GATEWAY TO HAPPINESS
4. Even if you have devoted a lot of time and effort to some project, if you presently become aware that it is better to cancel it, do so. The fact that you have invested much energy is irrelevant. Deal only with the question: “Is this the right thing to do now?” (see Chayai Hamussar, vol. 2, p.162)
It is reasonable to continue something just because you already started it unless the matter is worthwhile in its own right. What was invested in the past is already over with and need not tie you down to wasteful activities.
5. Don’t disturb yourself over what you have already lost. Just guard what you still have. (Keser ChochmahI 14:12)
Realize what is over is over.
When things do not work out as people planned, it is very common for them to
keep discussing the matter. Such discussions frequently cause needless anger and irritation. Ask yourself, “Was I right in going to such and such a place?” “Was I right in doing this or that?” If the answer is, “Yes,” ask yourself, “Why should I feel bad about the results when I have met my obligations? If what you did was wrong, even if the outcome was successful, it was improper to have done it and you should refrain from such behavior in the future. Have the attitude that what is past is already gone and there is no value in complaining about it. (Maarchai Laiv,
Eventually you will forget the negative things that happened to you. The
question is how long that will take. Twenty years from now what presently bother you will have long been forgotten. But the reality is that even a few minutes after something negative happened it is in the past. The more you internalize that something which is past – even just a few seconds ago – is over and done with, the greater your ability to overcome negative events.
Every time you catch yourself saying, “If only…,” or “I should have…” you are trying to live in the past, which is impossible. Since what is over is over, keep your focus on the best possible course of action in the present. Change your “if only” sentences to “next time.”
The future is always an unknown entity so learn to focus on the present.
Since you do not know how long you will live, it is irrational to waste time
worrying about how you will manage to support yourself in the future. As long as you have enough for the present, why worry about the future that might never be? A person with this awareness will not build up in his mind an exaggerated picture
LIVING IN THE PRESENT