When I listen to podcast or read blogposts from people that have made very different life choices, I sometimes wonder what if I had done something similar. Some of these people FIRE at age 35, some travel the world while house sitting,… You name it, they do it!
The danger is then to to start thinking and reviewing all decisions you took. You then start to play the what if game…
- What if I had taken more math classes in high school?
- What if I had taken that one decision a year earlier while still working abroad?
- What if I had invested rather than saving for a house?
- What if I had bought even less house?
- What if we had no kids?
For sure, I most likely would be in a different place and situation than I am now. I might even FI by now.
And yet, that is irrelevant. Would I be happier? Is that the real question? Probably it is a more sensible question to ask.
As the past is the past, and I can not yet time travel, what matters is where I am today and what the good things are.
I should be grateful for a lot of things
- Having fun and precious moments with my family
- being in a better financial position than most people ever will be
- having the time, and community support to think about life and what really matters
- Feeling purpose and passion in my job and side activities
Of course, this is old knowledge. It is just that today, via a Facebook post, I realized this again. The story was about a professor that gives his students a blank page with a black dot. He asks to describe what they see. Most people will write about the dot, why it is in the centre, what it represent. While in reality, there is also the white space. We often forget the white space.
In life we focus too much on what is wrong or could be different, rather than focusing on what is white and good, what we have know.
Maybe I should have a dot tattooed on my body to remind me every day…!