The Recovering Farmer

Thursday, July 31, 2014

What If

I often ponder what if. Perhaps it is my nature. To question why. To question what if. This becomes particularly important when I analyze my golf game. Just a few weeks ago I golfed with a colleague who was somewhat surprised that I could recall my shots after a round had ended. I told him that every night I could clearly recall every shot I had made that day. And keep doing that till my next round. Many of us have that same recall when we think back to many of life’s events.

That brings about a question in my mind. What would happen if we stopped and thought about a shot before we took it? What would happen if we took the time to think of all the various scenarios that could happen? I suspect we would change our approach. We would change our club selection. We would change the way we respond.

In years past I would reply to emails or phone messages at the earliest possible time. Is that not what we need to do? And how often when we do respond we realize later that that was a mistake. “By the way honey, so and so called and I invited them down for supper”. Yeah right. How did that work out for you? Quite often it can be beneficial to wait. Make sure you have thought through your response.

How often do we regret the way we respond to people around us? We get easily agitated. Irritated. We wonder how ignorant other people can be. And then when we stop to think our perspective changes.

How often when we drive down the road do we come close to having an accident? Why is that? The news these days mentions lots of incidences of distracted driving due to cellphone use. Quite frankly there are many things in life that become distracting.

We take so many things for granted. We say things on the spur of the moment without realizing the consequences. We act or react without realizing the consequences of our action. We do not stop to think.

People tell me, and I must agree, watching golf on TV can be very tedious. Why is that? Most of the time the player is assessing the shot. Which way is the wind blowing? What club should I use? Where is the best miss? What if? What if? What if? Happened to me last night. Approached the game with positive thoughts. Stood on the first tee box and envisioned a great game. Had my usual club in hand. The starter told us the yardage to my target. Did I listen? No. Did things go wrong? Yes. Found the ball today when I mowed my grass. That is the good news. You don’t want to hear the bad news.

I commiserated today that things could have gone better. If only I would have listened to the starter. If only I had reconsidered my club selection. If only I would have checked the wind direction. If only I would have stopped and thought about it.

So too is life. We run into scenarios where we act without thinking. We get caught up in the moment. We don’t take the time to think and plan. How many times do we look back with regret because we know things could have turned out differently if only we had planned better? I know I do.

Take the time to plan ahead. Are there any guarantees that life will always be fair, that things will always turn out well? No. But perhaps if we pause, if we take the time to think, if we plan ahead we may have fewer regrets. We may be more positive about the outcome of events in our lives. We may score better. I can only hope. Make it a good one.

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