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Reflections on What Could Have Been (or If I Could Turn Back Time)

28352282_mOver the last few months I’ve written a few blog columns on my upcoming future (with some soundtrack music added), a few sessions of a leader’s conference, and issues relating to upcoming campaign and politics.  I did sprinkle in a little shop talk with grant information and some life lessons of mine (prioritizing and taking vacations).

Recently, though, I’ve been thinking back about various events and situations in my life and wondered where I would be if things had gone differently.  With my graduation by the EMBA program at UNR, I wondered about what if I had completed by education after I graduated from high school how my life would be different now.  Or friendships and relationships that were lost over the years due to bridges being burnt by each side and the regrets from that.  Or the biggest one if I hadn’t lost both my parents in a car accident when I was about 9 years old and how that really changed the course of my life.

Well I don’t have a time machine so what good does thinking back really do.  For me I found out that thinking about what could have been distracts me from what I really should be focusing on – where I am going next.  The past is gone and done and these past events are not changing so you learn to accept what has happened for better or worse.

I think that looking back and thinking about what could have been (or regretting choices that were made or occurred) is more a symptom of feeling that may be something in your present life that you are looking to change.  Change doesn’t always have to be some major thing in your life – it could be something small such as a routine (like setting aside one day a week for something you want to do).  I believe that when we are looking back and thinking about what could have been its really something inside us that is saying “hey let’s try something different”.

I really don’t know why I decided to go philosophical for this blog column, but writing this blog has become a way for me to put into words the jumbled mess that is going inside my head.  I know a change is coming in my life in the next few months so maybe that’s why I’m been spending a lot of time thinking about the past.  Usually I try to add a question or comment to get people to get involved but this time I really don’t have one and I think this blog may be more for me to write out something to help me clear my own mind as I move forward.

I think, though, I will end this blog with another soundtrack (don’t know why but music seems to be a method for me to relate to topics and ideas).  This time, though, I’m not including a country music group but rather an 80’s group (I know I’m old but this decade had some great music) – “Forever Young” by Alphaville.  This song brings me back to my graduation and despite is dark tone it reminds me to keep looking forward.

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