Sunday, April 21, 2013

The Counterfactual

"I wish that
I knew what I know now
when I was younger..."
I tend not to regret what I did - even if it seemed like a mistake later.

I tend to regret what I didn't do - the woulda-shoulda-coulda is a killer.

The gold standard in clinical research is the randomized control trial (RCT).  One group gets the treatment and the other group does not.  You can only know what would have happened without the treatment if you have a control group that didn't get it - you need a counter-factual condition.

The counter-factual condition also reminds me of what happens when you take a break from an unsatisfying job / career path or an unhappy relationship.  When you live without the job or the person, you realize what you were missing (which could be good or bad).  Having the job or being with the person can then be compared to not having the job (or having a different job) or being without the person (or being with a different person) - the counter-factual. Sometimes it takes the courage to test your hypothesis - that is, if you have a gut feeling about what you really want then you gotta experiment (take a risk and change your conditions) to see if it's true. 

If you do something and it turns out to be a mistake - even a very embarrasing one - at least you know fer sure.  If you don't do something then you will never know what might have been.  The "if only" wondering follows you to the grave.

But my biggest regrets are those moments when I forgot what I knew when I was born - I am lovable and loved just as I am. 

So now I try to act on that knowledge and belief as much as I can.  I got nothing to prove - I am lovable and loved just as I am. 

Some people get it and some people don't.  That's not my business.  My personal business is just to remember and act accordingly - I am lovable and loved just as I am. 




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