The ‘what if’ of life

Last year I had posted about a phrase that we love using often.. That was – l told you so.

Apart from that, we also love playing the ‘what if’ game. We play it with our past and we play it with our future.

We look back at key events of the past, usually the not so happy ones or the ones that had an impact on the way things are in present, and wonder what if we had done things differently, reacted differently, taken a step that would have led to a more favourable outcome. We do that and live with regret. We promise ourselves that if similar situation occurred, our response will be different. But the point is, we did what we did. Yes the impact was not favourable. But so what?? Will thinking about it make any difference? Why dwell on it and consider it as a big mistake. Move on.

But move on we don’t. We start using the ‘what if’ for our future decisions. Second guessing the outcomes. And that leads to us not taking a risk. As is our penchant, when we play what if with the future, we dwell on the likelihood of a negative impact and then choose not to take the step. We choose to deprive ourselves of experiences. We choose to take a path that’s safe. We choose to maintain a status quo because the ‘what if’ of the past is governing our future. Makes us scared. Makes us wary.

Yes I have also played this ‘what if’ game with my past. But the big difference is that I have not done it for the future. Taken what life has to offer. Gone ahead and done things.. taken the risk. Yes all risks have not paid off but at least they have helped me get stronger. And the ones that paid off, have increased the appetite for venturing into the unknown.

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