T Nation

If You Could Go Back?


I was recently talking to an old man I met on a bus and he was quite serious about telling me to use my youth wisely.
He said, if he could have only one wish it would be to go back to his 20's with what he knows now. He would take better care of his body. He would travel the world when he was young instead of waiting to do it after retirement, even if it wasn't finantially responsable. He pretty much said that he wishes he could have lived a more adventurous life and have stories worth telling as an elder.

This hit me so hard that I had to make an effort to not cry as he was talking. He was so distant as he talked. I thought maybe he was crazy, but rather he just regretted wasting his life.

I dont know about anyone elce on here but the quote "It is not death that a man should fear, but he should fear never beginning to live" by Marcus Aurelius has always held a special place with me.

what would you change about your life if you could relive it?


My worst fear is that when on the day I die I will look back and say "I wish I would have done that."


done what? anything in particular?


britney spears when she was hot.


Had kids earlier.


THAT. We all have a THAT that we wish we had done.

If you like the person you are throughout your life, why change anything? Changing just one thing in the past could entirely upset the apple cart and you end up someplace completely different and not necessarily better.

We could all say the "If I knew then what I know now, I could have really owned the place." Unfortunately, you have to go through life, making mistakes and learning to gain the experience that would have been so useful in the past. That's the conundrum of life.

That said, you can always learn something from people older than you, no matter how much smarter you are. Listen to them, but discern for yourself what is worth keeping and what is worth putting aside.



If I could go back, and knowing who my present wife is, I would have found her earlier and married her around 1988 and had about six kids with her thus far. That's all I would need. With her at my side all my futures would be bright and worth living.


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Although not life altering... Eating the whole egg, instead of just egg whites. During my recent bulk cycle I started eating the whole egg and not just egg whites. I have seen a noticeable difference in my gains this time around. I know some will disagree.


I try to do everything I want to do so I can never say that.


Ok, I am now 47, so I am probably older than most of you but younger than the guy on the bus.

So far I can say that most of the "wrong things" (wrong according to the status quo) that I have done were the "right" things for me.

I did go and live abroad rather than enter the work force right away. It was "WRONG" for my career, but it was the right thing for me. I also would have had screwed more women. Hey, I've done alright but I'd like to be in the Wilt Chamberlain range :slight_smile:

I regret having become an engineer. Yeah, I make a lot of money but it sucks the soul from my body. I did it, because I caved in to social pressure. I have to say, especially, the pressure of women because women treat you like shit if you dont have money...not all, but a lot of them do.
Dont get me wrong, for some people this can be a great profession...some people really enjoy it, I dont.

So, I regret NOT having explored what I really wanted to do in terms of a profesion and following my heart on that matter.

Of course, who's to say? Maybe if I had followed my heart, I would have ended up dead broke and instead of writing this, I would be writing that
I wish I had pursued a stable career :slight_smile:

Anyway, perhaps naively, I believe in that quote by Goethe:

"Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it"


Good point DB, that's why I just want to go back to the end of last week and play the winning lotto numbers. It will change my future, but only a couple days of my past!


AMEN to the engineer thing. I am only 31 but the longer I'm in engineering, the less options and motivation I seem to have.


I wasted 3 years of my life studying IT and then I dropped out and restarted from zero another university.
I am now almost done with my studies but I have a delay of 4 years!
I really wish I didn't make that bad choice at that time.

I also regret being with my ex-girlfriend who turned out to be a total crazy psycho bitch from hell.


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To have regrets, I'd have to believe that I could've done otherwise, even with the knowledge I gained from living through the experience. Honestly, my life hasn't been too bad. I should have studied in college, and taken some more courses, but it doesn't bother me much.

I have a couple of regrets with a couple of women that, in retrospect, I probably could've slept with but missed the signals. But even there, I'm still not certain I'm correct about my view of the past.

To a certain extent, I agree with Nietzsche that one of the most important things is to be able to look at any moment in time and say "Thus I willed it."


At 36 I'm not really too qualified, but if I had to pass on some advice to a younger me...

Kindness is worth it.

You are not qualified to judge, ever.

People are to preoccupied with themselves to notice or care that your socks don't match.

Be choosy with your friends.

Find an excuse to enjoy simple things.

Try everything that you want, just know if it is you that wants it, or if someone else wants it for you.

Everything you think is a big deal isn't, nothing outside of loving your family is.

Don't argue, anyone worth speaking to will seek to understand your view, not attack it. Do the same for them.

Know your effect on others. Don't let a door slam in someones face behind you. Don't put your feet on a public seat. Don't leave a job for someone else, do it.

This could go on for a while, I'll stop now.



Yeah, don't necessarily do the 'crazy' stuff, but do things that remind you that you're alive.

Jump in the cold water.

Speak to the people you want to, even if the 'nerves' of the adrenaline rush get you sweating and/or red in the face.

Spend time with the people that aren't gonna be there forever.

Spend time with the kids that aren't gonna let you hug them and kiss them forever.

Take moments with your significant other to stop, forget about the day-to-day money/work/family concerns, and just talk and have fun.

Don't go into a career just for the money.

Don't go into a careet just 'cuz it's cool.

Hardships are temporary, but rewards can be eternal.

Fight the good fight, brothers, and you won't end up like that old guy. You'll have some regrets, but as long as your in the black with the balance sheet of life, you'll be a happy old man (or woman)


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If I could go back, I wouldn't change a thing. I've done stupid things in my life (like everyone has), but that's part of life. You fall on your face, you fail, you mess up, but you learn from it. You get up and you try harder and smarter the next time. Instead of looking back at the past, you look ahead to the future, because you can't change the past, but you can change the future.

I'm sure a lot of you have seen the Dwyane Wade Converse commercial where it shows him falling down on the court several times, and it shows him getting back up. The statement comes on the screen 'Fall down seven times, stand up eight.' You get up and keep trying, and you will be successful.