Can’t Live By the Could Have’s

I’ll admit it: I’m a pretty bad Could Have’er.

I’ll debate for ten minutes whether I should bring a jacket with me to the movies and then when I don’t continue to say, “I should’ve just grabbed that jacket..” Or I’ll have a lot of trouble deciding between two plans, and if the one I choose isn’t what I was expecting, I’ll think, “Well, I could’ve just done (fill in the blank) instead.”

You get the picture.

I’m sure I’m not the only one with this Could Have problem. In the world of FOMO and an overwhelming amount of options in front of us, there’s always going to be something we could have done differently. And who knows if you actually would’ve been happier making that other choice, but we still drive ourselves crazy over those possibilities – even though we usually can’t do anything about it anyways.

Well today, we could have done a lot of things. Instead, we arrived for our flight to the Galapagos… four hours early.

After the past two nights of getting about 5 hours of sleep and then flying for 11 hours, you could say we were a little excited to get some quality sleep last night. Thanks to Pete’s dad (Thanks Mr. Jones!), who so graciously let us use some of his hotel points, we stayed at a great hotel for our overnight layover in Guayaquil. The hotel had free wifi, free breakfast, a gym, a business center – pretty much all of the things that we will not have at the upcoming hostels.

And while we slept pretty well, I was a little bummed that we couldn’t sleep in a little longer. You see, we got up at 6:30 thinking we had to leave the hotel at 7:45 for our 10:00 am. (Obviously was not missing out on that free breakfast! Plus some extra time is needed to unpack and repack our entire backpacks just to brush our teeth.. still a work in progress).

Anyway, we hopped in the airport shuttle and pulled up our flight reservation only to find out that our flight was actually departing at 11:50am. Since we were only 10 minutes from the airport, we arrived a good four hours early for our flight.

As soon as we saw the time, we started thinking “Man, we could have slept in a little longer today!” and “We could have used the hotel’s gym and had a nice workout this morning” and “We could have skyped our families before we left!”

Well, maybe it’s the fact that it’s just impossible for me to have a negative mindset right now, or maybe it’s the fact that I drank the hotel water at breakfast (sorry mom!), but as soon as we said those things we immediately followed them up with, “Oh well, can’t do anything about it now!”

We already checked out of the hotel and were in the car to the airport. We weren’t going to turn around and go back to sleep. So why not just make the most of the hours we have? We now have four hours to get some good work done, and then we’re off to the Galapagos! Hard to not be excited for that.

But you get the point – as much as we all do it, there’s no point in living by the Could Haves. Most of the time, we can’t do anything about it. If you have the choice again in the future, then you’re that much wiser the next time. We make hundreds of little decisions each day; there’s no point in driving yourself crazy over the What If‘s.

There IS a point though in taking a step back and looking at your life. Are you happy? If not, what could you do differently in your daily life to get there? If there’s no point in living by the Could Have’s in your little, every day decisions, then why would you want to look back at the end of your life and say you could have lived your life differently? You could have been happier. You could have found the right job. You could have taken more risks. You could have waited for the One.

Well, lucky for you there’s still time to change all that – to take control of your life and how you want to live it. Stop living by the Could Have’s, and start living your best life.

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