Someone asked me what I’d change if I could go back and correct some of the mistakes I’ve made in my life.
“That’s a long list,” I said, then considered my answer.
As a child I wouldn’t have felt self-conscious about how most of my clothes seemed to be hand-me-downs or came from jumble sales. I wouldn’t have minded when other kids picked on me.
I wouldn’t have been so lazy at school, or spent most of my time trying to be the class clown when I should have been learning.
I wouldn’t have accepted my first beer at age fourteen, or started smoking at sixteen.
I wouldn’t have left home at seventeen to live in a hostel in London, where I had to share a room with three other guys.
I wouldn’t have got married at the tender age of eighteen, only to split up six years later because I was too young, too selfish and just too stupid to know how to be a good husband.
After my separation, I wouldn’t have let myself go to pieces, or not cared that some of my friends’ friends only knew me as ‘That guy who drank 73 pints in a single week.’
The more I thought about it, the longer my list became.
Then it hit me.
If I went back and changed all those mistakes, I would never have learned from them. Sure, my life would have taken a different path, but then I might never have met Senior Management. I wouldn’t be the person I am now, or have the life I have today. I wouldn’t have a beautiful wife who loves me despite my many faults and flaws. I wouldn’t have three wonderful children who drive me crazy, yet somehow complete me in a way that nothing else could.
So I smiled at my friend and gave him my answer: “I wouldn’t change a thing.”
How about you?
If you could go back and live your life differently, what wouldn’t you do?