Monday, July 1, 2013

How To Deal With "What If"

The question "what if" burdens the hearts of so many. We may look back, wondering how our lives would be different if we had chosen a different path. Sometimes we may look at the current state of life and wrestle with ways to change our current situation. And looking forward into the unknown is full of not only uncertainty but also may cause anxiety as we decide between all the options in front of us. 

Considering the "what if"'s may prove profitable in the context of bettering ourselves. This summer, I've thought "what if I learn German?" or "what if I take the Biology CLEP?". Working my mind this summer has been a wonderful and constructive break from the school system, enabling me to remember to love learning and having the freedom to choose what I study. 

Great ideas have also been spawned from the "what if" question. Some incredibly talented musicians from Ireland decided to do this Rend Collective Experiment, which has produced wonderful music and been a wonderful platform for people to share their beliefs. 

However, I've seen (in myself and in friends) the negative effects of considering what if life were different. It's this mindset that leads to doubts (a couple wondering if they married the wrong person, which is absurd because of the points mentioned in this blog post and subsequent ones on this blog. If you want more literature on the topic go ahead and check this out), cheating (because you never know if you're more sexually compatible with another person more than your significant other), kicking ourselves because of missed opportunities (which isn't helpful because what's done is done and agonizing over it doesn't help anyone), or a myriad of other possibilities. 

This may be totally cheesy, but I realized recently that it's more important to shy away from "what if" and focus instead on "what is". Sure, go ahead and improve upon the current situation if you can do so constructively. However, aside from that we need to learn to be content with "what is". Sometimes we need to have the mindset of "Que Sera Sera" and accept that whatever will be will be. 

At this point I feel like I'm going in circles and contradicting myself. Because one caveat of the "what is" mindset could be settling and I want you to know that settling isn't the answer. It's important to continue molding yourself into becoming the best you can be, but to be able to be content where you're at.

I suppose the lesson here is to balance. Ask how you can improve yourself, but don't stress about things that have already happened. Utilize your creativity to solve problems, but avoid discontentment. 

Life isn't perfect, and neither is this blog post. But life can be really awesome, and my writing can contain some moments of brilliance. I'm okay with it, because that's just how it is. 

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