The “What If” Mentality

These days it seems like we as a culture spend more time questioning “what if?” and talking ourselves out of things.  I suppose it’s a lot easier not to take action on something.  It’s a lot easier to do nothing.  The problem with that line of thinking is that as much as it seems like a safe way to live life, it’s actually quite scary because ultimately you’ve eliminated opportunities and possibilities.  You’ve left your fate to others.

I too have asked the  “what if” question numerous times in my life.  There have been many times when I’ve questioned if I should move forward on something and take the chance.  But whenever I start to talk myself out of something, I flip the “what if” question around and ask myself  “what if I don’t do this?”

Some years ago I was on assignment in Ireland and I spent a memorable morning with an Irishman who was quite a character and full of life itself.  At one point we were driving around the countryside doing errands, and he told me about how his son had just spent a small fortune on a racehorse.  I said to him “wow, that’s  risky” and he replied, “yes, life is a gamble, isn’t it?”

Life is a gamble – you never know what’s right around the corner.  To me that’s the beauty in it.  I love to look back through history and contemplate how things could have turned out quite differently based on the decisions people made and chances that were taken.

We all set our course with every decision we make, or lack thereof.  I think we all have the same amount of luck in our lives; it’s just that some people take notice of it and some don’t.  I’d much rather take the chance and fail than ask myself  “what If I had….” at the end of the day.

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