Have you ever wondered if things could have been different in your life? Do you look around you and wonder what your parallel universe might look like?
Most people who are my age will remember the TV programme Red Dwarf. I was so excited to discover they had made another series, and watched every episode. It is a comedy about four characters that are hopelessly lost in space. There was a massive radiation leak on their mining ship, which killed everyone on board. Lister was in stasis at the time, and the ship’s computer wakes him when radiation levels have returned to normal – 3 million years later.
His old bunkmate, Rimmer, is a hologram. Rimmer is dreadfully unsatisfied with his life. He is plagued by the chances he missed. In the final episode of the 2017 series, Rimmer is given the chance to live in an infinite number of different parallel universes. He has made different choices in each universe, and he goes off to live in one that is better than his current reality.
You might be able to guess what happened. He ventured into various different situations. Rather than being a lowly crew member, he had high status in some dimensions. He was liked by crew members in another. He was even married with children at one point.
But it all came down to the same thing. He was no happier in any of the dimensions he visited. Simply by having a better job, or more respect from others, didn’t make him happy. He was so chewed up inside that he couldn’t find happiness anywhere.
This got me thinking. I am sure we have all had situations in our lives where we wished we had done things differently. There are a couple in my working life that come back to me regularly. If I had done this, everything would have been different. It was at this point that I lost control. Had I made this decision, I could still have been working there.
A friend was talking to me about her new job. It was a “dream job”, but hasn’t turned out quite as well as she expected. She is facing more challenges than she thought she would. I asked if it was better than the previous one, even with its shortcomings, and she was quite definite. Her working situation may not be perfect, but it is better than it was before.
I think that counting our blessings is important. We may look at others around us and think they have it all, but it is rarely true. What we see is often a mask. Everyone has something in their life that they wish they could change.
So, take stock, look at your life and see what you can be thankful for. It may be a loving family; it may be a pet. It may be that even though you work long hours, your children have great childcare. Your house might not be ideal, but it is a roof over your head.
Changing our mindsets over such things can make a big difference to our overall levels of happiness. Perhaps at the end of the day, before going to sleep, we can think about one thing good that has happened that day. It may help to bring us more happiness tomorrow.
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