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72 Year Old Chris


"If I had only known [insert fact here] at the time! I would've done [X] instead of [Y]!" Throughout my life, there have been many moments when I've reflected on a decision/mistake/ opportunity and wondered if I would have acted differently with with better information. I could've avoided so many headaches, setback and more. But then again, it is through my struggles I have grown. So while I'm not wishing I change them, I'm wondering if a different thought process might help me approach crossroads or moment of indecision with a slightly different lens.

Perhaps before leaping off a wave runner moving in excess of 30 mph at age 15, I would have contemplated the physics of the situation and ponder, "what if this doesn't turn out like I think it will?" [See: resulting shoulder dislocations and surgery]

While listening to a discussion with author A.J. Jacobs, he discussed an action he had taken at his work desk, next to his laptop. He had taken a photo of himself and used software to age himself toward what he might look like much later in as a stimulus to ask, "how would 80+ year old A.J. feel about this?" There are the moments he probably should have paused in the face of high-level risk to ask, "is this the best course of action?" Meanwhile, there likely many moments he over-thought or chickened out of where his older self might say, "I wish I would have leapt at that opportunity while it was there."

Fun fact: I'm not sure what service A.J. used, but the paid service I tried, AprilAge, just makes it look like a makeup jar exploded on my face ;)

If I work to regularly envision, how my future, older self might wish things had played out differently, perhaps it might lead me to be more conscious of my actions.

  • Spend more time approaching women I might like to date.

  • Spend less time criticizing myself for mistakes, slip-ups and other blunders I'm told all human beings make.

  • Spend more time with friends and family that are important to me.

  • Spend less time mindlessly scrolling social media.

We can never change the past and clinging to it is not healthy. My aim here is to help influence my action in the present by being mindful about what my future self would have liked to have seen transpire.

Go Forth Boldly

"Forgiveness means giving up all hope for a better past." Lily Tomlin


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