The Carrot is Not the Conquest

Jul 27, 2014 by

“ . . . to be able to croak out phrases like ‘I need help’ or ‘I love you’ to someone that matters takes battalions of inner strength. But it takes even more courage to say the words and not be tied to the outcome or the carrot. Uttering the words is the lesson and end, in and of itself.”

Emily Bracken


          Often times, we use the desired outcome of our actions to justify them. If the actual outcome is not what we wanted, we lean toward regret. If the outcome is as we hoped, we use it as proof that we acted appropriately. This is flawed. The outcome of an action does not prove it to be wrong or right. Not getting what we want does not make what we did a mistake. The outcome is not the victory. It is acting in spite of knowing that doing so could yield unwanted consequences that is the accomplishment.

          In dealing with the undesired outcome of one of my actions, I’ve yet to regret what I did to land myself here. Friends’ opinions that I shouldn’t have said what I said only appear valid because my words didn’t get me what I wanted. Had my words delivered my goal, they’d be commending me for them. I, on the contrary, didn’t need to get what I wanted to know I made the right move. For fear of exactly what happened, I was scared to say the words I said, but I’m glad I said them anyway. They needed to be communicated for the sake of being heard.

          The result sucks. Anxiety sucks. Sporadic crying sucks. The action, though, was justified. It was more than just; it was brave. It was the appropriate course despite the disappointing silence it led to. Because I spoke, I know I expressed all that I could in attempt to get what I wanted, so there has been no reason to regret. My words were necessary to learn my stance. My feelings are known for the sake of being known. I don’t have to look back and wonder what might have been had I the courage to say how I felt without regard for the outcome. I’d rather live with an answer that I don’t like – in this case, no answer – than in the blissfully ignorant land of what-ifs.

Happiness Tip: Say what you feel.

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