We all tell ourselves that if only … our lives would be much better. What is your if only? Will you let that lead your life, trying to get that if only? Or will you realize what you do have and what you’ve been endowed with and bring that to fruition?
I’m going to accept that I have that weakness because that is actually a part of guiding me away from focusing there and zoning entirely in on the area that I am unique with.
There is this human tendency to have a very strong negativity bias, which means that we focus on the negative aspect of something instead of the positive. And sometimes the positive side of things is overwhelming, but because there’s just a glimmer of negativity, we become so absorbed in that negativity.
For example, we will often focus on what we don’t have even though there is so much that we do have. And in fact, we get to make this choice, do we focus on what we have, which is such an enormous blessing and we can be so happy about, or do we get lost in the fact that we don’t have that one little thing? And when we become absorbed in the lack, that actually makes us so negative.
We do something and we get nine compliments and one criticism. And we become consumed, our mind is consumed with that one criticism. Like, why does that person feel that way and what did I say that made them feel that way? Without recognizing the fact that we had nine compliments. That ratio is phenomenal. For someone to do something which you score a 9 out of 10 is outstanding. But we don’t see it as outstanding. And this is the reason why so many people who write blogs and on the Web and they get all of these comments, they can have 100 comments applauding what they wrote and they’ll have 2 or 3 comments which are very critical of what they wrote and they become absorbed in those critical comments. Some people literally stop writing because of that. That’s ‑‑ this all comes from our negativity bias. And this leads us to this, if only I was. We all have this thought in our heads, if only I was, then I would be. If only I was a little bit more intelligent like that other guy, I would be so much more successful. If only I was wealthier. If only I had the connections that this other guy had I’d be able to. We always have an if only, if only I was more beautiful. If only I was more handsome. If only I was taller. If only I had a different color eyes.
All of these if onlys. And we get lost in this if only which completely distracts from who we actually are and all that we do have. And what’s fascinating is that so many people spend so much of their life trying to get, to gain the things that they don’t have because they so firmly believe that if only I had, then I would be.
We will spend so much of our time, so much of our money. We will risk our health. We will go under the knife, the scalpel. We will have surgery to try and change who we are. Because if we do that, then we will get whatever, whatever, whatever. And almost everyone knows that when we, in some fictitious way, get something that is not truly who we are, it doesn’t fix any problems. Because whenever we focus on the negative, we will never ‑‑ we will never move ourselves forward that way.
And this is the tragedy that we say if only and we spend our lives trying to fill that thing that we feel we don’t have and we need. And the truth is, that the way someone leads a very powerfully successful life is not focusing on the if onlys, but realizing that’s just a negative voice in my head, but focusing on one thing and that is who I am not who I wish I would have been.
Because here is the true spiritual reality. This world is designed by a Creator and the Creator designs every person in the precise way that the Creator needs you or me to be. And that’s the reason why we aren’t a certain way and that’s the reason why we are a certain way. That’s the reason why we don’t have certain abilities and that’s the reason why we do have certain abilities. Because that speaks to the direction we as an individual need to take in our life.
And when we can embrace that wholeheartedly, when I can say, wow, this is my gift, I know this is my strong point and I know that is my weak point and I’m not going to try to compensate and show the world that I don’t have that weakness, I’m going to accept that I have that weakness. Because that is actually a part of guiding me away from focusing there and zoning entirely in on the area that I am unique with. That is how we actually bring the gift that God has given us to the world, which he’s waiting for us to do, by acknowledging and accepting the uniqueness that we have. This is so valuable, to be able to look at our strong points and focus. Because when we focus on the given things that we have, that is when we discover our full strength.
So here is what I’d like to leave you with. What are the things that you excel at? Look at those things and focus on them and don’t get distracted by the if onlys. Because if you focus on that one thing, you will find the success you’re looking for and you will begin achieving the very reason God put you here.