“Contentment makes poor men rich. Discontentment makes rich men poor.” – Benjamin Franklin
On Tuesday, I bought 400 shares of AMC for $4 per share. I subsequently sold the stock later that day for $5 per share for a lofty $400 gain. I felt like a Day Trading Guru! When I woke up on Wednesday morning, I inquisitively checked the stock price and noticed it shot up to $20 per share! I cringed as I felt my stomach press up against my throat. “If I would have just held on for 24 more hours, I could have prepaid 2 months of rent,” I thought to myself.
This way of thinking isn’t unique for many of us. We tend to replay different scenarios in our brains about how things could have gone or how we should have acted. Some of my personal favorites include:
- “If I would have visited my best friend one more time before he unexpectedly passed away, all would be right in the world!”
- “If I would have just stayed at home last night instead of going out, I wouldn’t be in the predicament I now find myself in.”
- “If I would have gotten up early today to workout, I’d feel way more energized than I do right now.”
- “If I would have eaten just one less slice of pizza, my stomach would feel so much better.”
- “If I would have just kept my mouth shut last night, I could’ve avoided this entire ordeal.”
While this way of thinking is alluring, it’s strikingly addictive and only adds more stress and suffering to our already busy and hectic lives. By allowing these obsessive thought patterns to lease space in your mental, you operate at a lower frequency and are subsequently less focused, less energetic, and less present.
Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, try to focus on what you do have! You woke up this morning. You have access to clean water. There is a roof over your head. I still made $400 on that trade. Where your attention goes, your energy flows. 9 times out of 10, life isn’t nearly as chaotic or depressing as we make it out to be. Make your mind work for you. Not the other way around.
Do not let the infatuation of “what could have been” consume your energy. Drop what isn’t, accept what is, and enjoy what comes of today.