How Your Life Might Be Different Today If You Could Go Back In Time?
Article Published by: hr.com
You can learn, or you can blame
By Tim Connor
No, I’m not Scrooge – past present and future. But just wondering – have you ever in hindsight considered how your life might be different today if you could go back in time and reverse a decision or action you took or didn’t take years ago?
Wish you had said no rather than yes at the Altar? Wish you had said yes rather than no for a job transfer? Ever said – I’ll think about it before you said yes or no to a purchase, investment or opportunity?
I could go on with hundreds more of examples but as we approach the end of another year, I’m sure many people reflect on the quality of some aspect of their lives and how it might have been better or worse in some way if they had made a different decision or taken a different action?
Could this be you?
As the end of another year is quickly bringing me to yet another life ending, I have asked myself these questions in real and often painful detail for the first time. Sure, most of us from time to time reflect on some aspect of our lives but do we ever dig really deep into real personal outcomes, causes, reasons, expectations or agendas that could be major contributors to some or all of these circumstances?
As a speaker and author – from vast global experience and meeting thousands of people around the world – is that the answer to this question is – no. And why? Do we want to avoid the pain and guilt of mistakes? Can we not get out of denial ‘that my life is not in my control and the needs to point fingers or blame’? Do we lack the courage or willingness to accept responsibility to make necessary changes that can or may improve our futures?
NO ONE knows tomorrow – let me repeat if you are reading this too quickly – NO ONE knows what tomorrow will look like, bring or be. I don’t care how smart you are, how in touch you are, how intuitive you are, how beautiful or handsome you are, how poor or rich you are – GOT IT? No one knows how any decision or action will turn out in the future – ever. No one knows what tomorrow and life will look – whether positive or negative, chaos or La La land, health and happiness or sickness and loneliness.
So, do we all make mistakes along the way? I don’t like to call them mistakes but “life teachers” instead. We can learn from them or repeat them again and again. We can try and change the outcomes with more wisdom, knowledge, information, and experience or we can accept that there is very little in life we can control.
If you don’t think you have ever made a mistake does this make you stupid, arrogant or egotistical? Or, if you look back on all of life whether positive or negative saying to yourself – “I did the best I could at the time with what I had or what I knew. Sure, if I knew then what I know now, I would have done it (anything) differently.” But, unfortunately – that’s not how “real life” works. Life is an ongoing adventure, journey, experiment, process, and progression and it is not in control by you. Life has a funny way of sometimes using our bad or poor actions or decisions to teach us what we are often too haughty to accept or learn and it desires us to learn.
Ever noticed, if we fail to learn important lessons, life has a funny way of bringing different people or circumstances into our lives again and again that are remarkably similar to previous people or circumstances to teach us what it wants us to learn before it’s too late or our time here is over?
Guilty? I know I am – and I must admit – far too many times.
So, what does it take to accept and learn from what life gives us whether a winning Lottery ticket or the loss of someone close to us?
I don’t like to preach since that is not my strength but what I can share is what years of life – some filled with pain, disappointment and anxiety others filled with joy, humility, and peace – have taught me.
You can trust, or you can question. You can learn, or you can blame. You can love, or you can hate. You can grow, or you can stay stuck. You can whine, or you can get busy. You can resist, or you can accept.
Need I go on?
About Scott Livengood
Scott Livengood is the owner and CEO of Dewey’s Bakery, Inc., a commercial wholesale bakery with a respected national brand of ultra premium cookies and crackers.
Previously, Scott worked at Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for 27 years, starting as a trainee in 1977. He was appointed President of the company in 1992, then CEO and Chairman of the Board.
Scott has served on numerous boards including the Carter Center, the Calloway School of Business and the Babcock School of Management, Habitat for Humanity of Forsyth County, and the Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce.
He started a new business, StoryWork International, in 2016 with Richard Stone. The signature achievement to date is LivingStories, a story-based program for improved patient experiences and outcomes in partnership with Novant Health.