Whenever I get stuck in life, one of my favourite proverbs to help me move forward is:
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The next best time is now.”
It makes me realize how easy it is for us to get stuck in the past.
We say things like:
“I should’ve planted that tree (followed that dream!) 20 years ago.”
“I can’t believe I wasted all that time!”
“What was I thinking?”
“I guess it’s too late now.”
And we end up beating ourselves up.
For all the time we wasted.
And for what “could’ve been.”
And staying exactly where we are.
Instead of recognizing that we can’t change the past.
And there’s really no point in wishing we could.
No point in regretting all the things we could’ve/should’ve done, but didn’t.
Because when we do — when we focus on all the “if-only’s — we’re just wasting more of our precious time!
We’re looking backwards.
Instead of moving forward.
And hurting ourselves even more.
So I’ve learned it’s much better for us to take the kinder, gentler, more compassionate approach.
The one where we recognize that we’re only human.
And therefore imperfect.
That we did the very best we could.
In the moment.
With the knowledge we had at the time.
The kinder, gentler approach is the one that moves us forward.
And helps us let go of wishing for things to be any different than they actually are.
There’s such power in that.
Because we all know you can’t change the past.
But what you can do is move forward from here.
From where you are right now.
In this very moment.
Doing it the best (imperfect) way you know how.
The sooner you embrace that, the more empowered you’ll feel.
So make a commitment to yourself to begin now.
Go plant that tree.
Start that business, end that draining relationship!
Go back to school or write that book.
Take whatever next step you’ve been dreaming of!
Because let’s face it…
If not now, when?