what if? – episode 4

A few days ago I was discussing with a friend about the science of making decisions. He was trying to explain how crucial the age between 16 and 18 is. You decide what you want to become, to be a doctor, an engineer, a technician, an artist, an archaeologist, a geologist, an economist and many more of those fascinating options. You’re ‘this’ decision changes the way your life would look like forever.

10 percent of these decisions could be said as ‘destiny’ while the rest 90 percent is the outcome of a decision making algorithm built by our brain. Our brain has the capability to connect several points of past, associate them with possibilities, roll out multiple options and pick one that travels its ‘yes’ and ‘no’ loops.

I know I’ve made some decisions in life and it’s got me here, but, it makes me think what if I’d picked an alternative option. I remember when I was in 12th I was telling a friend about the various professions that I’d wanted to see myself in. She’d smartly said “become an actor, you’d get to experience all in one life”. I keep wondering what if I’d decided to take up commerce instead of science. What if I’d practiced music instead of preparing for my competitive exams? What if I’d chosen writing over engineering. What if I’d decided to quit education and get married early? What if I’d just hike mountains to look up and watch those billion stars in the universe? Life has offered me all of these options at some point in time and if I’d picked any of these alternates, life would have been so different.

I couldn’t say if this life is good or those fictitious stories would have been good. All I could say is, these options haven’t vanished from my life, and rather they’ve been with me as hobbies, as interests, as slash job or as part of my journey. A little bit of conscious look out for reasons to behave a certain way has revealed my secrets of ‘what if’s?’.

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