Have you ever tried it? Sawing up Sawdust? Really? You Have? No Way! However did you get it to stay still long enough to cut it?
Seriously though; Dale Carnegie points out in chapter 11 of, “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living,” that whatever happened a few minutes, days weeks, months years or centuries ago is not changeable. It is done and over with. There are no do overs in life. Once a point in time has passed we will not be capable of returning to it.
What is his point in all this? Well, since you aren’t ever going to be able to change what has happened there is really no good reason why we should ever worry about it. Life is not a video that can be fast-forwarded or rewound for editing purposes. If it was we’d all be living forever, right?
Granted; if an event we are dissatisfied with took place we certainly may be able to modify the outcome of it through actions we may be able to take in the present. That is always a possibility. However, since what is done is done in many cases; accepting an event as having happened, analyzing it so you may profit by learning from the experience before moving on to the next thing, is about the best you can do.
Dale points out here that worrying about what is not changeable will certainly change us if we continue to stress or worry about what’s done. Getting upset about the money we lost or even the relationship we’ve played a role in screwing up, every day for the next ten years, is going to age us, if not worse.
It’s kind of like accidently dumping the open container of milk onto the floor. We didn’t mean for it to happen. Maybe we forgot it was there, didn’t realize it was there, or just didn’t see it there on the edge of the counter. We bumped it. It went flying and spilled everywhere.
Did we mean for it to happen? Of course not! Milk costs money! Can we salvage any of the milk that spilled? No doubt someone may try but the reality of the situation is that the milk is not going to be in a suitable state for drinking, even if we could get it back in the container again. So it’s gone for good. Why cry over it? What’s the point! The best you can do is to get your rear end down to the store for another container of it when you have the opportunity. Of course, you could work on making sure the mistake of knocking it off the edge of the counter doesn’t happen again in the future, too. But, beating yourself up over what’s done isn’t going to help you.
Now, having said all that, I think there is one thing we can certainly all agree with Dale Carnegie on; regardless of whether you really have tried it or not. Repeatedly kicking ourselves, beating ourselves up, staying upset over things, holding grudges, resentments and feelings of anger over what is done really is like trying to saw sawdust!