So, what was on the list? Well there was my straightforward (and lazy) wish to be able to speak a foreign language with ease (and without effort!) and my wife’s latest attempt to convince me that we need to get a puppy! Strangely, there was a consensus amongst those who wished they lived in a different country that the ideal location would be Switzerland. Send me back a Toblerone!
There was a fantastic, and very selfless, suggestion from one commenter who wants to change the ruling elite to those who put others first, with an excellent chain of events that would lead to “teaching others that it helps everyone to consider the wellbeing of all”. If only I really did have that magic wand! Maybe a bit of Eric Clapton will help to change the world: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGDIxcuPT7s
For some people, the big change they wanted to make in their life was to change their career, including to work for themselves, and some had already bitten the bullet and made this change. A lingering regret in some cases was that this hadn’t been done earlier, and this chimed with another popular sentiment that a number of commenters expressed. This was that they wished that the knowledge, self-belief and confidence that they possess now had been theirs when they were younger. I can strongly empathise with that view, if only we could fast-forward through the painful, growing up experiences quickly and then time could slow down again so that we could enjoy the fruits of those experiences at our leisure!
Sadly, it seems, life doesn’t seem to work that way. And I think, on balance, I’m glad for that. No-one truly enjoys being in the midst of some of the more painful, difficult experiences of our lives. But if we’re really honest, those adages about needing the rain in order to truly experience the sunshine contain more than a grain of truth. Getting through a bad time can make you even more grateful for the good times.
This was emphasised by one contributor who would change nothing about her life as she is grateful for all the things she does have, including her family, her business and her health. Another contributor wished she could change an aspect of her health – a life-long anxiety disorder – whilst also acknowledging that it was a driving force that underpinned her carrying out the job that she loves. We need the rain as well as the sun!
I’m also a strong believer in experiential based learning, or learning by doing. And, sadly, some of that “doing” inevitably involves making mistakes, bad things happening and general pain. However, if someone tried to sit you down and teach you all the lessons that could be gained from that “doing” without you having to experience the bad bits, would it have the same effect? Would you even listen? Your parents or teacher or other well-meaning adult may well have tried to do this for you. Did it work? I suspect not!
Finally, there was quite a common theme around commenters wishing they could be more confident, whilst worrying less, working harder and being bolder. I’m going to have a mull on that one, so watch this space for the possible topic of a future blog post!