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While out daydreaming through the lens of my camera the other day, I manged to snap a picture of the mystical future.
In professional terms; a pixelated illustration of a hypothetical place that creates pause for many; an image of the metaphorical greener pastures. The green grass on the other side. The place “over there” where things always seem better. In my imagination, I see it allegorically in the photo above.
It started me thinking about how we tend to contemplate moments that fall outside of the here and now and then mistakenly try to use those philosophically non-existent orbs in time to mentally negotiate the quality of our lives.
This is a mental exercise that typically leaves us exhausted. We start to wonder about the past. To date, I’ve never met anyone who possessed the ability to change it, but that rarely stops us from trying.
“If only,” is the beginning of a group of words that when completed don’t form just a sentence, they form a regret.
Regret lays a firm foundation to build both anger and depression; two emotions that never work together for the common good and the energy spent to create the dwelling they represent will never stand the test of time. The only inhabitant in such a place is envy.
It’s not bad to daydream, but it is important to stick to roads found on the map of truth and reality as we take these little mental side trips.
The grass will always be greener looking outward, because that grass is planted and cultivated by our own imagination. It will always contain goals we wish we might accomplish, visions of places we feel compelled to go, or things we yearn to acquire. When we look backwards, we all do it with 20/20 vision.
Think about why this is always true. Logically, how many of us spend time dreaming longingly of things we don’t want, plan trips to places we never want to travel, or hope that someday we can fail miserably at the goals we set?
Understanding this helps me get grounded back in the moments I can control. It allows me to stop wishing for the green grass I see over the fence or across the pond and start fertilizing my own lawn.
I can then expend the energy and focus on the goals I have already. I can use my dreaming to come up with others I want to accomplish. I try to live as if I am already on “the other side” and find that when I do, people look to me for ideas and encouragement.
“If only,” will then become, “when I,” and I put the words together not to form just a sentence, but to form a manifesto.
Challenge yourself to do the same and share your vision with someone else. Use the green grass as a place to lay down and watch the clouds float by.