The New Year is always a time to reflect upon what one has accomplished, what one has yet to do, and what one has wished he hadn’t done.
During one cold, snowy evening, I found myself contemplating what I would do if I were to return back to fourteen years of age knowing what I know now. I fantasized about righting my wrongs, and avoiding the girls I should have avoided. However, my thoughts kept leading me to one conclusion: I would be miserable.
I can’t remember the source, but there is an equation that states that reality divided by expectations equals happiness. The rationale is that the lower the expectations, the higher the happiness. If the expectations of an individual equaled zero, then one’s happiness would be infinite.
I contemplated the above equation when I thought about traveling back in time. If I knew everything I know now when I traveled back, then my expectations would likely be approaching infinity. I would know what was “expected” to happen, and I would expect that modifying certain things would make me happier when I arrived back at my present state. However, that would not be the case.
As much as I regret certain choices I made and certain paths I took, I can’t help but thank God that I am where I am at today. I have a good job, good friends, a good church, and a good locale. If I modified my choices, I would likely be disappointed that the best friend I have now wouldn’t even know me. I will have laid different foundations and chosen a different path of life. I may be disappointed when I find out that I didn’t have it so bad after all. The same opportunities I had that led to the present may not be available if I had to choose all over again.
In hindsight, I’m glad God has never answered my prayers when I asked Him to let me go back. My expectations would be sky-high, and I would just be setting myself up for miserable disappointment.