“I am 23 years old, and by now, I know that the future turns into the present before you can even notice the changes that gradually unfold before you. I make many choices every day, only to be plagued by self-doubt. I would have been better off if I had the audacity to make a different choice. I fail to have faith in my decisions and instead spend all my time focusing on regrets and what-ifs. What if I had done it some other way? What if I had chosen to go down the road not taken?”
“You see, the what-ifs are as boundless as the stars.” – Sarah Gardner
This is a natural human tendency – to dwell on the things that we have let go of and the possible consequences. We fail to take pride in our decisions and instead choose to whine about the choices that we overlook instead of focusing on the choices we made. We plant in our hearts and our minds the seeds of unhappiness by wanting our lives to be different from what they are now.
We often fail to realize that life, yes, life, is more than cribbing and whining. Why do we fail to understand that we are not the masters of our lives? Life is not a video game that we can control with gamepads. Life is not all about making the right choices. Instead, life is about making a choice and believing in it.
“Worry gives a small thing a big shadow.”—Swedish Proverb.
Every choice that we make has its repercussions, either positive or negative. So, the next time, if the ‘what if’ question comes to your mind, close your eyes and think – ‘If I had not made this choice, would I have been in a position to think about the possibility of making the other choice? Would I have come this far if I had opted for the other one?’ would I have learnt the lessons that I have learnt as a consequence of making that decision?
Try to understand the beauty and the purpose of making a choice. You’ll need to decide at every point of your life, and every choice will bring with it a whole new journey for you to embark upon. Now that journey can either be in your favour or against it. But no journey can ever be in vain. Every path you tread in life leaves patches of wisdom that the wise person you need to identify and acknowledge.
“But then I realize that I cannot consider all the possibilities. If I am supposed to learn to live, I need to be able to live with my choices without regretting them and learn to make the best of whatever decisions I choose.”
How lovely it would be if we never had to make a choice right away and instead had the option to explore all the options one by one and discover their appropriateness. But unfortunately, life is too short of making that quixotic dream come true.
We should accept the fact that we cannot sail in two boats at the same time. Drink the inevitability of making a choice and bearing its consequences as the gospel truth of life. Once you put your faith into that, choose with full conviction and turn your questions of ‘what if?’ into answers of ‘oh well’. Believe in the credibility of your choice and follow it with all your heart to reach the end of the journey that the choice leads to. As for the choices that you did not make, they might indeed have taken you on a totally different odyssey. However, the one you end up taking always fills your life with notable experiences and precious life lessons and transforms you into the person you always wanted to be!
Do not forget to share this with the people who are stuck on the ‘what-ifs’ of life!