We always do the best we can with what we have – Ronit Baras

A very common human expression is "I wish I could go back in time and change . Then my life would be different. I wish I could have a second chance". Let's explore this a bit, shall we?

Pick an event in your life, which you would give anything to go back to and change. Being unfair to someone close, breaking a leg because you were not careful enough, getting caught doing something you shouldn't have done or anything else you wish hadn't happened. Think of what this events caused in your life - pain, embarrassment, failure, etc, and make sure you have chosen an event you feel very strongly about.

Now, roll back your life to the point in time just before that event. But here is the catch: you cannot take with you any of the knowledge and skills you have accumulated since the event. You must go back to being exactly the same you from before the event took place.

Now, ask yourself this question:

Given a second chance, but being exactly who you were then, could you really change anything?

If your answer is "yes", then ask yourself this:

Why didn't you do it differently the first time?

It's OK. Take a deep breath, think about it, and the answer will come ... you could not, because you did not know better, or did not have the required skills and missed by a second, or whatever the reason. If the same you was put in the very same situation exactly, you would get the exact same results as you did the first time. In fact, you could go back there a million times and still get the exact same results.

How frustrating! Or is it?

When we have done this little exercise, and when our clients have done it, we have found that, strangely enough, this thought provides total liberation from any guilt feelings we may have had. The reason we did stupid, cruel, painful or boring things was that they were the only things we could do at the time. Sure, now we know better, but then, we did not!

But why stop at a single event? If this is true for one event, is it not true for every event? Is it not true for every decision in our life? Is it not true for every single second we live? Sure it is.

So does this mean that we never ever make mistakes, because we always do the only thing we can do? Absolutely! We always do the one and only thing we can do, and it is always what we consider at the time to be the best thing to do (from our point of view).

Conclusion #1: I am OK

Let's expand this to other people now.

First, we can start with the people we like, because it is easiest to forgive them. You will quickly agree that the people you like, much like you, always do the best they can, because they are such good people. Even when they make mistakes, it is simply because they could not do any better. Therefore, they are OK too.

The next step is a bit harder, especially when we think of people who do seriously bad things, like rape or murder, but it is as inevitable as all the previous steps. No matter how we may judge another person's actions, the person himself is doing the best he can under the circumstances. No matter how "bad" the other person is, their genetics, background and experiences have gotten them to do what we consider to be bad, but it was still what they thought best for them.

Conclusion #2: Everyone else is OK

All this is fine and good, but what do we do with it?

Well, accepting yourself (conclusion #1) will help you relax a great deal and increase your self-confidence. It will eliminate guilt, which is a destructive feeling, from your life forever. You will be free to focus on getting the best outcomes without worrying about things too much. This will, in turn, improve the results you see in your life.

Accepting others (conclusion #2) will help your relationships tremendously, because you will no longer judge other people's actions and words. You will become very helpful to others, being able to support them in whatever they do. You will be forgiving, because you do not take anyone else's actions personally. After all, they are doing the best they can. Forgiveness will help you eliminate anger. This will, in turn, improve the results you see in your life, because people around you will return your kindness and help you too.

If I could tell the world just one thing, it would be that we're all OK – Jewel

Everything will be OK in the end. If it's not OK, it's not the end – Ronit Baras

Be happy in life!

Author's Bio: 

© Ronit Baras, Be Happy in LIFE - life coaching.

Ronit Baras is a life coach, educator, author, journalist, justice of peace and public speaker living in Brisbane, Australia, specializing in relationships and families and an expert on motivation for kids.