I came across this expression yesterday, and I think it may become my new life mantra:
It's not about what happened, it's what happens next.
When I had the Big Job in advertising I spent an awful lot of time dealing with other people's cock ups.
The commonly applied methodology at the time was the witch hunt.
This involved interviewing all involved parties, deciding who was at fault, then hanging them out to dry so that everyone else could declare themselves totally blameless and move on.
I found the whole thing horribly distasteful and soul destroying.
My alternative approach was to ignore all the bleatings about who was to blame for the latest disaster, and instead to focus on what on earth we were going to do to fix it and, crucially, make sure it didn't happen again.
The same philosophy applies to children, who often have a horribly over developed sense of injustice.
After four weeks of summer holidays, my three are constantly fighting with each other.
We'll have moments, sometimes a whole hour, of happy co-operation over building a sandcastle, then world war three breaks out and I'm surrounded by children telling me (in minute detail, and simultaneously) who did what to whom.
So next time I'm going to say to them all, very calmly, "it's not about what happened, it's what happens next."
It's all about how you fix the sandcastle, how you apologise to the lady who now has sand in her picnic (without making a joke about putting the sand into sandwich) and how you get to be friends again.
(I have to confess, this may not work. They'll probably look at me with incredulity and go back to hitting each other with spades. But worth a go...)
And this mantra is crucial for us, my friends.
How much time have you wasted trying to work out what happened? How did I go from being a 'normal drinker' to an addict? Is it my genes? Is it hormonal? Am I just overreacting? What about the time I've wasted, the relationships I've neglected or destroyed?
The truth is, it's not about what happened, it's what happens next.
You're at a crossroads, and you can spend the next few months, or years, agonising about where you are and what got you here, or you can focus on the future, and make sure that you use the whole experience to become stronger, wiser and happier.
So, ask yourself: What happens next?
Love SM x