‘Accept and move on’ is basically like a motto for me. It’s something I’ve tried to live by for a long time now, and I find it a really good way to live life. What I mean by it is probably fairly self-explanatory, but it really just means: don’t focus on what you can’t change.
This is appropriate in all sorts of situations. I hate focusing on the negative, or focusing on what went wrong, or what happened in the past, because you can’t change it – and if you do that, it often makes life a lot more stressful. Instead, it’s better to merely acknowledge that something went wrong, find another way forward, and don’t linger on what wasn’t within your control.
One of the things I find, when I look around at other people and at myself, is that we all have a tendency to focus too much on things going exactly our way, or exactly according to plan, and really dwelling on whatever might go wrong… And not letting it go when it does. But what I’ve learned over the years is that no matter what you do, some things in life will simply go wrong. And, as someone who’s a bit of a control freak, that was a fairly hard lesson to learn – though now, I’m grateful to hold that knowledge and be able to apply it to whatever I’m doing.
Of course, when I say ‘accept and move on’, I don’t mean it with a defeatist attitude. If things are within your control to change, then go ahead and change them. If goals are within your reach, but might take a little effort, reach harder and faster if you need to. When you try for something, the likelihood is you’ll achieve it. Just don’t expect it to happen without you hitting some obstacles first. But you’ll come out from behind those obstacles stronger and closer to your success.
I like achieving things. I’ll put it out there, it’s just a fact. Who doesn’t? But when things do go wrong in my plans, I’m not going to focus on it. If a journey is delayed, don’t dwell on it. If a train is cancelled, you find the next one, or an alternative route, and you get where you meant to go. And the same goes for most situations. If you can’t get over the fact that something went wrong, it will only hold you back from proceeding and moving forwards.
Taking the most obvious thing I can think of right now as an example, last year my exams didn’t go at all how they were supposed to. Even my school’s exams officers were extremely surprised things turned out how they did for me (for reasons I won’t go into right here). And okay, sure, I was thinking about that a lot for a little while, but it seemed ludicrous to me to think of not trying everything I could. Hence the retakes – my first one is actually on Tuesday, and the second on Friday. I got my papers recalled, I had a couple remarked, and found out some rather unjust things, but they were not in my control. So I have moved on. I’m trying again.
I’ll be honest, sometimes it is hard to just move on from things. But if and when you do, the feeling of renewed determination that comes out of it is completely worth it. If it’s a big thing you’ve been struggling for a long time with, or just small things that have been ruining your day, there’s no saying you can’t turn it around. Once you learn to accept that you can’t change the past, you can only move on.
So instead, focus on what you can change. Focus on your goals. Focus on the positive. Focus on things that are within your control, what you can improve upon, and what you have learned from you mistakes and mishaps.