Living the “I could have been” life

If only _____, I could have been_____.

Looking back over our lives presents us with an array of opportunities to express regrets and to make excuses. Most of us would admit to occasionally looking back upon what could have been. However, obsessively looking back and second guessing ourselves can easily become self destructive.

Here is a sampling of thoughts we may have; things we could have done but didn’t.

1) If I had stayed in school and gotten my degree, I could have_____.

2) What if I had married ____ instead of marrying _____?

3) I should have been a ____ instead of being a ____.

Here, simply stated, is the reality we all must face. Having regrets about past actions taken or not taken changes nothing and is burdensome. In fact, frequently revisiting our regrets discounts what we have achieved and jeopardizes what we might yet achieve. We get very few do-over opportunities in life. We did what we did. Hallelujah!

In this film clip from the 1954 movie “On the Waterfront,” Marlon Brando expresses his keen disappointment about what could have been.

About authorbillramsey

During his forty-year professional career, Bill Ramsey wrote magazine articles and business newsletters. Now retired in the mountains of western North Carolina, he writes a blog and has published four books. Bill's 2015 collection of concise, real-life essays is titled "What Do YOU Think?" He has also written "Me Now - Who Next? (The Inspiring Story of a Traumatic Brain Injury Recovery)" and "Now That I Think About It. Bill's books and are available from and on all e-readers. See Follow Bill on Facebook at
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1 Response to Living the “I could have been” life

  1. I have NEVER played the “what if” game. Call me crazy, but I feel “you pays your money; you takes your chances!” Great post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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