People from all walks of life, societies and backgrounds fall prey to this question- “What IF?” We always keep checking ourselves in retrospect to our decisions.
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Playing multiple scenarios where a decision you made didn’t give you a desirable outcome and then you brainstorm about why that decision was wrong. We keep thinking about alternate and favourable results but to what end? The reality stays robust and idempotent. Nothing actually changes other than our mentality, mind-set and our overall outlook on our life. This can sway our future either way- a path where we take risks and readily accept what comes our way with determination or we cower and make safe bets that don’t agree with us but make us feel secure.
When I dropped out of college to travel and write, it was my first and the most important decision of my life that I made. I only considered what I thought was best for me and tuned out everyone else’s opinions like white noise. Doing that isn’t easy and it requires all the mental strength and courage one can gather. The question that pestered me was-”What IF this decision is the biggest mistake of my life?” Everyone except me had doubts about me and the way I was handling such matters of immense priority and importance. In the words of boxing legend Muhammad Ali: “He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life”. After 2 years, I am a freelance novice travel and inspirational blogger with no fixed income and still depending (especially financially) on my parents. I feel remorse at times but I never regret dropping out of college to do what I love and do best- travel and write.
Another instance when I was troubled with doubt was while making a similar life altering decision; not joining a reputed moto-tour company that would have offered me steady income. Yet again, my principles and my way of travel played a crucial part in my thought process. I wondered- “What IF I never get such an opportunity again and never have a proper job?” Almost a year has passed and it still bothers me when I re-evaluate my plans regarding my career and future. But, the thought that my life is not what I want or that it is going down the drain never crosses my mind. I pity such thinking and hate it whenever someone questions me without having the faintest idea about how I handle my life.
The truth is every person no matter their current situation, is plagued by the “What IFs” that make them doubt themselves. The best possible method to answer them is to introspect. Do I regret my decision? Has it changed my life for better or for worse? Do I feel happy with what I have? Blindly believing in guidance counsellors is hardly the way to go. Sure, they are erudite professionals who can help you, but, you are the optimal person to judge yourself and make changes. With some assistance from friends, family, and professionals try to become independent. Then and only then will you be able to face the doubts trying to clobber you and return victorious. Don’t be afraid of taking risks and failing. “What IF this risky and completely crazy decision changes my life in a way I can’t even fathom?” This seems an evasive technique but I consider it to be a positive and the best attitude towards life.
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.”- Henry Ford.
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