What’s the worst mistake you made in your life? Or, if you could go back in time to change one thing (in your own life), what would it be?I like thought experiments like this, the “alternate history”. What path might my live have taken if I had kissed that girl (I was 16 and way too shy)…?
First: I’m happy with my life (well, mostly) and I wouldn’t want to run the risk of ruining what I have now by changing the course of history in such a way that I end up somewhere completely different (those who have seen “The butterfly effect” or “Sliding doors” should know what I mean).
Second: When is something a mistake? If you look back on an action (and it’s subsequent string of reactions) and you’re not happy with the outcome? But that’s too easy, as everybody can predict the past.
Given the information you had at the point of deciding, would it have been logical / reasonable to have made a different decision? If so, then yes, it was a (very stupid!) mistake. But most of the time, it’s not. You take the information you have and you do what you think is best at that moment. It doesn’t always come out the way you expected (much less hoped for), but does that make it a mistake? Personally, I think not. It’s just the unpredictability of the universe making itself felt (which is a good thing too, imagine that the future was perfectly predictable. How boring!). You learn from it and you move on.
It does happen though that you make a decision you know is not in your best interest. I should have kissed that girl and I knew at the time that I should and I did regret not doing so. My emotions hijacked me from doing the “right” thing (fear in this case).
I think it’s better to take this as anything else that the universe throws you that doesn’t go quite your way: Learn from it and move on.
I did learn. Not too long after, this horrible mistake still fresh in my memory I had another chance and (after due courage-finding) I took it. A kiss never tasted sweeter…
I’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.
I love to connect, so if you have thoughts, ideas or questions based on this (or another) post, please leave me a comment!