“We barely make it. The door closes right as we get on the train. We’re out of breath, exhausted. Had we missed our train, we would’ve missed our flight as well and that would’ve bad.”
My friend, who’s listening, shakes his head and interrupts, “Man, the two of you really should’ve been more prepared. You should’ve found a way to book your tickets online first and stuck to a schedule.”
I nod. He’s right, there were no excuses. We should’ve prepared better.
But then as he continues stressing what we should’ve done and the mistakes we made, I realized something: all he’s focusing on is the mistake made rather than the experience gained.
He’s focusing on what had already happened and what could’ve been done to prevent it — he’s stuck in the past, thinking regressively.
And more importantly, he’s forgetting the whole point of having a vacation, which is to create memories and foster experiences.
Sure we were in a rush.
Sure we had to run to the train.
Sure we had almost missed the train.
But all of that — the rushing, the running, the panic — those are part of what it means to have experienced in the first place. We didn’t want to have to rush, but because we did, that memory is now so much more vivid and everlasting.
Life is full of surprises. Sometimes, no matter how much you prepare, you’re still going to encounter situations beyond your control. The key is not to dwell on the past — you should learn from your mistakes, but instead of dwelling on it, it’s better to think about the experiences you’ve gained. Think not of what you’ve lost but what you stand to gain.