How to Kill Your Painful Habit of Wishful Thinking


Do you constantly hope that your situation will improve, but find yourself unable to start or finish projects that are going to contribute to your growth. If you do, you may be falling victim to the trap of “if only”.

Even celebrities, even the richest of the rich, even people who guide the course of history tend to fall into the same exact unhappy trap as the rest of us. Thinking “if only” has you want what you don’t have, distracting you from what you do have and making you unhappy.

Have you fallen into the “if only” trap? If you think the following you probably have.
  • If only I was in relationship
  • If only I got the promotion
  • If only I could afford a new Mercedes
  • If only I lost twenty pounds
  • If only I was younger
  • If only I was a rock star or if only I could connect more deeply with people
  • If only there was a natural, organic, non-caloric sugar free ice cream that was actually good for me
  • If only I could fly

“If only” robs you of satisfaction, of pleasure and of possibility.

It empowers your limitations and has you become frustrated, angry or bored. “If only” has each day be a bit too much like the day before and has you uninspired, not motivated or accomplishing much less than you would like.

The cure for “if only” is simple.
It is obvious and it works every time. The cure for “if only” is NOW, the present moment. The simplest way to live in the moment is to begin to notice what is around you.

While returning to the moment may seem easy, it isn’t. Our minds have been trained to ignore the moment and fixate on what we want, what we desire and what we don’t have: the “if only” thoughts.

Returning to your senses is the first and most fundamental step to reclaiming your satisfaction in the present. Begin to notice what you see, what you hear, and what you feel each moment. Returning to your senses not only heals the dissociation that “if only” causes, it also provides a foundation for your dreams to come true.

Simply ask yourself the question: What am I seeing, hearing and feeling smelling or tasting right now?
Ask yourself that question when you are walking down the street, when you are in a meeting, when you are arguing, when you go to bed at night, when you wake up in the morning or anytime throughout your day. This simple question asked many times will return you to the present. You will escape from the “if only” trap and get on with life in the present. Try it. You will be amazed at how rewarding and delightful life is in the present.

Written on 10/08/2011 by Jerry Stocking. Jerry is the owner of A Choice Experience, a non-profit organization which seeks to help people live with more presence. To learn more visit http://www.jerrystocking.com. Photo Credit: tinyfroglet
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