TANSTAAFL.

Every decision, action, and opportunity has a cost.  To do one thing means you can’t do another.

Weighing costs and benefits when making a decision is useful (though also limiting).  But once an action has been taken, it’s best to forget what you gave up.  Holding on to the memory of what could-have-been-but-cannot-now-be will only make you worse at moving ahead.  The more aware you are of value left in the past, the blinder you’ll be to the value in front of you.

I’ve experienced this with potential Praxis customers.  In the application process, questions about the benefits of the program are normal and healthy.  But when those questions consistently tack on a reminder of what’s left behind, it’s not a good sign.  “I want to know if the program does X, because, you know, I’d be leaving my hometown and my friends and I really have a good thing going right now and it’d really cost a lot to make a change and you’d better be able to make it worth it.”  That’s not a customer we want.  They’re holding so tightly onto what they’d leave behind that I suspect they’d be looking in the rear-view mirror the entire program and seeking someone to blame for every way in which their new life is harder than what they walked away from.  They’d be incapable of seeing the value in the present because they won’t let go to the value they imagine in the past.

It’s like dating someone who’s obsessed with comparing you to their ex.  You don’t want that, even if you’re better.

If you want to act, act.  Second-guessing and cost-tallying after the fact are useless.  Scratch that.  They’re worse than useless.  They make people leery of connecting with or working with you because they don’t want to be measured against your imagined past.  They blind you to present opportunity.  They warp your memory of the facts, as each day further from what you left behind it gets rosier.

Screw that.  Your past doesn’t exist.  It lives only in your mind.  Your mind is within your control.  Make it work for you.  Don’t go to war against past possibilities, create present opportunities.