Every person thought about what ifs during our entire lives. What if I made the second choice? What if I didn't sign the contract? What if I moved to another city? What if I choose another college? What if I changed my mind? What if . . . ?
We can't change the past. We think about what if we did the alternative. How does our life change? How is our life different? Is it better or worse? My life is different if I took a different path or made a wiser choice for better or for worse.
For instance, learning Chinese. I don't know why my mom asked us to learn Chinese when we were young. She asked us once. My brother and I said no because the class was on Friday night. The class was taught Fri. night!?! I'm 100% confident my memory is correct. We wanted to watch The Dukes Of Hazzard. That was the only conversation on learning Chinese in my entire life.
Speaking and writing Chinese make my life better today. I could have communicated with my grandmothers who spoke Chinese only. I felt more comfortable visiting Chinatowns. And knowing a second language is a big plus for some companies.
Here are the top ten what ifs:
10. WHAT IF I LIVED IN ALAMEDA, CA? (1986 APPROX.) There was a serious discussion my parents thought about moving to Alameda, CA to be closer to my uncle's family. It never happened.
I believe Raymond Mar is different today if I lived in Alameda. I spent more time with my cousin who influenced me when I was young. I spent time with my cousin's friends who had more active lives than my friends. There were different schools, different environments, different communities, and different lifestyles comparing Alameda to San Jose.
9. WHAT IF I STOPPED LISTENING TO MUSIC? (2004) There was a point in my life I hated listening to today's pop and rock music. The music sucked. Radio stations repeated the same music because there was nothing better.
Fortunately, my friends introduced me to classic rock music. I believe I stopped listening to music altogether without classic rock in my life. Classic rock music led to an interest in classic jazz, a stronger interest in Mozart, and Frank Sinatra years later.
The Beatles is my all time favorite band. I saw Paul McCartney perform when he visited AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA on July 2010.
8. WHAT IF I AVOIDED SUMMER SCHOOL GEOMETRY? (1990) Completing Geometry in summer school was one of the best choices in my life. I made new friends in the class. I was able to take Algebra II in my junior year and Trigonometryin other words, life was not given to me on a silver platter. I probably experienced new experiences and find new interests doing something, anything new. And I probably discovered I must grow up to survive living on my own. Hey, wait a minute. These are life discoveries I experienced much later in life.
Life could have been better if I moved out in 1999.
5. WHAT IF I WASN'T INTRODUCED TO RICH DAD, POOR DAD? (2002) The first time I heard about Robert Kiyosaki's Rich Dad, Poor Dad series was from a late night infomercial. My co-worker introduced me to Rich Dad, Poor Dad a couple of weeks later. Coincidentally, Costco sold Rich Dad, Poor Dad books. My interest in learning financial education began and I started reading non-fiction books such as business, leadership, and self-help began.
I learned lots of new financial concepts and ideas I didn't learn in college. I also learned the errors and untruths in finance I learned in college. I'm more aware of my finances and have a better understanding of business thanks to being introduced to Rich Dad, Poor Dad.
Moreover, I believe I have no interest reading books today without reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad. That book strengthened my interest in reading. I read a book here and there before 2002. Today, I read 85% fiction and 15% non-fiction.
4. WHAT IF I JOB SEARCHED INSTEAD OF GOING TO DE ANZA? (2009) I lost my job in 2008. I thought about going back to college in 2009. There was a chance I could find a job. I made the correct choice going back to school. I attended De Anza to earn an AA degree in Accounting on 2011.
If it wasn't for going back to De Anza, then I lost the opportunity to correct the mistakes I made when I attended San Jose State. What did I correct? I met new people and made new friends. I had more fun as if I was in my early 20s. I experienced new experiences. I went on more adventures. I became a better, wiser, and stronger person . . . a person I should have discovered at San Jose State. And I took life less seriously.
I learned accounting. And I learned more about myself more importantly.
3. WHAT IF I STAYED AT COLLIERS INTERNATIONAL INSTEAD OF GOING TO CISCO? (2007) The short answer is I go crazy. I become depressed. I was a person full of hatred towards everything.
I believe Cisco was a turning point in my life. I experienced a better representation of working in a company. My contract being terminated was a blessing in disguise. It was a much needed pause and a significant life reset. I'm calm. I'm happy. There's no more hatred in me.
I'm ready for my next turning point.
2. WHAT IF I QUIT ANIME? (2004) Watching 17 episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist at the Fanime Con 2004 midnight marathon saved me from quitting anime. The series revived my anime hobby. For example, I started wearing costumes to anime conventions later in 2004.
The anime hobby created more interests I pursued such as learning more about technology, playing online video games, playing board games outside the popular names, creating social networking accounts, and listening to Japanese rock music. The most important aspect being an anime fan was meeting lots of new people and making lots of new friends.
I'm a bored and lonely person today without anime.
1. WHAT IF I DIDN'T GROW UP? (2008) My answer is I'm lonely, weak, lost, and naive. I hated the world every day. I hated the world because it was going against me. The world was not revolving around me. I took life for granted.
I did grow up. I have a girlfriend, many friends, and good family relations. I'm stronger, getting to know myself better every day, and wiser. The world is really not that bad. I'm a good guy. The world needs one more professional human. I don't take life for granted. I must earn it.