The Power of If

This is the most powerful two-letter word in the English language. If. That’s right—I-F. How have you used that word in your life? Has it fueled your dreams or created nightmare thinking? 

Do you ever ask “what if” questions? What if I won the lottery? What if I lose my job? What if. . . .what if. . .what if?

Or how about “if only” statements? If only I had done this, then maybe that would have happened. If only I had done that, this wouldn’t have happened. “If only” thoughts and statements are incredible bricks for building a house of regret.


In 1979, Erma Bombeck used this two-letter word in one of her most famous columns, “If I had my life to live over. . .” But instead of using it to regret, she used it to reflect. She began with:


"Someone asked me the other day if I had my life to live over would I change anything. My answer was no, but then I thought about it and changed my mind."

In her column, Bombeck proceeded to use the phrase “if only I had my life to live over. . .” as the springboard to make a list. In part, she wrote:

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained and the sofa faded.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television ... and more while watching real life.

I would have eaten less cottage cheese and more ice cream.

There would have been more I love yous ... more I’m sorrys ... more I’m listenings ... but mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute of it ... look at it and really see it ... try it on ... live it ... exhaust it ... and never give that minute back until there was nothing left of it.”

Today try using the word “if” like Erma did—to reflect, not regret. And don’t let any “what ifs” rob you of this moment. Instead, go forward and use each minute until there is nothing left of it. 

May your days be filled with magic, love, and joy. May your life be blessed with miracles. 





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