Why dwelling on this one missing ingredient, which would have made all the difference in your life, is a complete waste of time
[ 3 min read ]
What I wish someone had taught or told me when I was in my late teenage years/ early 20s?
Nothing. But not because I knew everything and couldn’t have possibly be wiser or smarter, or had the absolutely best role models in the world, but because it is a flawed thinking that with this greater awareness or improved knowledge about the world (something my parents or other adults could have taught or told me), or with the help and support of a much better role model / champion, everything would be much better, or even perfect.
It’s the same thing as trying to pinpoint this one bad decision which, if erased from our past or replaced with a better one, would have made all the difference — everything would be much better, or even perfect (I wrote about it yesterday).
I think it was hidden in my yesterday’s message (that everything I wrote in that post applies equally to dwelling on the one missing ingredient, something which would have made all the difference in our lives), but I wanted to make it super clear for my readers.
It’s ridiculous to assume that right now everything would be just fine or that our lives would be much better, or even perfect, if only we, as young adults (20 or 30 years ago), had this greater awareness or improved knowledge about the world (something our parents or other adults could have taught or told us, or instilled in us), or the help and support of a superb role model / champion (way better than the ones we actually had). It’s our wishful thinking.
So let me tell you it one more time, repeating much of what I wrote yesterday:
It’s far more likely that if we changed that one piece in that story (little or big, doesn’t matter) other things would change too. Some pieces would remain the same (or be only slightly different) but some wouldn’t — we can’t be sure what would happen. And thus we have no idea what the reality would really look like if we changed only this one small piece. And nevertheless we always imagine this perfect reality in which we would live.
We fool ourselves that everything would be better. Because what? Because the universe knows what would be better for such and such and it would make sure that only good things would happen to that person?
Are you kidding me? If the universe knew what is good and bad for us and if it cared that we shouldn’t experience the bad, would we have the bad (would we ask questions What I wish someone had taught or told me when I was in my late teenage years/ early 20s?)?
We want to believe that everything would be better because it’s nice to at least know what went wrong and what the reality would be like if it didn’t. So when we write those alternative life stories (where the circumstances of our lives would be enhanced) almost nobody assumes that instead alternative (unknown to us) shit would happen. And it’s totally possible that it would happen. We could have lost our mother at birth, or both our parents a couple of years later in a plane crash, or been born a transsexual, or been a victim of 9/11, or been killed by a serial killer or a lightning or a landslide or an avalanche, or lost vision in both eyes, or lost the ability to speak, etc.
No, none of it would happen. Why would it happen?, we think. Or we don’t even realize it could happen. If only someone had taught or told me this or that, or been there for me, or supported (championed) me when I was in my late teenage years/ early 20s. Nonsense!
The only place where it can work are fiction stories (in books or movies). When you’ve written a fiction book and thus created some reality pertinent only to this story, this reality is fixed. You can ponder what would make the story (the book, or the movie) even better and you can actually improve that story. Why? Because you have total control of it — you control all pieces. It’s a fixed reality which can only be changed by you, the author. Life doesn’t work this way.