Maybe I’ll get it done. Maybe it’ll happen. Maybe my life will come together. It’s kind of like ‘what if’. What if I’d done that, gone there, married another… Why do we do that? I admire people who get it done. People who decide what they want and go for it. People who set goals and work until they meet those goals, only to set others.
When I was a young person, I set a goal of having no regrets. I’m sure that was an impossible goal, and one I failed to attain. I must admit, I didn’t work hard enough to attain my goal, and I do have regrets. Of course, many regrets could have been avoided had I made better decisions, and some regrets are from circumstances that were out of my control. We can’t stop others from making bad decisions that affect our lives, nor can we prevent things that happen to us—things that are just life.
Sometimes perhaps we don’t use ‘maybe’ enough. Maybes can be good when we are experimenting or considering an idea. Maybe this will work. Maybe if I do that, then… When I am planning a plot for a book, I use maybes. Maybe if my character does this, thinks this, or if this happens, the plot will work. We have to consider the path we choose so we will make right decisions. Maybe if I take this class, get this training, or study using this method, I will succeed.
As a former teacher, I have seen so many students—bright, motivated young people—end up getting jobs, getting married, getting debt, then deciding they should have gone to school for some kind of training so they could have a career instead of a job. There’s nothing wrong with skipping college, getting a job or getting married, if that’s what a person wants. But after one gets all these things then decides to attain a higher education, he tends to find it much harder. I had a discussion about this with a former student just the other day. A talented, intelligent young woman, she decided to forego college and get married. In just a few years, she was a mother, divorced, in debt, and wishing she had made better decisions. Now she is remarried, mother of two and expecting another, working nights and attending college during the day. She acknowledged that her life is hard, and hers is not an isolated case.
Like just about anything else, our use of ‘maybe’ can be good or bad, negative or positive. We can go through life carefully planning and making good choices, or later mull over our regrets with ‘maybe ifs’. It might be a good idea if we change our negative ‘maybes’ to positive ones, change our attitudes, and just do better from here on out. We can stop looking back on ‘maybes’ and start looking forward to ‘maybes.’ Maybe I’ll stop procrastinating and finish my novel. Just maybe!