got up earlier. Then I would-a
missed this heavy traffic.”
“I should-a made that phone call. Then I would-a got their business.”
“I should-a recognized him for his work. Then I would-a still had him as an employee.”
“I should-a listened more. Then I would-a still been married.”
“I should-a done more should-a-ing. Then I would-a had more to regret.”
Ridiculous isn’t it?
Do you should-a, would-a yourself, and keep yourself stuck in the past?
I’ve done it.
I made a business investment decision that did not turn out well. We lost a whack of hard-earned dough.
For several years, I beat myself up because of all the should-a’s that I could have done so we would-a still had that money. I was scared about our financial security. I blamed other people for the failure of the business.
The would-a thoughts haunted me continually as I looked around at things that we wanted to be and do. Our lives would-a been greatly enhanced personally and professionally. Life would-a been much easier.
This failure attitude affected me every day for a long time. It burned in my heart and mind. It negatively affected my relationships with many people.
This stinkin’ thinkin’ is the attitude of losers. With it brewing in me, I was ineffective and unsuccessful at everything I did. I was stuck in past events.
Finally I realized what I was doing to myself. It had nothing to do with that investment, or those people. It was all about me, and I am thrilled with the lesson, gift-wrapped in this event.
I learned that all of my results in my life are a sum total of the choices I have made. If I don’t like the result, I have the ability to make new choices, which will give me a different result. I learned that there is a lesson in every event, and I now consciously look to find it.
In regard to the investment, I made the best choices with the information I had at the time. We lost money – so what? Money is a trading commodity, and there is tons of it in our world.
In regard to my relationships with the people involved, I chose to forgive them, and forgive myself for our choices of words and actions. I hold no grievances or resentment toward them. They made the best choices with the information they had.
The experience helped me to become consciously aware of my thoughts and actions. I now choose to keep my thoughts positive, and choose my actions according to my core values of honesty, integrity, kindness, and respect. I do what I love to do, and I am rewarded with money, and other precious experiences – more magnificently than I expect.
Rather than should-a, would-a, I look forward to each new experience in life. I treasure the feelings of vulnerability because it’s fun, and that’s when I learn my best lessons.
What about you? Do you should-a, would-a, or choose to live now?
Apply these seven strategies to bust the should-a, would-a syndrome, and have more fun:
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Become consciously aware of your thoughts. Notice the mind chatter. Monitor the thoughts carefully, and continually.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ When the should-a thoughts of the past enter your mind, look for the lesson, and forgive yourself. You made the choice based upon your knowledge and emotions at the time. You can’t change it.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ When the would-a thoughts enter your mind, forgive yourself and graciously accept where you are now.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ When you have worry or fear thoughts of the future, affirm that you can easily handle any event. Forgive yourself for the thoughts. What you worry about won’t likely happen anyway.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ When you feel vulnerable, acknowledge the thoughts and feelings, give yourself a “Yahoo” in your mind, or out loud. It will help you to remain positive and honour the moment.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Consciously make your choices according to your core values and always be respectful of your relationships.
Ã¢Â?Â¢ Lighten up and have fun. Life is not as serious as you make it.
I make mistakes and I have a hunch that you make mistakes. Get over it!
Apply the seven strategies above. I guarantee that you will learn valuable lessons about yourself, improve your relationships, and have tons more fun.
Bust the should-a, would-a syndrome and replace it with the I-am-a syndrome. I-am-a strong, assertive, powerful person having fun now, and looking forward to whatever comes my way.
What do you have to lose?
You can’t start any younger.
Dan Ohler is a relationship, change, and happiness specialist. Through Dan’s insights & humour you learn to apply the basics of human psychology – the natural laws that create life-long flourishing relationships, and abounding success.
Visit www.ThinkinOutsideTheBarn.com to subscribe to Dan’s FREE e-zine, “Soaring Insights”, and see Dan in action while you’re there!