Inertia Kept Me — Author’s Reflection

“What if?”

These two little words – what if – are heard in the heads of some as a tantalizing spirit; to some others, as a haunting ghost.

The adventurous, the youthful spirits, the go-getters… Whatever you want to call them, these are the ones who follow the Spirit of What-If Future. According to Nike, they Just Do It. According to Dead Poets Society, they Seize the Day. “What if” to them represents  Opportunity, Possibility, Adventure!

But to some, “What-If” represents regrets and lost opportunity. They intended to write that book, but time got away from them. They wanted to play college ball, but fears overtook them. They planned to some day get back to a healthy weight and lifestyle, but inertia kept them from doing it.

Ask yourself, “What is Life’s inertia keeping me from accomplishing?” “What stands before me now as Opportunity that may someday stand before me as Regret?”

When I wrote “Inertia Kept Me”, I had in mind the words from the song, “Standing Outside the Fire” — “Life is not tried, its just merely survived if you’re standing outside the fire.”

“What if” – Tantalizing Spirit or Haunting Ghost?
The choice is yours!

Inertia Kept Me

Be gone — You Ghost of What-If Past!
Alas. Your haunt forever lasts.

You enticed and tempted along the way.
Whispering. Pleading, “Seize the day.”
A siren’s song, you wooed and charmed.
Imploring, “What could be the harm?”

Although attracted by your bait,
Distracted by debts that wouldn’t wait.
Inertia kept me walking on.
Forward. Progress. Must press on.

Ever asking, “What might have been,”
Had I heeded you back then?”
You might continue by my side,
Had I let you be my guide,

Back when your name was yet another,
The Spirit of What-If Future.

© 2013, Dr. Phil Bryant

Dr. Bryant is an Assistant Professor of Management at Columbus State University and co-author of Managing Employee Turnover.


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