The Decisions: Good or Bad?

Following is an excerpt from a forward email I got a few days back. Below this is my view on the same.

We live surrounded by our alternates, what we could have been.

Oh, if I only had that last number right (just one and I'd hit the lotto), accepted that job, finished that course, got there earlier, got there later, said yes, said no, went to London, married Dora, taken that test…

Right now in this Imaginary bar where I drink to forget what I've never done (the bar is actually called "Imaginary") sat a guy by my rigt side and introduced himself:

"I am you, had you taken that test at the soccer team"
He really has my age and looks. The same grimace.
Why is that? Wasn't your life better than mine?
"For a while. I played the major league. Got to the national squad. Major deal. Lived the big life. Until one day..."
"I know, I know..." Said someone sat beside him.
We both stared our interloper. Had our age and looks and not a bit happier. He went on:
"You hesitated. Should I stay in net or charge the attacker? You stayed, got scored on and fell in disgrace. Dropped soccer and became a mediocre advertiser"

"How do you know that?"

"I charged. Not only catched the ball but sprinted to the attack with such perfection that we scored the victory goal. Was seen as the hero of the game. At the next game, I hesitated between throwing myself at the feet of an attacker or not. As a hero, I threw me... Took a kick in the head. Couldn't be anything else in life. Not even an advertiser. I earn a few coins from social security, and all I do is drink and complain about life. If I only haven't threw myself at his feet..."
"...he would have missed the goal", another of our doubles spoke. It would have made no difference. My career went on. I became ever more famous, now with a lucky fame also. Was sold to an european team, for a king's ransom. The first brazilian goalkeeper to ever play in europe. There was a party at the airport in Rio..."

"So? What happened? We asked in unison.
"Remember that plane from Rio to Paris that crashed in the sea?"
"Dead at 28."
"Now that you say, I notice you're quite pale."
"Thinking further, it was better not taking that test at the soccer team..."
"And getting kicked in the head..."
"Better it would've been joining the public service. Had I been chosen..."
"You must be kidding", said someone to my left. My face, but older and desolate.
"And you, who are?"

"I joined the public service."

I saw that every stool left of me was taken by public service versions of me, one more disheartened than the other. The consequences of years of bad decisions, failed alliances, little treasons, denied promotions and frustration. I looked around. I filled the whole bar. Every stool and table occupied by my alternates and none seem happy. I remarked to the bartender that, at the end, the better-looking there was me. The bartender nodded, sadly. Only then I noticed that he too had my face, only more wrinkled.

"Who are you", I inquired.
"I am the one who married Dora."

He didn't answer. Only made a signal, thumbs down...

My Take On The Same

So, what do you think? Did you get the morale of the story? Give a second read if you feel that everything is not clear. The beauty of it will soon be visible.

When I finished reading the above excerpt, I was left "enthralled". It confirms the kind of answer I give to myself whenever I am in qualms...

I often think a lot about my past and my decisions. I know for sure that my life had way too many butterfly gaming entry in diploma, then thapar and then maybe US..and then writing..

Everything changed so drastically at every twist. And I must say it doesnt happen with everybody, it does with only those who live their life at extremes. I know a lot of people whose life have been monotonous since the start. That means they won't have many duplicates in the Imaginary Bar. But if I go to that bar, I am sure there will be countless doubles.

So coming back to my doubts, whenever I regret my decisions, whenever I think, had I done +1, +2 , I would have been able to do maths, physics but again maybe not a good gamer or writer..But in the end, I calm myself saying that...this reality...this one - the present..this one based on all those bad/good decisions is the best one..this blend is of the perfect taste...this is the perfect other decisions might not have resulted in this kind of supreme and perfect experience. 

So it all comes down to being happy with whatever your present is. It's all about never going to that bar to drink and forget. It's about cherishing your life and having confidence in your decisionsthat you made at every point in your life. And then you will know that whatever you chose was indisputably right. And that's the way to live happily ever after...

Even if that means living your life in an illusion that "your life rocks"...that kind of illusion is worth having...even if someone comes along later and tells you, "hey you should have done that and you could have got that!", your reply should be, "Nah, I am glad that I did this and I got this..." 

So what do you say? 

Do you regret some past decisions? Or you are completely happy with what you have got today? Or it's a mix?

I would like to hear your views in the comments below! :)

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Arkantos said...

Wonderful teaches us to accept our decisions and not to fret over spilled milk...In fact, I have had so many I-should-have-done-that moments...and I used to regret a lot...especially when it came to quiz competitions...'I should have hit that buzzer!' or 'I should have kept quiet!'...or when it came to taking decisions with reference to events...'I should have gone there' or 'I should have stayed back'...or when it came to talking to members of the opposite sex that I liked...'I should have asked her out' or 'I should have kept my mouth shut'...
But after going through a lot of these moments, I have realized that there is no point thinking about the decisions that I did not take. I have started believing in the adage - "jo hota hai, accha hi hota hai'. I remember that this was a chapter in my class 3 hindi text book that beautifully expressed the fact that we must not fret over such moments... :)

Sourabh said...

Awesome one man....It happens with me trifles...but the ones which bothered me most are the big stayin in dib till 10th with little exposure(but tht was hardly my choice)...but goin to Kota was...takin drop(wen everybody says it was not worth it)...goin to thapar......sayin not sayin thing to this and tht gal...choosing M.S b/w mba and ms....leavin dad's business......but at he end I always find decisions were right for me.....No other decision would have given me wat i have today...and if god's give me an option of whom u wanna relive ur life...or change anythin by goin back in time..I would change none and would choose the same life again... :)

Shivani said...

Now this is what I wrote to you when we had that conversation. And I am copying it here..
even i feel that i wil meet so many duplicates.. am the result of all the choices i made in my life.. good bad.. and what i think is ppl fail to forget that it is not the choices they make determine how happy they are. It is how they think about those choices.. that is what determines their happiness quotient.

Ifyou have confidence in your decision, and you think that you are doing it because you want to do it, and dont care about the outcome.. then you are satisfied and happy. If you are making the choices hoping that the result will give you happiness, then you are eternally waiting for the happiness. Happiness does not come as an outcome of making a particular decision. Happiness is while you are making a decision.. in fact, that is how you should make a decision.. Choose those options that make you feel happy NOW. I should correct it by adding that make those choices which make you feel NOW that this is what is best for me in these particular circumstances. This decision may or may not bring positivity to my life - who knows, but standing here right now, in this situtation, if I had to choose something, I should choose that thing which seems the best NOW, and not the one which might be best in future or was the best in past.

And how to know which is the best choice out of all?? If you are happy while making a particular choice, that is the best one for you! Simple!

Then, the repercussions of that choice.. could be good or bad.. but when you know they are the result of what you chose to do, you dont feel that bad if things go way wrong. You realize you are experimenting in life and sometimes experiments fail. Life is not to be taken to seriously. No one gets out alive of it! (I read that somewhere). So, take it as a video game. Do all the crazy things you would do if you were in a virtual world.. and dont worry too much if you hurt yourself a bit here and a bit there.. or you land up in a messy situation.. after all its an adventure! And what life that would be where the person did not make the most of his stay and epxerience all the different things that life has to offer!

You should die with the satisfaction that all you did in life was chosen by YOU. You lived your life the way you wanted to!

Makes some sense? :P

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