How Random Moments Change the What If Game

We all play the “what if” game. What if we had gone to a different school. What if we had taken that job or turned down another. What if we had turned left instead of right.

I believe that it’s human nature to imagine life differently than what it is. To speculate how our life would be had we taken another path. Imagination is a good thing. It can spur change, make us reach for something we might not otherwise have tried.

But let’s be clear. I’m not talking about regrets. Regrets can be crippling. I’m talking about times where there was a fork in the road, and we chose right instead of left. But we go back and wonder what would’ve happened if we had chosen to go left.

I know I daydream alternatives. Wonder what would’ve happened had I made another decision. Honestly, I don’t see any harm to imagining a different life because it can lead us to make better, or at least different, decisions in the future. For example, daydreaming alternatives led me to a career change that has been an incredible journey.


But sometimes life gives you a moment. Just a small, random moment that makes you stop and appreciate your current path. Because any arbitrary turns along the way, any diverging would have put you on another trajectory. And no matter how slight the change in trajectory, that one small random moment probably wouldn’t happen.

This week I had one of those small, random moments. A random encounter that led to an impromptu discussion, which led to a last minute happy hour invite. And by saying yes to the invite, I allowed this random moment to become something more than just a brief moment in time.

So my hope is that you too have that small, random moment. And recognize it for the gift it is. Reminding you that just maybe your current path is pretty darn good.

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