decision, I no longer dwell on what I perceived as “the one that got away”…

The average Canadian lives for approximately 80 years…80 years…that’s a lot of life to live. A lot of time to rectify past mistakes as well as what are deemed missed opportunities; besides very few, very very very few times are there actually “once in a lifetime” opportunities, not the type of opportunities that use the tagline to persuade you into commitment but actual, OH MY GOD this will never happen again moments. With all that life to live and the odds being you will re-encounter the one that got away somewhere down the line, there is no reason to dwell and beat yourself up over it.

There is every reason to focus more energy on things you can control, making the most of future opportunities, and working to create these opportunities. Worst-case scenario you fail or miss something good, just like 100% of other people…but instead of experiencing just regret you can join an elite group of people that bounce back and create success through “the one that got away” . Choice is yours.

 

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