For those of you not especially into the game of golf, a “mulligan” is a free shot sometimes given a golfer in informal play when the previous shot was poorly played (Webster’s 10th Edition). Personally, I’ve been searching for a way to incorporate the concept of mulligans into my everyday life.
In my opinion, those people who claim they would do nothing differently “if they had it to do over,” are lying. No offense intended, but seriously, who wouldn’t clamor for another chance at the opportunities we foolishly let slip by? And who doesn’t long to go back and see what might have been waiting down “the road not taken”?
Regrets? I’ve had a few… Ok, I’ve had tons of them. At every crossroad, with every decision, with every choice that has come my way (including whether to have strawberry jam or marmalade on my toast, whether to buy the house I’m living in, and whether to accept or reject a marriage proposal), I have fretted and stewed and worried my brain into a virtual knot over “doing the right thing.” I have made plus and minus columns, ad infinitum, and at times I even resorted to making potentially life-changing decisions by flipping a coin.
Flipping a coin works best if you don’t give too much credence to the actual outcome of the flip. Pay attention instead to what your GUT tells you immediately upon seeing the results. For instance, way back in 1989, when deciding whether to visit Hawaii or Alaska, my coin toss landed on Hawaii. My gut immediately registered a slight degree of emotional disappointment. Therefore, I booked a cruise to Alaska and had one of the best times of my life. Lesson learned: Follow your gut instincts.
Dr. John Campiche, a local doctor for over a quarter century, once gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever half-assed listened to. He said, “It’s never too late.” When I argued the naivete of such a statement, citing a half-dozen examples in which his words could not possibly apply, the good doctor patiently shook his head, patted my hand, and repeated himself. “As long as you’re alive, it’s never too late.”
Well, maybe. But I still want do-overs.