Now I am the first person to admit that I am constantly wondering, "what if?" I know in a post a few weeks back I was talking about having no regrets. Having these 'what if?' thoughts are far from regrets, admittedly, but they do my head in. I'm constantly thinking of the whats, the ifs and the buts. (Typical girl, I hear you cry! To which I say- get over it). That's what makes me who I am I guess.
However they may not necessarily be a wholly bad thing- dear God, no- especially in a place of work, I find they can be particularly helpful. Asking the inevitable what if questions as part of a project review is almost definitely what encourages you to constructively criticise what has been achieved (or rather, in some cases of epic failure, what was definitely not achieved) and gives you a great POA (Plan of Action..I'm all about the abbreviations of late) for future projects. In this case, asking that damn question can be seen as a positive. Can you tell I'm one of those rather irritating people who strives to turn every negative into a positive yet?!
Yet in many, many other life situations it can be hazardous. How much has changed in my life in the past 18 months or so is actually a little disturbing. Inevitably, I start, in my haze of a daydream wondering; 'what if I had done that differently?'. You all are aware of these questions, because, you, my dear friend, are just as guilty as me in having these unproductive thoughts- so don't go getting up on your high pedal stool of judgement thinking you're different, because I severely doubt that you are.
These can go from, 'argh, what if I decided to go with Dominoes pizza last night instead of that dodgy Chinese takeaway around the corner?'.. What if is that you would probably be out in town with your mates having a great time instead of curled in bed with severe food poisoning as a punishment for trying to be 'exotic' and trying a different dish on the menu, different to your usual chicken sweet and sour... then there are the pretty major what ifs, such as.. 'What if I never went to uni? What if we never broke up? What if I had decided not to go to the interview?' These examples are slightly more destructive. If we keep on questioning our own actions, we'd be stuck on a bloody roundabout going round and round, getting nowhere but feeling instead increasingly sick and dizzy.. which would slightly damage your street cred.
One of my oldest best friends yesterday said to me to quit with the what ifs.. I'm gonna take her advice partially, and use the 'what if' with caution. As should you.. I reckon that although I don't want to have regrets thinking about what could have been, in some cases is healthy.
In others, it's just plain stupid. As long as we're happy and healthy, that's all that should count, right? So, take a step forward and think sod it the next time you even start to think of what could have been.
Otherwise you'll be stuck on that damn roundabout for life. Gutted.