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What if…

Alan Watts, for those of you who don’t know is a philosopher who’s lectures and audio recordings have helped shape the person I am today. One of my favourite quotes:

“Decisions, they pop up like hiccups”

His articulation and explanation of various challenges we all face in life, for me is inspiring. I recently spoke to a friend who, like me, finds certain choices in life difficult to make, however, like Watt’s explanation, the decision you end up making,  always works out to be the right one. Whether you have the courage to make it in a split second, or in time, back yourself, because you are right.

This video is Watts at different stages in his life, close to his final days. It strikes a chord with me.

For me, the challenge is to remove the phrase ‘what if’ from my vocab and focus on the ‘what now’. Having played team sport for most of my life, our focus was always on what we can control and while injuries plagued me, for various reasons, the majority of them were under my control. What if I slept more, what if I hydrated more, what if I stretched more, what if what if what if. I see the same thing in life. People spend time wondering about situations that they have no control over, and it can consume them.

The reality is, that the what if’s are in the past, we should focus on the what now. All we can do as individuals is control our actions. Do things that you are proud of, that you would be happy telling your 16-year-old self, or indeed, the 90 you.

I spoke to a friend recently and we discussed the term, ‘mid-life crisis’ and the context it is normally used in. However, as Michelle Obama notes in her book ‘Becoming’ a question that she deems pointless when it comes to kids is
“What do you want to be when you grow up?”

It’s a pointless question because, we never stop growing! Every day we grow and learn. That’s what makes life an adventure. All that happens mid life is that people realize there’s more to life than worrying about the what if’s.

Consider people who are grouped as having a growth mindset. All they do is open themselves up to the opportunity to learn, when do they stop growing up? For all us 30 somethings – have you stopped growing up??? I know I haven’t 

So don’t wonder about ‘what if’s in life, take inspiration from people you respect. Enjoy the time you have with them because, for me, it is the most precious and priceless piece of life’s puzzle.

What if you had a chance to change,
A moment in time,
A choice you made or,
A decision you took,
A journey,
A dream,
What if you didn’t
Would you be you?

What if you never had
A special someone,
A hero,
A hobby,
A joy,
What if you did?
Would you be you?

What if you never gazed upon,
A picture,
A sunrise,
A sunset,
What if you did?
Would you be you?

What if you never heard
A sound,
A story,
What if you did?
Would you be you

What if you never had
A hope,
What if you do?
Would you be you?

What if you never felt
A love,
A loss,
What if you did?
Would you be you?

What if
it’s all over

What then?
What now?

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