Okay, I suppose most people will have played the game of “what if” before. I’m not talking about the depressing version, where you wonder what would’ve happened if you had made a different decision at some point in your life. Or when you decided for one person instead of the other and can’t get over what might’ve happened had your choice been different.
No, I’m talking about the kind of “what if” game, where you wonder what would happen, if Earth was invaded by aliens. Or what if the Zombie apocalypse turns into reality. What if you’re in a plane crash. What if you meet the man/woman of your dreams, or what if you meet your idol (whatever profession they may be in).
What-if scenarios like that are absolutely without limit. You can imagine just about any situation you like and try to figure out what you would do. Naturally you can either be the hero of your dreams, or you try and be a little more realistic and give it a really good thought and figure out how you would handle any given situation based on your experience.
When I daydream, I’m obviously the hero of my stories. But when I get into the “what if” game, I usually try to judge myself as realistically as possible and base the outcome on that.
Even if you don’t believe aliens even exist, Hollywood has supplied us with ample material that you could use to create any scenario in your mind and take it from there.
Obviously we have to chose one over the other and may go back and alter certain things and try out different endings. That’s all fine. What matters is how well you really know yourself and thus judge how you would react in any scenario.
A few easy examples.
You run into an actor/actress you really admire. You love their movies, their acting is usually praised and they’re most likely pretty good looking. What do you do? Blush and pretend not to recognize them telling yourself that you’re respecting their privacy? Will you approach and ask for a photo and an autograph? Will you go over, shake their hand and thank them for enriching your life with the stories they tell on the big screen? Will you just stand and stare while others may be doing any of the above?
It may happen. What would you do? Ever wondered?
It depends, you will say and you would be right. Maybe they’re already beleaguered. Maybe they make an effort not to be recognized. Maybe they’re having a bad day. Or a great one and will offer to have a photo taken with you.
Think about it and try to figure it out.
What would you do, if an accident happened in your immediate vicinity as you’re walking down the street packed with groceries on your way home? Will you continue on your way? Will you stop and stare? Will you call emergency services? Will you run over and try to help? If you decide on the latter, will you administer first aid? Do you even know first aid? Would you consider going on a first aid course really soon just in case such a thing may actually happen?
What if you fall in love at first sight? Will you walk away or make a move?
What if a friend asks you for a large sum of money as a loan, whatever the reason may be? Will you give them the money? Will you ask what for? Will you be suspicious or generous? What if they fail to return it at the agreed time?
You see, there’s no end to the questions. No end to the possibilities of “what if”. You can ask any question.
I think, what it comes down to in all those scenarios is what kind of character you believe you have and what kind of character you actually have. Any of those situations would show you (at least to a degree) who you are as opposed to who you think you are. If you know yourself really well and consider your past experiences, you’ll probably get a good idea of how you’d react, what you would do. Ask your friends. It may be quite telling how they’d judge you might react in those situations.
Ultimately you will only know for sure once you’re in the situation. You may think that you would never ever ask the actor/actress for a photo with you and would rather walk away. But maybe once you meet them you’ll find that you couldn’t let them walk away and will ask for a photo with them and shake their hand to tell them you love their work.
Maybe you have a first aid certificate and are convinced that you would help in an accident, but upon seeing actual blood and injury you may recoil and panic and be of no help whatsoever.
Try it out. Play a game of what if and see what you can come up with.
I do it all the time and believe you me, it teaches you a thing or two about yourself.
And it can be fun, especially when played with friends.