“If only I had more time.”
“If only I had more money.”
“If only I had more skills.”
“If only I was better at promoting.”
“If only I was better with computers.”
“If only I had more help.”
“Everything could be perfect and nothing would go wrong if only x, y, and z were possible.”
People live in a perpetual state of “if only”s. Everyone has lusted after the solutions an “if only” offers. If only I had a man/woman. If only I had more friends. If only I had a more supportive family. If only I had a better job. If only I had more money. If only I had more time. Etc. Etc. You have thought something like this. Everyone has at least once or twice, indulging in wishful thinking. I know I most certainly have. So let’s be open and honest about it.
An “if only” does not help or solve any problems. It can only enable them. “If only”s allow themselves to be excuses for inaction and procrastination. They offer an easy way out, along with a side dish of helplessness. “If only”s often constitute solutions that cannot be remedied.
Example: If only there was more time in the day! THEN I could get my house clean.
There are 24 hours in a day. That is just a fact. Wishing there were more hours does not help or solve any problems. By using an “if only” wish, the house is excused of its messiness simply because it cannot HELP being messy because of the lack of time. The individual responsible for cleaning the house uses the “if only” to make himself or herself feel better about the lack of action taking place. This does not help ANYTHING.
Rather than indulging into the “if only” excuses to justify inaction, we would all be better off by taking a hard look at the problem, and possible solutions that are within our reach.
GOAL > Actions taken to reach goal > Goal achieved
CLEAN HOUSE > Half hour spent after dinner cleaning house each day, one room at a time > House cleaned after one week
“If only”s tend to suck our happiness away and make us feel inadequate. They also tend to make us feel like our goals are impossible. By tossing them aside (and catching yourself every time you find yourself thinking of one), we can begin to take real action. Rephrase your thoughts into a possible GOAL > Actions > Goal Achieved every time you catch this happening. Instead of thinking “If only I made more money, then I could buy a house” think “What can I work on right now that would allow me to put extra money away to save up for a house?”
What is your biggest IF ONLY? How can you restructure it into a solvable problem with an achievable goal in mind?