The older I get the more I find myself thinking about some of the choices I made in life and how they have affected me to this day. Why did I attend the University of Dayton and not De Paul University, and what would my life look like now if I had? And how many of my closest friends would I have never met? Suppose I had flown helicopters for the Coast Guard instead of the Marines, what then? As with my college fraternity brothers my former squadron mates from Vietnam are some of my dearest friends with whom I share a bond that can only be forged in combat. What if I had chosen an entirely different career, say in aviation or astrophysics (always an avocation of mine) instead of the world of commercial insurance? Would I have been more or less successful financially and where might I be living now had I been a pilot for Delta Airlines; I can’t say for certain, but my guess is probably not Vail, Colorado.
We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t have a few “what ifs” or If only’s” in our lives, for example, “what if I had taken the job with my #1 competitor that I wound up turning down?” The problem though is we usually ask those questions when the consequences are already known to us. It’s easy to reflect back after Apple stock has split five times and think “Gee, I could have bought Apple at $10/share.“
But we are where we are, so the real question irrespective of the choices we made during our trek or stroll though life is, how have those choices affected our happiness today? And while that’s for each of us to answer for ourselves, I thought I’d offer an objective measurement of a very subjective topic –
Regardless of any choices we made in our past, we should consider ourselves truly blessed if we have…
- Peace of Mind, i.e., Freedom from fear; Freedom from anger; and Freedom from guilt
- Good Health and a High Level of Energy
- Loving Relationships i.e., Long term, intimate, and mature relationships with other people.
- Financial Freedom, i.e., Having enough money that we do not worry about it.
- A commitment to Worthy Goals and Ideals
- A feeling of personal fulfillment and self-actualization
Think about it.