Anyone who’s watched The Office knows a pot of chili can be hilarious, but when you’re on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere Ohio with a spilled pot of beans in the back of the car, you’re not laughing.

We were on the way to a family potluck on a morning where everything went wrong. Running late, couldn’t find the right lid to the pot, etc.

Add a couple of cracks on mom’s driving, and the situation was tense in that “I love you but could kill you” family way. It was a moment where words could get out of hand.

We stopped to fix the spilled pot and without a second thought, I said this:

“We can only move forward.”

I credit my brother-in-law for this. 

Many years before the chili incident, I had a difficult decision to make. 

As I weighed my options, I went down the “if only” track.

If only I had done things differently. If only I had known before. If only I could go back. 

My brother-in-law stopped my spinning by saying “we can only move forward.”

The coulda, woulda, shoulda didn’t matter. No use in wasting time thinking that way. 

After hearing this, I made this saying my motto. It’s served me well whether I locked my keys in my car or someone had delayed a project at work. 

Not only do I appreciate this specific motto’s meaning, I love the idea that we have the ability to program our own responses. I’ve repeated my motto to myself so many times, I say it without thinking.

You get to choose what’s ingrained in your head.

You may already have a personal motto or a few. If you don’t have one or want a new one, keep your eye out. It doesn’t have to be big or bold, though it can be if that’s your thing. Just memorable and useful.

Back to the side of the road in Ohio, after repeating my motto, I wiped up the spill and we got back on the road. No big deal.

We could only move forward. 

To being better without regretting every time we get bangs,