An Uninterrupted Present

I wish I was born on February 29th so I can be 8 again. I would change a lot of things. Status quo bias aside, I would make several different decisions.

Sometimes when we're trapped in an elevator or waiting for work to start or hanging out at a bar, we ask each other, "if you could go back in time, what would you change?" There are a lot of good answers, but the worst answer is one I hear more than 50% of the time.

Nothing.

Nothing implies you haven't accumulated any practical wisdom over the years. You're telling me you would not be able to guide your past self at all? You would not be able to spare them a misstep? Help them get ahead of the game? Save them from an unhappy experience?

I know that your past got you to where you are now, and if you like where you are now then any change to the past is a risk. But is a little bit of wisdom such a high risk that you would not be willing to take it? Of course, it's possible that a wiser, younger self could make better decisions and yet out of the sheer randomness of the universe it banishes you to a worse life than you have now. But is that reasonable?

I remind you are your future self's past. If your future self came offering wisdom would you not take it? Or would you fear that since your future self seems fine that you should try to forget the advice of future you?.




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