How many times have you wondered - “What if?”. How many times have you pondered about what could have been? All of us, at some point in our lives, have convinced ourselves that our lives would have been much better, had we made different choices in the past. But how true would that claim be?
The words of Aslan (Chronicles of Narnia, C. S. Lewis), “We can never know what might have been, but what is to come is another matter entirely”, are worth keeping in mind. This questionable feeling of regret builds on the phrase “The grass is always greener on the other side”. However, we must understand that there is more to this than what meets the eye. This unique phrase tells us that our lives could have gone any way from a particular focal point. It clearly describes the sheer futile nature of pondering over what might have been.
These words also reinforce that we have the ability to affect what is to come. Every moment of your life, including this one, you make choices that shape you. Some day you might even question your current decisions. Each choice we make defines who we are on some level. Our life’s choices can be compared to a ‘game’ of chess. Each move determining a unique path, setting a unique tone for the rest of the game. A pawn moved for no apparent reason, could make or break your game, and before each move, you are inundated with myriad questions- What would happen if you moved some other piece? What would happen if you moved the rook by 2 squares instead of just 1? Does winning a game in the first round mean you’d lose in the second?
Sometimes we wonder why we couldn’t have remained children. We marvel at the simplicity of life back then. Well, spoiler alert! We are still kids! There will come a time in life when you look back on your college days and reminisce how truly simple these times were. This is a never-ending cycle. The best thing we can do, though it seems cliche, is to experience each moment for all it brings with it.
So, when it has not been your day, your week, your month or even your year - find a coping mechanism that works for you. Even if it’s hard to look at the bright side, just try to look for silver linings. There is always one, however thin it may be.
Let us try to free ourselves of the burden of wondering “What if?”, cherish the now and focus on “What next?”