How to get what you want by ridding yourself of woulda’s, coulda’s and shoulda’s
I was all set this weekend to begin forming my new company, a social media writing company for those small businesses that don’t have the time to capitalize on their social media presence because they are either too busy or they don’t understand the finer points of writing to market themselves organically. I stayed out of trouble and minus the late arrival time to my pillow on Sunday morning, I got to bed early. I was full of ideas – names, strategies, topics, businesses I wanted to reach out to, and a schedule; I had it all worked out and was ready to attack!
Then, I opened my email Sunday morning and there it was: One of those emails we all hate to get. It was an email that might as well have been in flashing red letters. It wouldn’t have affected me more if a Western Union telegram messenger dropped it off on my front doorstep. It would end up throwing me off my game all day Sunday and throw me into alternate states of panic and ennui. It was an “oulda” bomb.
What is an “oulda” bomb, you ask?
An “oulda” bomb is anything that makes you reevaluate decisions in your life and distracts you from how to get what you want. It can be as innocuous as friends telling you that they are lucky to have bought that Apple stock back in 2000 at $12 a share. Or a phone call from a bill collector asking at what point they can expect payment on that credit card; you know the card with the balance that has two pages of line items from that weekend in Las Vegas months ago…? Sometimes, they can be of your own making such as kicking yourself for not taking the chance to talk to that woman who was eyeing you at the BBQ – the one who turned out to be the heiress to that real estate fortune with properties in the Caribbean, Australia, and SE Asia…?
But, my “oulda” bomb was just an innocuous SPAM email that was sent to me because I just happened to be on a list somewhere.
Thank you, Ourtime Dating, for dropping the “oulda” bomb on me this weekend
Please note that I am NOT 50 or older. I am however, single. I am on other dating sites and have had some luck here and there with them. I’ve had the privilege of dating some quality women, a few of whom I was actually close enough with to believe that I might marry them, settle down and have kids if I would have if I had done things differently. As I sat on my couch yesterday, I realized that it was yet another weekend without someone to share it. Now, before we all get maudlin at the constantly single Tim, I want to point out that it wasn’t necessarily that I was alone this weekend that caused me to go through the “ouda’s.” I am NOT lonely. I am more alone. But, even that wasn’t the point. The point was that I spiraled downward by thinking of all the coulda’s, woulda’s and shoulda’s that happened in my life to lead me to checking emails on my couch by myself on a Sunday morning. And it wasn’t limited to just dating, I began to doubt almost every decision that I had EVER made that got me to this point in my life. That’s the problem with these little “life fragmentation grenades.”
You can’t stew in your “oulda’s” if you’re ever going to figure out how to get what you want. The best thing that you can do is to learn from them, knowing that you can never change them. It’s history, and no matter how you want to rewrite it, it will never change.
When life drops an “oulda” bomb on you, learn from it and learn how to get what you want
Whenever you are confronted by what you shoulda, coulda, or woulda done, you can only sidestep it or block it off, but remember it enough to not make the same mistake again. If you find yourself kicking yourself for something you might have done once, stop and ask yourself, “What can I do THIS time, here and now, that will help me to figure out how to get what I want?” Trust me, the “oulda” bomb will make you implode into yourself and leave you as quivering mass of “what the’s?” and “why’s?”
Because they come at you in many forms and you often don’t see them for what they are, it’s especially important to recognize them quickly and remove them from your current life’s equation. Once that is done, you can return to how to get what you want out of life.
Trust me, ever since I learned that “IF is the middle word in ‘Life,'” I’ve learned that you will always ask yourself these questions. But, it’s best to use them to figure out where you go from here, NOT to question your life and how it has turned out.