Saturday, June 6, 2009

IFs and BUTs

In our life how often we say either in wishful way or ruefully –

“ If I get so much money I will do this and that ”

“ If I had been born in the royal family I would have …..”

“ If I had done that I would not have faced this situation now ”

“ But I could have been better off if I had followed what I was doing ”

First taking up wishful thinking. It is good to have dreams but not to let dreams override what needs to be done or could be done under the prevailing circumstances.

Now to the rueful thinking. We fail to realize that it is past, GONE and we can not put the clock back. There is no gain in being rueful “If I had not resigned from XXX company, today I would have been at least Sr VP”. Can you go back and take your resignation back? No, then why feel that way. Yes, learn from mistakes and do not repeat as well as advise your kith & kin accordingly. While advising you may cite your example but not for being rueful.

To give some examples of day to day life –

Many of us do indulge in indiscreet talk about our friends, relatives, colleagues, bosses etc etc. When confronted by the affected party we try to bail ourselves out by saying “ But I did not mean it ”. At times there are stiff repercussions too. We do feel “ If I had not said it all would have been fine ”. What is the use of crying over split milk? We should have been discreet but what is done is done so why be rueful now. Learn from mistake and do not repeat. Few of us still continue with the same and keep using If and But for failures.

“If I had married that girl / boy, my married life would have been so happy”. Alright, you are having a rough time in married life but with this attitude would it improve? So why not take stock of the situation and see how best can you turn it around. If it is so bad that nothing can be done then why not think of options, even hard ones? But just remember that you can clap with two hands. So first it would be prudent to look inside yourself before pointing finger. There is a famous saying “When you point a finger at someone remember that other three fingers are pointing at you”.

“ We were so happy to find this girl for our son / this boy for our daughter BUT after marriage only we realized that how bad she / he is. If only we had known that before we would have chosen the other one whom we rejected ”. Don’t you think instead of thinking in this negative manner should we not put our energy to find solution with proper application of mind? And when I say “ proper application of mind ” it means with truthful introspection. Are we or our son / daughter at fault or not? Only then we see how best to resolve situation. There is hardly any situation which can not be rectified as most of such feelings are imaginary perceptions. An honest heart to heart two way communication can do wonders.

So, what I strongly feel is that we have to leave IFs and BUTs of the past and live in present to see how best we can make our life happy and comfortable. And of course in doing so we make others who matter also comfortable and happy.


geeta banati said...

Past is history
future is mystery
Present is a present(gift)given to you by God
Accept it gracefully and live it up to its fullest...
this was the life mantra given by me in one of my posts just similar to this of yours .....
if you wish to read you can visit my blog

Actually If's and but's does not work in life...true...
my bday is on 17 th of this month

Cursed♪♫ said...

this post is so true...
thanks for your comment. :)

ash89 said...

That was a very nice post. Applies to all of us. I guess at some point, we all adopt this wishful attitude towards the mistakes we've made.

Amrita said...

Yep.. what you said is so true..its is an utter waste to cry over split milk..

Jack said...


17th noted. Will try to visit your post a s a p. Take care


Thanks for agreeing. You are welcome. Visited your recommended site but could not find your post there. Take care


What I say is that we should try to face reality. Take care


I am so glad that you found time to visit me. Your views on my other post too were encouraging. Take care

Shruti Mukundan said...

hey am first time visitor here n must say u write very well!! clear, sharp... good writing!! n i agree to u so completely but as a matter of fact wat u said is so damn difficult to practice in real life! seriously, they say dont cry over split milk but then when exam results cum n i dont get good marks, i cry! when sumthing doesnt go the way i want it to, i feel bad! no logic n lectures work that time.. its so instantaneous that no time to think! but anyways i agree to al that u said n wil keep it in mind the next time i cribble or complain about life :)

♥ Dip ♥ said...

i used to indulge in rueful thinking .. and it irritated the hell out of me! there's just no point. we cannot go back in time and change a decision but we can avoid it in the future. absolutely!

its just a waste of time thinking about past mistakes.

CLUELESS said...

Wow ..this is a wonderful Post....!!
Each word was true...If i start commenting from 1st wont end up..
all in all
great one...applies to all...

Keshi said...

yet another eye-opening and an inspirational post Jack!

Thats so true. past is gone...and the future us a blur. All we hv is the PRESENT...and we've got to make the best of it.

Very well-said there!


Jack said...


Welcome. Hope to see you more. Have you read my older posts? I would request for your views particularly on those which show true worth of women. I will visit you today. Take care


I am sure you found the difference by letting past be past and not worrying about future but making the best of today. Take care


Who says you are clueless? You are an intelligent girl who may feel little lost at times but eventually will succeed. Take care


Your encouraging comments keep me trying for more & more perfection. Please keep it up. Take care

Sakshi said...

If's and Buts make us weak persons... not that they are not a part of my life... but- Then I guess you have to learn to move on... and the earlier the hurts all the more to dwell on it...!!! Thoughtful post.
I am sorry- I thought that I had already left my comment on this post...!!! :)

Jack said...


I always look forward to few of my regular friends and I miss if one of them is not there. Thanks. Hope you will be strong now.

Take care

PS : Putting up new one soon.

Diva said...

i would say,its simple human nature...
We humans have always liked to believe that we could have done so much better than what we are...There is not end to that desire of having been better, just like there is no end to his dreams !!!
And you kno what, sometimes its this thought that there could have been or there will be something better or great, that keeps us going thru life...

Isnt it?????? :)

Nice post!!!!

Jack said...


I agree that thought that it could have been better works like a catalyst but what I wanted to bring out is that we should not just cry over the past but take lesson to do better.

Take care

Ketan said...

Hello again!

Yes, I couldn't agree more, especially, that some honest introspection would remedy a lot of our miseries.

There's a saying--'hindsight is always 20/20'; and I've my own simpler version of it--'no one makes mistakes; they only realize them'.

Also, I've this peculiar idea about life, in general--our living doesn't serve any 'external' purpose. All purposes we attach to our lives are merely our own aspirations of what we want to happen to ourselves. So, all the time, irrespective of whether I'm happy or sad, I like to take a detached view of my life, my outlook, my conclusions, the excursions of my mood. I get amused by them. :) So, it is this detached view of mine that tells me that it's alright till all is lost and there's nothing more that I could do to derive pleasure from my life, which I believe is unlikely.