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partyparty's avatar

Do you ever have 'what if' moments?

Asked by partyparty (9152points) May 6th, 2010

Do you ever stop and think ‘what if’?

For example, what if you had been born in another country?
What if you had had different parents, what if you had been born richer or poorer? What if you had tried harder at school etc etc

What is your ‘what if’, and how do you think it would have affected your life?

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31 Answers

Seaofclouds's avatar

I use to have ‘what ifs’ a lot when I was a teenager. Like ‘what if’ we hadn’t moved when I was in 3rd grade, stuff like that. At that point, we hadn’t moved far and I actually ended up running into all my friends from my old house once I was in high school. I didn’t go to school with them, but we all hung out at the same place.

Now I don’t really think ‘what if’ anymore. I’ve realized it’s much easier not to worry about what could have happened and just focus on what did happen and enjoy the moment.

Sophief's avatar

Yes, I’ve had one today. Unfotunately I could think ‘what if’.

TheOnlyException's avatar

I do that all the time. With people in my life I met recently and have come to love. I think, what if my dad had never fallen ill and I didn’t have to drop out of advanced mathematics, I wouldn’t have met him, or her. Its crazy. It really is. Just tiny insignificant little things, just like the tiny insignificant little things I and we are all doing right now.

Cruiser's avatar

I have been thinking that every day for a year now…What if…? ;)

marinelife's avatar

I try deliberately to limit those, because that way lies madness (and a great waste of time).

partyparty's avatar

@TheOnlyException Yes, I think it’s something we all do. Thanks
@Sophief I hope it was a positive ‘what if’ for you :-)
@marinelife I think we all daydream from time to time though. It’s human nature.

Trillian's avatar

I have but speculation is pointless. I snap myself out of it and deal with “what is’.

BoBo1946's avatar

@partyparty why heck yeah…thought today, what if—one of my leg’s had not been shorter than the other’s!

wundayatta's avatar

I tend to keep my feet firmly on the ground. What if didn’t happen. This happened. If I made a mistake, I’ll try to learn from it so I can avoid it next time, should similar circumstances appear.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

Sometimes (as a person interested in race theory/politics) I think “What if I was a person of color?”

wonderingwhy's avatar

Sure all the time, usually they serve to remind me that I’m pretty happy with the way things are. I tend to keep a lot of them simmering on the back burner of my brain, giving them a stir and a sip every now and then to see if anything’s changed. And every now and then, if I let one bubble long enough, I find an idea that morphs into, “why not”, and I really love it when that happens.

BoBo1946's avatar

seriously, have often thought, what if I had stayed in coaching! loved every minute of my 11 years that i coached!

tranquilsea's avatar

The biggest “what if” I’ve had revolves around my sister’s car accident. She was supposed to attend a car rally with my husband and I but she had double booked herself with her girlfriend. She came to me and asked me if I would be mad if she spent the weekend down on Widby Island instead of coming on the car rally. I told her that I wouldn’t be mad and off she went.

The next day a lady blew a stop sign, my sister swerved her car and ended up in a head on collision that threw her into a 6 month coma due to a massive head injury. She had a brain stem twist and diffuse damage when her brain swelled. She had to relearn everything from breathing to walking, talking. Her short term memory sucks and she has great difficulty walking and talking. She’ll never live independently, never hold a job, never get married or have kids.

So, yes, I’ve often wondered if I had just been a little bitchier, then she would have come with my husband and I and avoided that car accident.

faye's avatar

I do ‘what if’s’ almost every night before sleep and make up little daydreams about how my life would have been.

BoBo1946's avatar

@faye yep, we all “do dat” my friend!

Fyrius's avatar

I think I might spend more time thinking “what if” than I spend thinking about things that are actually true.

Berserker's avatar

I have moments where I ponder what my existence would have been like if I were born in a different country, time period, or different circumstances…but I never take much of it seriously, as it usually concludes in me fantasizing about setting churches on fire and eventually being damned by God to walk the night for all eternity.

What the hell.

As for things that could have been done or avoided in a plausible fashion, as in, my actual life, well sure I think about that too, but not too much. What’s done is done, and hopefully I learned something, but either way reflecting is fine, but obsession can’t be healthy. Besides, as I can’t go back in time to test different choices and therefore confirm what would have been better, then it’s no use trying to bend the inevitable, or inevitably has been, into superficial psychic mind pillows.

Weeeee pillows, soft!

As for the rest, let’s just hope that if I’m not smart enough to figure that intensive training is the logical choice before entering the 10th Mortal Kombat tournament, then I’m at least strong enough to survive a wailing by some 2000 year old dude with four arms amirite?

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

All the time, I makes me feel grateful. If I have been born into different circumstances, my personality would condemn me to homelessness.

PacificToast's avatar

I normally ask the “what if” questions with my close allies. This leads to several interesting and splendidly amusing conversations.

shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

Lots of ‘em. I think that I can still change a few of them.

Sophief's avatar

@partyparty It would have been.

partyparty's avatar

@wundayatta So do you never daydream?
@wonderingwhy GA, thanks
@BoBo1946 why heck yeah…thought today, what if—one of my leg’s had not been shorter than the other’s!
Well you can’t have everything in life LOLL
@tranquilsea That is so very sad. Thanks for sharing your answer.

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

@Symbeline Anytime you like, I’ll bring my dragon-ship and we’ll do some looting and pillaging. There’s still some Saxons to be put to the sword. :^D

wundayatta's avatar

@partyparty Sure I day dream. I fail to see the connection. We dream about what may happen in the future. What if is about changing the past.

Oh….. I think I see. You’re saying something about considering different actions now and what iffing them into the future? It’s a kind of modeling what happens with different kinds of actions? Hmm. I misunderstood. The examples you gave made me think you were talking about the past. Sorry.

myopicvisionary's avatar

I do and to varying degrees we all do but it’s something I’m trying to eliminate; it prevents me from living in the now whether the “what if” is about stuff in the past or the future. My goal is to live as if this week is my last and I need to make the best of each and every moment right now.

ducky_dnl's avatar

I have “what if” moments every day now.

partyparty's avatar

@ducky_dnl Thanks for your answer. Are the ‘what if’ moments a recent thing, or are they a constant?

mattbrowne's avatar

All the time. I even devoted a whole section of my website to it

I stopped when I reached the year 2100.

partyparty's avatar

@mattbrowne I am so very impressed. Fascinating !!!

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