A 61-year-old colleague lost his job in financial services. He defaulted into the hell of regrets. He should have gone to medical school. He shouldn't have had three children. He should have stayed in Michigan and not have taken on the high cost of living of the New York Metro Area.
But there's no telling if he could have gotten into medical school, made it through, not have become disenchanted with so much managed care and not have lapsed into substance abuse.
That's just one example of how unproductive it is to attempt a re-do of the past. And such a negative mindset can impede the search for work.
On the other hand, an acquaintance from a doctoral program in the humanities never looks back. She had quit a good job inside the beltway to enroll in graduate studies in the Midwest. By time she was scheduled to do her dissertation, the market for college teaching jobs had collapsed. She mourned. Then went on.
First she took survival jobs. Then she was able to land another one in government. Of course, she could have lamented about years invested in a degree which didn't have a career payoff, having to work menial jobs and all that moving around. But she didn't. Today there is nothing broken about her.
Currently, my own ways of bringing in income are in transition. You bet, I was ready to sled high-speed into the if-onlys. A good friend stopped me. Her take was: The more you resist that you have to change the harder everything will be. Take it slow. One step at a time.
I pivoted into her wisdom. Since then I only had one sleepless night. And because I am calm I am uncovering options I probably wouldn't have had I been frantic.
Takeaway: The past can never be re-done. When it comes to earning income, all we have is today.
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