Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What Ifs

Have you ever played the What If game?

"What if I had gone to this school instead of that?"
"What if I said yes to this offer instead of no?"
"What if I went to the bathroom before I left?"

The thing about playing the What If game is that it really isn't fun to play. There is always a loser, and that loser is you. Is me. Is whoever decides to play that game. From time to time I catch myself playing the game, reflecting and questioning past decisions I've made and how my life would have altered had I chosen differently. I tend to think back in the past, but how often do we play What If with our futures?

"What if I ask her but she says no?"
"What if I apply but I don't get accepted?"
"What if I miss my bus/train/plane?"

I recently got into an interesting conversation with a friend about the idea of goals and achieving business success. One thing I told him I'm trying to avoid this year is the word 'Can't'. If I had something, like a class, that was interfering with something more enjoyable, I would opt for going to class and say "I can't do that other thing, I have class," when really, I'm choosing to put class before the more enjoyable thing.

Another attitude we discussed was our perception of regret, and to look at every past action as a learning experience rather than a mere disappointment. You will never know unless you do.

But is touching fire the best way to know that it's hot?


  1. I like how you point out there's a loser to the 'what if' game... it's so easy to get bogged down in all the possibilities and end up not going anywhere :)

  2. Yeah, I think it rings true with most people :)