Tossing Away Your "Could Haves" and "Should Haves"

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Recognized by Chase's Calendar of Events, Toss Away the "Could Haves" and "Should Haves" Day will be celebrated nationwide on July 16, 2005.

It all begins with a story. Life stories are eagerly told to willing ears. Stories about “this great, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” that presented itself long ago are fluently described. Then, an explanation follows as to why that opportunity was not acted upon. Or, more often than not, an explanation as to why it just wasn’t meant to be, despite all reasonable efforts, is given. The story may even be embellished (just a little bit) so that the listener knows that outside forces conspired to ensure defeat.

“It was bad luck.” “Pure jealously.” “No matter the preparation, there was just no way around it.”

The blame lies with everyone but the storyteller. Often left unsaid though, are self-doubts and regrets. The listener is usually not privy to the “I could haves” or “I should haves.” People often look back into the past and wonder about what could have been. It’s just a matter of what an individual does with these thoughts.

July 16, 2005, is a day to toss away all the “could haves” and “should haves.” Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day, created by author and motivational speaker Martha J. Ross-Rodgers (, is recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events. It is a day that encourages individuals of all backgrounds to move forward in life instead of wallowing in the past. Toss Away the “Could Haves” and “Should Haves” Day is dedicated to reminding people to learn from their mistakes…then let them go.

Martha J. Ross-Rodgers offers six tips for tossing away one’s “could haves” and “should haves.”

1. Remember that the past is just the past. The past cannot be changed, but the present can be. Valley experiences are common to everyone. Make a decision today whether to remain in the valley or climb up to the mountaintop.

2. Recognize that loving oneself is to accept both the positive and negative. To err is human.

3. View every regret as an opportunity to learn and to grow. By growing, one is better equipped to handle future challenges that come along.

4. Remember-- holding on to past regrets will affect one’s success in the present and the future.

5. Remember: Obstacles come in all shapes, sizes, and forms. Everything a person attempts is not going to be achieved easily. Living life is just a matter of finding your way past these obstacles and moving on.

6. Know that life is like a winding road. There are twists and turns along the way. Know and accept this. Then, choose to keep moving forward.

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Martha J. Ross-Rodgers
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