Paths

1 Jun

This post is going to be very general.

I am a person that seems to often reflect on my past. I think it is a strange thing to do at only twenty five years of age; I should be thinking about the future. But it’s something I do despite my self aware criticisms. I am also someone who enjoys pointing out coincidences. I do not believe they are part of some grand plan or something in the background is gently influencing reality. But it does not stop me from seeing the beauty of these isolated events that seem to cross.

I could probably write a whole blog post on my own personal perception of coincidences, so I will focus solely on this post’s topic. I will stay on path.

Have you ever wondered: “What if…?” It seems to be a common question that we bounce in our minds. We seem obsessed with wanting to know what may have happened if things happened differently. Armed with hindsight, we wonder if our current situations would be different and in what way.

I look back at my past and I see connections between events significant and insignificant that are reliant on each other. Often related to social links I had made. I do think some of my current hobbies and interests may have been influenced by the people I had interacted with in the past. I’ll give an example:

I live in a village. In this village there is a boy a year younger than me with the same name. Jump forwards a decade and a half, I am introduced to his friends through MSN. A few of his friends play World of Warcraft, I decide I want to play to. I play on the same server as them, but they stop playing. I keep playing because I am invested and enjoying it. I join a few guilds until I join a raiding guild. That guild lasts for less than a year. I take break from the game. I return to the game to play with two people from the same recently disbanded guild. We now play on a different faction and another server. We go through different guilds until we settle on one. I effectively stay in contact with one player from that new guild for a few years. In the process I get into contact with his real life friends. Through them I get influenced to start playing games like Diablo 3. I myself get them to play Heroes of Newerth (and then they move onto DotA2). And then communications just evaporate. Oddly enough, I play Heroes of Newerth because of some of the people I met from that WoW guild that disbanded.

If I had never lived in that village (where I still live now), I may have never discovered Diablo 3.

 

Or, that’s not how it works.

That statement of “If I hadn’t done this, I wouldn’t have that” assumes too much. I have literally no evidence to support that things may be even different if a factor in the above story gets changed. When I make a decision now, it rarely ever blocks off alternatives completely. Given my interests are of the “Fantasy Role Playing” genre when it comes to video games, there is a good chance I would have discovered Diablo 3 at some point anyway. Especially nowadays where video games published from huge companies gets so much exposure.

For example, last year I applied for a place on a Post Graduate Teaching Course and I was unsuccessful. I keep wondering what may have happened if I was successful, but that is pointless. Firstly, I am still learning to drive. Therefore it would have made completing my course a challenge since the course would be me attending lectures in a University Campus sometimes and gaining experience teaching in a school some other times. I would have had to been reliant on public transport which wouldn’t have been feasible. Secondly, if I wasn’t chosen for the course, I wasn’t chosen for the course. By thinking “What if” a lot, it wouldn’t change the fact it was decided I wasn’t suitable for that course at that time.

I do look back and see moments of regret. However, if I were to relive those events again, I would probably act the same way again and again. Without hindsight, my actions wouldn’t change. I chose what i thought was the best thing to do for what ever reason I had.

So in a way, we carve a path in our lives that’s ridged. It cannot be changed. There is no “What if”s because there is no alternatives. Even an event that’s dictated by randomness if relived would probably exhibit the same result. It is pointless to thinking about what did not happen. But we still do it. We are so fascinated with what was never was.

Which then brings my thoughts on the future. Assuming there is no celestial thing guiding (or shoving) us, do we actually have free will? Looking back at what’s happened, knowing if we’re experienced those events, the path wouldn’t shift, do we actually have free will? Perhaps yes and no.

Our current mental state will decide what actions and choices we will make. So I suppose, for best hope for “freewill” is to learn from the past. It may not even be freewill, but at least it would be preset path we’ve designed.

So in a way, it is good to reflect regardless of how young you are. It’s important to not get lost in the past, but to use the past to assist us making better choices for the future.

So in a long winded way, I have basically came to the conclusion of “Choose the best decision”. At least you have that exploration of coincidence to look forwards to in the future.

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