One Life Alteration – Positive or Negative Effect?

How many times have you heard the question, “If you could go back in time and change one thing related to your life, what would it be?”

A gazillion, right? That question is old and stale. We’d all change something we didn’t like about ourselves, something we did that was wrong, or something someone else did to us.

I have a twist on that question:

If you went back to any moment in your lifetime, and HAD to change one positive thing — one thing you have absolutely no regrets about — what would it be and how would making that change alter your future life experiences? 

Keep in mind, you can change this one positive thing to something different, but positive. Or, you can take this one thing out of your past and not replace it with any other occurrence. Let’s also go back in time more than 5 years.

life change

If you’re like me, the first moments that come to mind are full of regret. Did they have more impact on life than the pleasant, positive times?

In trying this myself, I’ve come up with many positive moments, events, and choices with no regrets about any of them. This is only one I believe would have a major impact on my life were it replaced with something else or deleted.

My moment to change: 1971-1975 I rode with a motorcycle club for four fun and enlightening years.

Impact of that moment in time: During those 4 1/2 years, I learned more about myself than any other time in my life. I had escaped my father’s controlling nature and was allowed to make my own decisions. I met people from all walks of life. I learned to decipher between daring and dangerous. I discovered the pleasure and responsibilities of freedom. I found my strengths and weaknesses.

I could go on, but you get the picture.

What a change or a deletion would mean to my life: If I were to change the activity to sailing, for example, I might have learned the same lessons though likely with  different group of personalities than bikers. Would that have changed who I was?

If I were to delete this episode of my life, I believe my growth and discovery of myself would have taken much longer. I can imagine I would have continued in college as a shy and insecure young woman. I may have stayed on course to become a social worker, been hired to a county office and, maybe, stayed until retirement.

A county retirement would have been nice, but it wouldn’t make up for all that I gained otherwise.

I am currently writing a fiction series about a young woman riding with a motorcycle club and incorporating much of what I learned in those stories.

Try changing or deleting a period in your past and share in the comments what that would mean for you. Could experimenting with this idea help your creativity as a writer? Could it give you some insight to your life today?

You know I love hearing from you!

Before you go, don’t forget…David Walker is posting today on the Life List Club Blog! Please go visit him when you’re done here.

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10 thoughts on “One Life Alteration – Positive or Negative Effect?

  1. We married at 19 and had our first child at 22. I’ve often said that if I could go back, I’d wait till I was older before I had children. I would’ve travelled and experienced more of the world. The drawback of this sort of change is that I wouldn’t have the children I have now. They’d be someone else and I wouldn’t change my boys for anything! 🙂

    Great question, Marcia. Really makes a person think. 🙂

  2. There’s always the fear that if you change one thing, then everything else might change too. As much as I would like to go back and sell our house before the bottom dropped out of the real estate market, I’m not sure that would have been the best thing for us. I think I’m happy we don’t have the choice.

  3. Wow, what a question! When I was a kid I took piano lessons for several years. I don’t regret them at all, but if I had to replace them, it would be with dance. I love to dance now and it would be so much fun to have that foundation.

    And congrats on getting a RAOK shoutout this week too!

    • Miriam, so nice to see you here! I wonder how a part of your life experiences would differ with that one change…might you have gone on to dance professionally? Fun to think about. Thanks for commenting!

      • Hmmm… I don’t know about that. I’m not exactly built like a professional dancer. 🙂

        But now that I think about it, I dabbled in voice lessons the summer after high school and my voice teacher really wanted to continue to teach me, but I chose to move instead. I might have sung professionally if we replaced the piano lessons with voice lessons! Then I’d be in a COMPLETELY different place than I am now. 🙂

      • Oh how cool is that?! You should write a blog post on that scenario—“Where I could have been right now” or something like that! 🙂

  4. Interesting that I immediately went to negative things to change. I think if I had to change one positive thing it would be the time I moved to Los Angeles. This was a period of great fun for me and immense learning ~ about myself, others, life. If I had to change it, I would move to Paris. I could still learn all those things, but in the city of love!

    Really, though, I wouldn’t change a single moment of my life for fear that if I did I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I love my life exactly as it is, warts and all.

    • Exactly…if you had gone to Paris, would you have come back and met people and worked places that led you to meet your husband?
      I went right to the negative at first, too. Thanks, Tameri!

  5. Ohhhh…what would I change??? One positive thing….hmmmmm….
    It’s amazing but when I think of major positive moments like moving to a new city at 18, unleashing my true self on my Mom, going to college and university, or leaving my first husband (yes, I see it as a positive), the major impact on my life would all be the same – my self-growth and self-esteem would have taken longer to grow and build but I believe deeply that I would have still managed to get to where I am today. Perhaps just a longer, harder road. Perhaps not.
    Interesting questions Marcia – luv it!

    • No way to tell how changes would have affected you, but I like your train of thought on your inner self still doing what was necessary. Great answer, Natalie. Thanks!

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