If Only

I’m prone to the psychology of misjudgment (essential reading linked) and my most common trap is “if only”. A few that have visited me in 2012…

If only…

  • I had a lighter bike
  • I lived in a smaller house
  • I had less…
  • I had more…
  • She joined our team
  • My kids would behave better
  • The world was more like me
  • I was a better, faster, leaner, more beautiful…

Whenever I catch myself obsessing on an “if only” point, a red flag goes up. The next step is to dig deeper and ask “then what.”

  • If I had a lighter bike then… I’d climb faster.
  • If I climbed faster then… not sure (dead end)!

Most of my “if only” thoughts fizzle out after two, or three, steps.

+++

August 11th is the end of my athletic year so I’ve started my annual review precess. 

Pulling out last year’s review I am reminded of my Key Five (Train, Write, Marriage, Kids, Learn). I compare my Key Five against my “then what” replies, which often disappear at that stage.

At the start of this year, I was planning a sabbatical in 2013 (if only I could get away).

In looking deeply, I discovered that I was considering a path to leave my current life. When I compared that to my Key Five, I saw my true desire was a shift towards learning and writing. I’ve spent the last five months learning a new sport (mountain biking) and swapping writing for coaching. These changes avoided the major disruption of a change of hemisphere.

I should have known that the answer wasn’t waiting in Australia!