“I am 23 years old and the future turns into the present before you know it. Everyday I make choices, only to be plagued by self-doubt. I feel that I would have been better off, had I the audacity to make the other 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 love to whine about the choices that we overlook over the ones that we take. We ourselves plant the seeds of unhappiness by wanting our lives to be different than what they are now. But why do we fail to realize that life, yes life, is more than cribbing and whining. Why do we fail to fathom that we are not the masters of our lives? Life is not a video game that we can control with game pads. Life is not only about making the right and the perfect 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, just 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 learnt the lessons that I have learnt as a consequence of making that decision? Would I have come this far if I had opted for the other one?’
Try to understand the beauty and the purpose of making a choice. At every point of your life, you’ll need to make a decision and every choice will bring with itself a whole new journey for you to embark upon. Now that journey can be either in your favor or against it. But no journey can ever be in vain. Every path that you tread in life leaves patches of wisdom which the wise person in you needs 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 I decide.”
How lovely would it have been 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 to make 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 a gospel truth of life. Once you put your faith into that, make a choice 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, it is true that they might have taken you on a totally different odyssey. However, the one that you end up taking always fills your life with notable experiences and precious life-lessons and transforms you into the person that grow to become!
Do not forget to share this with the people who are stuck on the ‘what-ifs’ of life!