I think we’re present in the wrong emotions. All of us are experts in obsessing over things we forgot to do, did wrong, or can’t control. We perseverate on our failings more than anything else, and I guess that’s about survival: study what went wrong so you can correct it, so you only get bit by the shark once, so the treasure can’t get stolen again.
But we’ve become too good at it – being present in our failings. Our brains act like screaming, red-faced coaches forcing the team to watch reruns of bad plays. “See, right there! That’s where you screwed up! See it! see it! Right there! You should have ___________ but you ___________ ! I told you not to do it but you did it and now look what happened!
We play these videos incessantly.
They’re the wrong videos.
What a different life we’d lead if we watched volumes and volumes of our wedding vows, of snow days in the old neighborhood, of our first kiss, of yesterday’s kiss. That time we got singled out at work and thanked, a boring old walk home from the subway that turned into a cup of tea and an epiphany on a napkin.
Our friends help us back into these memories, which tend to come up when we carouse about nothing in particular, when we seek laughter above all else. Yes, we’ll gladly conjure our greatest hits for other people, but when left alone, we tend to put these videos away and pull out the red-faced coach.
This is where we go wrong. The good stuff should always be out, like a giant coffee table book or an open browser tab, there for a quick screening when we have a free moment.
Play the right videos. Learn from your wins, not just your losses. Laugh with history and you’ll live your best life.