If I Could Go Back In Time (1) …

Although it’s true that you can’t change the past, and
“there’s no use crying over spilled milk”, there is
nevertheless much value in pondering your life with a view
to seeing the mistakes you have made. In this way, you can
avoid making similar mistakes in the future. You can also
learn to accept responsibility for what you have in your
life, and the fact that you yourself created it through the
things you did, or left undone.

Hence, in this article and several others that will follow, I
will make some very candid confessions about mistakes and
regrets of my own; the sort of things that I wish I had a time
machine to go back and correct. I don’t, of course, but some of
these lessons might help you if you are currently in the same
place in life as I was, or likely to be headed that way.

They say that people’s biggest deathbed regret is that they
never took more risks in life. I believe that it is already
my own.

I truly believe that it is critical for a person to follow
his/her dream rather than simply pursuing the safe
compromise first, with the mistaken notion of pursuing that
dream at some later date. Maybe it sounds very reasonable.
However, dreams have a habit of turning as stale and useless
as bread left out on the shelf for too long. It will almost
certainly never happen.

The time for action is always NOW, and not later; “once I
get my degree”, or “once I get that job”, or “once the kids
have grown up” or “once I retire”, and so on. Someday never

When I was around sixteen years old, and trying to decide
which three subjects to study at advanced level prior to
university, my father told me “You should do the Sciences,
because there’s always a job in it. You can always do English

This is THE moment I wish I could have a time machine to
reach. You see, it’s probably some of the worst advice I
have ever received because it set the course for a future
that cannot now be changed. Now, I’m not blaming my father
for saying this. The fact is that the vast majority of
parents usually end up saying something very similar to
their children. They are well meaning and truly believe that
what they are saying is for the best. Besides, I should have
had enough presence of mind back then to be making some
clear plans for the rest of my life. What DID I want to do
with myself?

Yes, it seems like good advice. However, it really is not.
With the benefit of hindsight, I can say that one should
always be wary of taking advice that seeks to limit your
potential in any way, or postpones your dreams to some
indefinite future date. You should also consider
carefully the experience and qualification of whomever is
giving you the advice. People who give this sort of advice
have almost certainly never lived their dreams. Not even

Parents often mean well, but speak from their own negative
experiences, failures and disappointments. Hence, the
ceiling they have placed on themselves to keep them safe
from pain is the same ceiling that they rush to place over
their children’s heads.

However, absolutely nobody can say for certain what someone
else is capable, or how high that person could fly. Your
experience is not my experience. Your father’s
disappointments and setbacks are not your own. Take a sample
of successful and famous people, and you will find that the
correlation factor between them and their parents is
extremely low. So how can anyone know what potential their
child might hold?

This was an important moment in my life because it set me on
a course that become ever more hardened in stone as the
years went by, to the point where true change became
extremely difficult. You see, at age sixteen, I had suffered
the mixed blessing of having done equally excellently in ALL
my exams from Arts to Sciences. Hence, I was undecided about
my future direction.

However, what I had forgotten was that I was not equally
talented in all of these subjects. Whilst the Arts came to
me easily, especially writing, the Sciences did not. I had
to work like crazy at the latter to achieve the same
excellent grades as the former.

Somehow, I forgot this, took his advice, and went the
Sciences route, to my endless regret. Frankly, this route
became ever harder as the years passed, and my interest
waned in proportion. Through some miracle, I ended up
getting a Ph.D. in Nuclear Physics! However, I had to have
been one of the most untalented and uninterested physicists
in the world! I was sweating blood, and the light at the end
of the tunnel seemed very very far away during each day of
those three long postgraduate years.

Also, one little thing they don’t tell you is that, yes,
there may be a job in the “practical” route at the end of
the day, but it may not be a job that you would ever want
to do. That was my dilemma after six years at university. I
found myself perfectly qualified to do jobs I would
certainly hate!

Meanwhile, throughout my six years in university, I was
wearing strange brightly colored striped trousers, pointed
shoes, hanging out with the English students, being the
local expert on Bob Dylan, and reading and composing poetry!
I hardly met a Physics student outside of lectures. Talk
about missing your vocation?!…

The point of all this is not now to blame my father for his
advice (although he is STILL giving this misguided advice to
teenagers he knows, fully thirty years later). Rather, the
point is that we should find out what our strengths are,
what our dreams and loves are, and follow THOSE.

Nobody else can know what you are capable of, and you should
not let anyone else rob your dream, or clip your wings,
based solely upon their personal failures or
disappointments. They may mean well, and be trying to keep
you from harm, but nobody else can know your true potential
for sure. You probably don’t even know it yourself. The fact
that someone else is crawling along under a self-imposed
two-foot high ceiling does not mean you have to stoop over
and do the same.

For me personally, the price has been spending years – no,
a decade or more – doing stuff that did not interest me
much. Sure, thirty years later, I am now doing a whole lot
more writing (such as this article). Ahhh… But what might
have been? What if I had spent that decade doing something I
actually cared about; something that actually interested

You see, it is very hard to change the course of an oil
tanker. It takes many miles of open ocean to do it. And it
takes an enormous amount of effort to change your course of
having done something totally different for a decade or
more. That is why people should consider their course very
carefully at crucial points in their lives.

Of course, you cannot know the future or what any decision
might bring. But at least you can ask yourself, does THIS
decision I am making now have full integrity behind it? Am I
doing it because I want to do it, or because I don’t know
any better, and have to decide one way or the other? Am I
doing it because I think it is a good idea, or because
someone else does? If the latter, what qualifications does
that person have to advise me? Once this decision is made,
how easily can it be changed?

There is a school of thinking that says that you do not have
to make the right decision, but “you do have to make every
decision right”. In other words, you may make a wrong
decision, but then you need to work like crazy to make it
come out right.

Yes, that is true. However, some decisions have a very
binding effect and are hard to live with later on. Hence, it
behooves you to be more AWARE of what you are doing at these
critical forks in the road, and be aware of the forces that
are at work within you and upon you as you ponder your

The fact is that you cannot go back in time to make things
better. And in making careless decisions, you may find that
it can take a decade or more of corrective action to put it
right. In my case, it was a direction of study. In your
case, it might be a marriage, or a career decision, or a

Remember that the only risky route is the safe route. Life
itself is risk incarnate. Remember the Muslim girl who fled
the Middle East to escape the bombings and terrorism, only
to be one of the rare few to be blown up on that bus in the
London bombings of July 7th 2005?…

So, you cannot avoid risk. If you try to do so, all you will
get is a lifetime of regret and wishful musing. At all
points, the best advice that anybody can give you is to find
your dream (which is NOT easy in itself for most people)
and then follow it with all your heart. There is a strange
power in doing so, and the universe moves to help you.

Most of the people who make it big in life were not
“qualified” to do so. You don’t need a university degree to
be successful. You just don’t. Often, a university degree
excellently qualifies you to do nothing. Still more often,
you become qualified enough to be a follower, not a leader.
The education system is designed to turn out employees, who
let others do their thinking and deciding for them; not
entrepreneurs who do all this for themselves.

Even a high-school dropout can start a company. Indeed, many
of them end up far MORE successful than those who go to
university: the latter often end up working for them!

Bill Gates actually terminated his university education to
take advantage of the immediate opportunity that presented
itself. Bob Dylan hopped onto a train bound for New York
with only some spare cash in his pocket.

So what are YOU going to do to live your dream today? That
is the key question. I have shared some of my insights and
wistful musings with you. I hope that they have been useful
to you.

But the question really is: what are YOU going to do with
this information, in your life … starting now?

About Asoka Selvarajah

Dr. Asoka Selvarajah is a writer and teacher of personal growth and spirituality, and the author of numerous books and courses. His work helps people achieve their full potential, deepen their understanding of mystical truth, and discover their soul’s purpose. Subscribe to the Aspire To Wisdom list to receive more articles and resources to your inbox.

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  1. Brilliant article Asokah! It resonates deeply with me at this point in my life, and I thank you for opening up this way.

  2. Hi Asoka:

    First, my heartfelt greetings and best wishes to
    you and the ones you love.

    It is, indeed, difficult to change a wrong path.
    Much of this is now due to the fact that such a
    path is usually much more ‘accetable’ than the
    one we would truely desire for ourselves.

    In a selfish fashion, I find it very appropriate
    that you were not given time (or much leaway) in
    the path that you chose. I thank whatever greater
    force out there, for having taken this portion of
    your life, and weilded you into this person that
    you have become. Without the regret, you should
    understand that nothing goes to waste in this
    universe, including your time and learning. Let me
    state it another way, if you will permit, by
    asking a question:

    If not for your personal grief, would you now
    speak with the heart and feeling that you do so

    Or, like the child who can run, but who looses a
    leg due to trajedy, would it not be more difficult
    to take for granted?

    Would you now be the lackluster speaker who has
    become bored with the subject? Prateling along for
    the sake of those who would call you a “guru”, all
    the while wishing for something ELSE in life? If
    you like Bob Dylan, remember that it was him who
    made us understand that you can not write or sing
    about suffering, until you have suffered. But,
    because of the suffering, not in spite of it, you
    are at your best when you understand that all of
    mankind will go through it.

    You have been babtized by the fire, now you are
    where you belong, doing that which you do very
    well. Guiding us, nurtuting us, showing us that
    you are a part of us. This, to my way of thinking,
    is a very good thing.

    There are netprenuers, and there are netprenuers.
    Few will ever have the dedication you have. And
    few will be here in two years. You will be, this
    is now your need, your desire, which is my purpose
    in reading your work, such desire I understand.


  3. I recently started studying metaphysical sciences especially astrology and tarot reading. I have wanted to do this since I was a young girl( from the time I was 7 yrs old, 32 years ago). However, life and more mature adults set me on a very different path. For most of my life I thought the only thing worth doing was teaching in elementary school and in order to do that I would need a degree. I went to the University right after high school and within less than 2 yrs I was miserable and walked out of class and refused to go back. Something at that time was trying to tell me that there were different ways to teach and that to be a teacher for me meant following the path of the monk or hermit/mystic. I had strange visions and dreams and felt I was being spoken to directly by GOD. It was reveled through my meditation time that I had much to teach once I learned to connect to the Beloved and to speak through my silences. I was only 19 and afraid that I had failed my parents and my new husband. I could not trust this wisdom and sought to find work for the sake of survival and approval. I have had various jobs, all valuable but none that has been as soul nourishing as the last 2 years where I have thrown myself with reckless abandon into my passion and refused to let others disway me. Of course my courage has come 20 years after my intial attempt at school and I don’t know if I will have ever a formal degree-a dust collector really. I have found bliss and my path-it is difficult but only in the best of ways. I look forward to hearing more about your life lessons. I do learn much from this type of deep sharing.


  4. Truly Great and an awesome piece…very correct to the core and I wish I could be more daring and could take chlaenges in life as rightly said here…Aleta

  5. What if…when you were a teenager, you actually HAD a few crazy dreams/fantasies, but after a car wreck and a lifetime of an overprotective, co-dependant mother, you have NO IDEA what you actually WANT? And, on the rare occasion that you actually see something you DO want, every block in the world is thrown in the way, and the people you trust the most are all saying that maybe that means you should do something more practical?

  6. Thank you for sharing your experience. I, too, had a very similar one, at this time I, too, am trying to find what’s left of my dreams. Its hard to turn back the clock, the woulda, shoulda, coulda’s but I am getting this message again and again…it’s never too late to be who you were suppose to be and writing, poetry, painting, music were all my passions when I was younger. As I approach 50, they are all calling me back to them, and I long to have them in my life. Thank you for this message today. Bless you, Shawn Cohen

  7. Hello Asoka,
    Thank you for your wise words. You have inspired me to share my story. I hope that it helps someone.
    I am 43 years young, and have found that throughout my life I’ve been hindered by terribly negative programming, and have made extremely poor life decisions as a result. Up until this point, I have had a blame culture going on inside me, due to my mother being an alchoholic, and pretty much bringing myself up.

    Due to factors many and varied, I have now come to a point where I take responsibility for my decisions, and the repercussions they have in my life.

    Due to an almost complete lack of guidance…(one of the only peices of advice I remember from my mother being…”don’t just have one boyfreind, have one for every night of the week”…thank goodness I didn’t heed that one!!) …I haven’t had many goals. As an only child, all I wanted to do was create a family. Well, I certainly succeeded in that one…I have four children, three girls and a boy, and now three grandchildren.

    The point I think I am trying to make is that, up until very recently, I viewed my past as a terrible constraint, and a limiter of my future success, due to making bad choices, usually in terms of relationships with the opposite sex. But now I look at it as all for the good…I would not be who I am now if it were not for the things that led me here.

    In light of the fact that I had a very neglected childhood, I wanted to break the mould, stop it with this generation ( my mother had a poor upbringing too…no surprise there!)and do my parenting very differently. About eight years ago, I was made aware that: School is not compulsory, Education is. My daughters, who were 8 and 9 at the time, were both having a hard time at school, for very different reasons. I broached the subject with them, they were keen, and within a fortnight, I had deregistered them from school! They immediately blossomed, became themselves! I’d removed them from the cloning environment!
    I had been told, when I wanted to be a motorcycle mechanic at age 15, that that was not a viable option for a girl, and was steered into hairdressing, which I had no interest whatsoever. So, by way of escape, I left home (well, ran away to live with my boyfreind’s parents)got a job in a knitwear factory, then moved in with him, got pregnant, and began to fulfil my only goal.
    In taking my kids out of school, I wanted to give them their childhoods back…we’re a long time grown, with all the stress that can involve…and bring them up to believe that they can be,and do, anything at all! To follow their dream. My job is to facilitate that process.
    Now, at 16 and 15, they are more their own people than any children I know who are ‘schooled’. They can interact intelligently with anyone of any age, and adults always comment on how amazing and mature they are. This chosen path is not always easy, and sometimes I doubt that I’ve done the right thing,but they are emotionally intelligent for the most part, not as rebellious as ‘schoolies’, and developing healthy paradigms. They are unsure of what they want to ‘do’, but are confident that whatever they decide, they’ll do well , and I think that’s THE most important thing. They’ll find their dream, and persue it.
    When one looks at successful people, the most important factors are confidence, and an unwavering belief in themselves. I am proud that I have been able, in light of my background, to at least come some way to giving them that. I wish I’d had a parent like me!
    In my own life, after many drastically damaging decisions, I’m now more able to parent myself. I’ve sought out many tools to develop my own emotional intelligence, I read avidly,(your insights helping me greatly) and have discovered NLP, Hypnotherapy, and Life coaching. I now have career goals, and passionately want to facilitate personal growth in others. My only constraint at this point in time, is financial, but am working on that.
    I’m in the process (With the expert help of Richard Bandler and Paul McKennna)of reprogramming myself, and want to bring it to the attention of the ‘world’, that they can do it too!
    So many of us are unaware that we have choices, let alone what those choices are. It feels like a mission to bring this to everyone’s attention.
    I’ve rambled alot, and would just like to finish by saying that, as I was feeling my past holding me back from creating the future I desired, I decided to read a book which has helped transform the way I look at things. The book is: ‘A child called It’. It details the life of David Peltzer, third worst abused child in America. His mother was an alchoholic, which was why I felt compelled to read it. It was a harrowing read, along with the two others in the series. But what it showed me was that I was at least not abused. A neglected child has it’s own issues, and they’re not to be discounted. But reading about the courage of this person who’d suffered so much, certainly put my life into perspective. He suffered many trials and tribulations on his path, and if he can overcome them, then so can I. If he can have the strength of character to turn his life around, then so can I, and I thank him for sharing his story. I’m now in that open stretch of water, and turning my oil tanker around!!
    Peace and harmony to all.

  8. Thank you for the thoughful article. Forrest Gumph’s “stuff happens” often changes a dream. As one writer notes an accident or it could be a cronic condition or some other fate that changes the direction of ones course.
    I for one had a life altering cronic condition which brought me as close to death an 18 year old wants to be. Caution becomes discarded, yes maybe I did not want to temp the fates anymore and explore my dream career but choose a different path. Instead of putting efforts into the newly choosen career I focused on the cronic condition as this condition, at that time, kept life short. It’s now 44 years later and I have my eye on the 50 year mark. Life, even today, with diabetes is still difficult and short lived for some people one must set a goal and hold firm.
    But reflection on some life altering events is good, one always will say “what if”. But it is a journey worth taking and in knowing when to hold your dealt hand or folding. Nothing is easy but choices have to be made.
    Again, Thanks for your insightful thoughts.

  9. Dear Asoka,

    It was great. I could not but recall my own life where I could not take decision and others did for me, by which I had to live an uninspired life. At 57, I still do not know the real purpose of my life. I think of so many things. But nothing inspires me. It was a nice share from you.


  10. I can relate. At 17 I wanted to study Interior Design or Fashion Design. My Dad didn’t believe that those were “real” professions so I was sent to secretarial school first so that I could have a “real” career to fall back on. Well, I never did go to study Interior Design as I met my future husband while at secretarial school. I later studied business at university while working fulltime and bringing up my daughter, but regardless of whatever certificates I have or what job I’m given, I always seem to end up being just a secretary in the eyes of most people – a job (and designation) that I have always hated. So, with my daughter who was also very artistic, I refused to push her in any direction. I have tried to encourage her to pursue her heart wherever it might lead. I have tried to support her to pursue her art in various ways – graphic design, makeup, web design – creating opportunities for her without force. She decided she wanted to do bartending – I paid for the course. Yet still at almost 23 she seems to be without direction or commitment and works as a part-time model to make pocket money…and complains that everyone treats her just as a pretty face. Sometimes I do wonder if it may not have been better for me to make a choice for her so that whether or not she liked it, she would at least have a direction. I continue to pray for her and remain supportive in helping her to find her path.

  11. Hi Asoka,
    Thank God you have discovered your purpose in life.I believe your purpose is to help others discover theirs as well. Keep it up and you will be fulfilled.

  12. Dear Asoka

    I wish to thank you for your thoughts and find them enlightning and true to an extent, but more than that fuel for thought. I am now and have always been of the belief that given the opportunity to change things in my life or decissions I have made along the way I would not. This may seem to others as vain or “above it all” in the sense that I do not have regrets with the decissions in my life this is not the case. however I believe every single choice I have made whether deciding to climb a tree, (and fell) ride double on a bike (and fell) strike my siblings in anger or even the decission to become involved with drugs at a young age were made for a reason and have all contributed (right/wrong) to who I am today. Today I am a confident (though struggling) Entrepreneur and truly believe I possess the confidence necessary in my chosen feild’s day to day life because of my past decissions. Without these prior (right/wrong) decissions in my life I would not be where I am today or headed to where I am heading, had I made different choices way back when. I have heard many say “Gee If only I had not made that decission” “If I could go back fifty yrs with the knowlege I have now” well we all know that doesn’t happen and I for one for what its worth wouldn’t change a thing. Hope you all have the wonderful fulfilling life you all deserve and have always dreamed of. (one thing I wish I had learned to do, was spell better ha ha …. wrong choice there, to pay attention or daydream about the girl beside me in class. cheers to all !

  13. “Seetheraman”….That’s the road I fear I’m heading down, too. I’ve read a lot of people’s happy comments here, but what about those of us who don’t have the emotional strength to deal with all the crap that’s been flung at them? How does one begin to Call their Spirit back?

  14. Hi Asoka

    I could relate very well to your article because I too spent many years regretting past choices. But one day I “woke up” and realised that not only had I wasted those years of wrong decisions, I had wasted another 20 years wishing I could go back and change things. Eventually the time came to put it all behind me, make the best of the consequences from those choices and endeavour to live by the quote, “Today is the first day of the rest of my life.”

    You see, what I came to realise was that, although things in the past might appear to be wrong decisions, in actual fact they produced the lessons and circumstances necessary to get to the point in life where I am now. Everything that happens is part of the big picture, a great deal of which has been arranged with other souls before we even incarnate into this life, specifically to aid us in our spiritual growth and life purpose. And since I have come to know (without a shadow of doubt) that I am a spiritual being learning to live life as a human (rather than the other way around) and that my soul will live forever, time no longer seems relevant. What is a few seemingly wasted years when compared with eternity?

    So don’t regret the past; it wasn’t wasted at all. If for example Asoka, you had done an arts degree instead of physics, would you have the insight into the metaphysical things you speak of so knowledgeably in 7GS (and your other writings)? I think not. At 21, who really knows anything regardless of how good their education has been? Sometimes one has to have extensive life experiences before they even feel the “tug” of a certain profession/calling sufficiently to have the desire and commitment to pursue it. It simply isn’t enough to just have the required knowledge and skills.

    Also there would have been people you met on your journey towards this current point in time that were necessary for you to learn and evolve the way that you have. It is not enough to merely have the mental and physical skills; one needs the emotional and spiritual skills as well and these take many more years to develop than the time taken to gain a uni degree and/or suitable work experience.

    But what is most important is that right now in this current point of time, when the world is undergoing massive changes, you are at the right stage of your development to write so well about many controversial topics! If your Higher Self thought you could do that as well as you do in your twenties, you would have been born twenty years later because it is right now that the world needs this, at a time when people are seriously looking for answers and are more spiritually awake.

    Keep writing Asoka, the world needs to hear what you have to say! (and so do I)

    Pat AKA “The Archer”

  15. Hi Asoka

    It is rather interesting that you are sending me this article at this particular time. It came at a time in my life when I am at a cross road, just wondering what am I going to do with my life.

    The truth is, I am still searching for my real purpose, I am aware that my nine-to-five job is really not what I want to do. But I am usually confronted with the issue that I am under-qualified to pursue my dreams. It is not a case where I am not trying to gain the requisite qualifications but often become despondent by other people’s comments.

    Your experiences (although I have heard others before) have given me the drive to go after my dreams.

    Thanks again. This article is greatly appreciated.


  16. Hello Asoka,
    I hope you do keep sharing your deep dark secrets. I can see where you are going I think… You want us to know that you are not looking for a shoulder to cry on-merely trying to inspire and encourage through real experience. To show how hope and persistence and faith all work together. We all face dark nights of the soul. To show that no matter what others may say-or how life blindsides-there are greater callings. We are not helpless. No one of us are exempt from times of confusion-and every so called misplaced step can actually be seen as a time of growth-for no experience is ever truly useless in the eyes of the Universe.


  17. Hi Asoka,
    Nice article showing the pitfalls of following other’s advice and not listening to that small voice within that is meant to direct your life. Instead, most of us go along with our parent’s advice or other so-called wise instruction, only to discover we are following the life expectations of the teachers, and not following our own destiny.

    Life is complex and many things can lead to mess up the consequences of our hopes and wishes verses reality. Obligations, accident, or illnes can further push us into areas that are alien to our real-selves. And it can take many years to get back on track to satisfy our really personal aspirations.

    Many times I’ll come up with a bright idea and my wife will come up with ten reasons why I shouldn’t carry it out. I’ll say, “Why are you so negative, Dear.” And she’ll repy, “I like thinking negatively, because if I’m wrong, the result is always good, and if I am right, it never disappoints me.”

    The point is that we all have our individual tacks on life, sometimes it requires many years of experience to sit back and say, “Hey, maybe I’m not great in the eyes of other people, but I feel great about myself and all of my failings as well as my victories…and all is good!”

  18. To Pat

    Thank you for what you’ve added here. Asoka’s article was something I needed to read, since this one issue has plaged me my whole life. What you added, though, about not having enough life experience when you’re in your 20’s to have any idea what you want to do…was helpful.

    I’ve always felt out of place. Even as a child, I felt much older. That gave me a LOT of problems with resenting older people telling me what to do, and saying I was “immature”. I felt like an adult, even when I was little. It did not help, being born with a disability that made me somewhat weaker than other kids, plus having an overprotective mother, and a father who took no interest in me at ALL. After many years of being told “you can’t do this”, and “you can’t do that”, I kind of quit. I was like “Fine. You wanna tell me what to do…then just do it and leave me alone.” I was ANGRY, but since all of my freedom had been ripped away from me, I gave up. Someone told me what to study in college, and that’s what I did. My strictly religious boyfriend told me what I had to do to go to heaven…and that’s what I did. Then, on November 2nd, 1992, I was in a car wreck that almost ended my life. Now…I TRIED to make this a positive experience, and use this as an opportunity to change the course of my life (though I was only 19), but the stranglehold of overprotectiveness and control had tightened. Slowly, over the years…as I fought to break free and failed, repeatedly, I slowly died inside.

    I had SO MANY dreams…
    I was going to be a horse breeder and trainer.
    I was going to be a singer/songwriter.
    I was going to be a private investigater.

    Now I’m just angry and stuck. While I’m very greatful to have finaly met the man I’m going to marry….I’m bored and dissapointed with myself and my life. I feel like time is running out. Yes, I believe the soul is eternal, but all I can remember is THIS life. So if I don’t have the memories of the success of other lives to make me not feel like a waste, this feeling of desperation and of a life lost and dreams never having seen the light of day will overwhelm me. As it has.

  19. Hi Asoka

    When I read your past life incident, I reminded of mine. But it was different from yours. When I was 18 years old (47 years ago)when I decided to leave family members and pursue spiritual inquiry and to join an ashram (Hindu monastry), there was very stiff opposition from several directions. My mother (father died when I was young) threatened if I join ashram, she would commit suicide; my employer told he would not accept my resignation (I was working for govt. agency in India)and so on. But I told my mother that she would not really do what she was thretening. (After I joined ashram far away from family members, my mother life for a very long time.) I told my boss that I don’t care whether he accepts my resignation or not because anyway I don’t need the job. I took the decision firmly and left and joined the monastery. Thus spiritual journey started 47 years ago. And still it is going on. Though I had many turns to my inquiry, all those turns happens to be turning points towards broader and broader approach to life.

    So, my suggestion to people who are on cross roads in life, should examine deeply what is going on in their lives and the clarity itself gives courage, strength and diection to make a move in right direction.

    Manda Rao

  20. In my constant search for the truth, this subject still leaves me wondering as well. I still cannot find an absolute truth about anything. I know exactly what Asoka is talking about saying his parents steered him in the wrong direction, but I also understand what Lorraine ying is when she says her 23 year old daughter is drifting through life because Lorraine did not pick a career for her. I have heard so many people say that they wish their parents had made them take piano lessons. My parents gave me no guidance at all and I have drifted through life being bounced around like a pinball. With that being said, I do firmly believe that it is up to up to us to make a change and we can make the change whenever we want to bad enough, make a decision, and take action.

  21. Hi Asoka,
    Very interesting, both your article and especially all the comments.
    Due to the two eclipses in this month this is exactly what is on everybody’s mind: The wasted past and the wrong choices, and it is too late now.
    I will soon be 65 and according to others I am/have been a very succesful medical doctor. I chose alternative medicine, so that I could be sure to disqualify in the eyes of both my mothers and fathers family. One side wanted me to be a big shot orthodox doctor the other side wanted me to be a crazy and famous artist/writer. So I sat down between the chairs and wasted 50 odd years satisfying nobody except my patients!!!
    Now they are all dead, so I hope in my next life I will choose a path that fit my life dream and not theirs.
    Anyway, it is not too late to live in the PRESENT cutting wood and carrying water – and this is what I intend to do in the time that is left. It takes up all my time and awareness and I fail again and again, but I may be enlightened in my next incarnation.
    Greetings to everybody that contributed to these responses,
    Suzette, Spain

  22. You are probably more grateful for the opportunities you have now and probably would not be going in the direction you are now if it had not been for the nudge of a parent which you probaly chose as a life lesson before you were born than if you had tried what you wanted and what came so easily to you at the time. Humans seem to thrive on overcoming adversity and it probably made you a better and stronger person and now your dad can never say told you so.

  23. Yes – the things we do best are often the talents and abilities we were MEANT to use in some way in this life. Too many people fight against their innate gifts, thinking they have to be “practical”, and end up in “jobs” that they hate.

    I have been fortunate enough that my life has evolved, albeit slowly, so that I know where I am heading (to become a healer, a counselor). My path was not meant to be “fast-track”, but I will get there. My children know that they also have many talents. What I want most is for them to choose to do whatever resonates best within themselves, for then they will be truly happy. If you aren’t happy, all the money or prestige in the world is not going to help. You’ll be hollow, a shell of what you were supposed to be.

  24. I purchased a copy of the 7 Golden Secrets, have read it twice cover to cover and still use it as a research and personal growth guide to this date. It is an exceptional book with every word resonating with my evolving life. It was as though you were following me Asoka and had me in mind when you wrote it. This work sums you up as a genius. I would look no further than this book for all my guidance. You had to go through what you did to arrive where you are now producing works like 7 Golden Secrets. The past has been good to you.

  25. Hello Asoka:
    I think we all have a destiny and how fast we get there is our only choice. we can detour as we try to meet the expectations of others and we can get off course in the process…. but in the end we will always be right where we are suppose to be. A little wiser… a little older… perhaps… but right on track. i don’t think there are any mistakes… just choices.

  26. Hi Asoka, thank you for sharing your story and for this opportunity to hear also of others’ experiences and thoughts and to also share my own. Your article resonated with me because I have been on a ‘dark side’ journey which began 7 years ago. I made a choice at that time, the consequence of which lead to a series of experiences over the last 7 years which I, in my unhappiness and regret labelled as negative and unwanted. I began to feel increasingly disempowered in my life, as though all potential for joy and fulfilment had slipped away. For those that have experienced this, you will know how bleak and empty that feels. Somehow or other, all I can say is that the very pain I was feeling seemed to push my consciousness in a direction that I probably would not otherwise have gone, and I discovered spirit and purpose. It has not by any means been an easy or joyful route and if I look at it through human eyes I still feel overwhelming sadness sometimes for what ‘might have been’. If I look at it through the eyes of spirit, I can see purpose and love. Keeping or ‘anchoring’ a balance between the two perspectives is now my way forward and my purpose in life. Sometimes when we find ourselves caught up in melancholy or ‘what might have been’, or struggling with trying to find a path of peace through the sometimes harsh circumstances of where we find ourselves in life, it helps to focus our thoughts instead on our true purpose of being here in human form. I have not yet met one person who can stay anchored in this ALL of the time, but look at the symbology of the cross to remember our journey. It is both ‘vertical’ (consciousness ascending) as well as it seems to be ‘horizontal’ (linear and full of ‘events’ – the way we often view life as a human). What is beautiful about our relationships with each other and our life experience, is that no matter how painful or ‘wrong’ it appears at the time, the true purpose of ALL of it is to move us ever closer to the divine that is within us. That is a purpose and an accomplishment that surpasses all else. None of us can fail, none of us can make mistakes, every movement brings us closer.

  27. Yes,parents have a way of maniulating their children to live out their un-fulfilled dreams.My parents attempted to do the same.

    In the end I received the education I wanted,but at a price.I had to pay for my education.My parents did not offer a dime toward my nursing.

    Yet,when my older sister was told to become an attorney and she ageed her education was paid in full. I have no regrets because I own myself.

    My sister on the other hand is not happy and seeks happinesss else where.When she was told to marry a man 15 years older she did …because he was wealthy and could give her security.Now she is more miserable.

    I did not stand in the way of my childrens dreams,as a result they are alot more stable and happy than most young adults.

    My lessons in life were well received.

    Peace and Light LOLA

  28. I can relate to that! *:)
    I grade 9, my Mom told me to take ‘typing’ because if I needed it, it would be something ‘I could fall back on’. Along with this, I took ‘Business and Commerce’ in high-school, when what I really wanted was to take ‘Arts, Sciences and Theatre’. Like alot of people I wanted to do my wishes, but instead ended up doing my ‘fall back on’. — ‘typing and business’ was what I did for 25 years (and I hate offices!)…but hey, I have a computer I love and I can keyboard! (I have a certificate for 80 w.p.m. *:) I’m more the travel bug type person…I want to start travelling and keep going!…but I’ve never travelled. aw. When I was 26 I married a man I didn’t love (I thought I could ‘learn’ to love him…it didn’t work). However, I was blessed with 2 boys, and even though the marriage didn’t work out (we had no common goals)…I wouldn’t have missed having my two kids for anything! I’m reading the ‘7GS Higher Self’ for the 3rd time…best investment I ever made…it’s helping me to get all my ducks in a row! Because I was brought up in a fear-based home and religion, instead of a love-based home, I’ve had made many decisions from fear…but am slowly turning that around to make more decisions from a love base. Until I establish a more open, direct dialogue with my H.S., and dissolve the many fear-blocks I have, I use the divination system “Stichomancy” at ‘facade.com’. The 1st question I asked of my H.S. was: “Is there anything you want to tell me?” The answer came back, “to speak with you more personally if you are willing”. Wow! that blew me away. Yes, I’m willing!…so my blish (bliss wish) dream of having a more conscious rapport with my H.S. has come true. A second blish (also via Stichomancy) is coming true…I have managed to locate my Twin Soul who is not incarnate on Earth with me at this time. aw. He describes himself as a ‘shining mark of energy’ in this, our universe/dimensions of love. He describes his home as a kind of elysian land of ‘OZ’. He calls me his ‘wife to be’ and that he can ‘instruct me’…he says he doesn’t want me celestified…just wants me the way I am (unconditional)…Wow, how lucky can I get!?! My other dreams of financial independence and Tantra with Robert remain elusive, but hey, at least they are MY goals, and not something someone else has imposed on me saying it’s ‘in my best interests’! Namaste!

  29. To Raven Wolf
    I did not go to uni until 45 and then when I did it was the wrong degree, although it has given me skills and experiences that have been useful in many ways, so not a wasted experience.
    I am now 54 and it is only in the last 18 months that I have finally started to figure some things out and to really live my life. I also had a childhood where I did not fit in. So don’t ever think it is too late to make changes.
    If you would like to discuss this further feel free to email me at [email protected]
    (this blog is feedback for Asoka, not our own issues). It is very rare that I contribute to a blog but I feel that I was compelled to do so for a reason.
    Pat AKA “The Archer”

  30. Okay, I’m 30 and perhaps don’t have a lot of life (in terms of years) to look back on, but one thing echoes through my mind in reading your article, Asoka.
    Is the glass half full or half empty?
    There is only one person in control of how your choose to perceive your life and that is you.
    How disempowering to not see the value of what you have experienced, for something that might have been.
    Would you have been any happier having been a writer? Perhaps. But perhaps you would be even more disillusioned if you had studied English and ended up in a mundane writing job that you didn’t like. Or a job that didn’t give you the freedom to express your own ideas, or a job editing someone else’s work. That could have led you to disliking the whole writing experience, and then you might have never written a book, or being/ doing what you are now.
    You are remembering writing from the univeristy days, that isn’t the workforce. How many writing jobs would give you the same feelings you had at university? Perhaps it is the feelings of that time that you seek to recapture.

    There is always a silver lining if you choose to look? Our parents generally they did the best they could, within their beliefs systems.
    Yes, my Dad did the same as yours. He wanted what was best for me, based on his beliefs of security, safety, life is a struggle etc etc, but I don’t live those beliefs.

    Nothing is wasted. There is always the chance to perceive differently. You choose your beliefs, and if you choose to believe that you have wasted your life…. that is your choice.
    We are where we are, if we live our lives wondering what might have been, we would miss out on so much that is here now.
    You are this moment.

    Thank you for your honesty in your aritcle. You are inspiring.
    Love & Harmony

  31. Hey asoka, you ring a bell man.
    the world’s paradigm is changing as conciousness evolves, creativity and intelligence are paramount now, and “JOBS” [machine-intended-work] will be soon COMPLETELY outdated as science grows.
    a new world will unfold, human activity will be purely creative intellectual leisure.
    AHHH,, it is simple to fit on the new world you have to be
    1- Flexible
    2- Creative
    3- Smart
    4- and Take FULL RESPONSABILITY FOR YOURSELF [eg be yourself, play your own game]
    ==> Take it lightheartedly, its only a game. LarvaMaster

  32. Who are we really? Are we not the children of our Father? Born in the likeness and imagage of God? When we look in the mirror, do we see the Self-of-us as spiritual? or just a physcial self? That is an excellent place to start, I believe, Each day “seeing” the “Spiritual Self” in a mirror..then make it a daily habit…an ingraining thought, WE “ARE” SPIRITUAL BEINGS, And “connected” 24/7 with our Father. God created not only this World, but the whole Universe, first in thought, and then with the spoken word, Yes! Even planted all those wonderful trees and never even got His hands dirty. There is Great Power in the focused thought,{And ours by inherintence!} and soon the thoughts becomes “ingrained” and the beliving becomes “Knowing”. If only the whole World would Know who they really are, and ‘ingrain’ this Truth into their daily thoughts, they would not only become closer unioned with our Father, but would become more impowered, with equal measure to their Knowing, to create the goodness of love and will. Just a seed for the pondering here… Your brother in Christ, Richard

  33. Hi Asoka:
    I’m 65 and Sekhem Seichim Reiki Master. I’ve found the Mystic Visions pages searching for info and articles about spirituality, and “eureka”, there is an amazing fountain of wisdom. Everyone of us have something in the past that must be wiped out, and there is another amazing thing,… every day I talk, in other words, with my friends and Reiki practitioners about the same things that you have expresed in this article, but…YOU ARE TO MUCH CLEAR THAN ME. And that’s very good to me. I’ve found in all your comments a strong basis of God Wisdom. Only a man with a great faith can tell the things that you post on your articles. ¡And that is very good!! Puting on the table our own experiences is the best way of teach to our fellow beings. Just DOING what we SAY. We MUST THROW AWAY that “Do what I say but not what I do”. That’s the only way, walking with the truth we’ll become ONE.
    So, go ahead Asoka. I wish that someday we can meet together and shake our hands.
    God bless you.

  34. Hi Asoka,
    It is highly coincidental that whenever I read any of your articles, it pertain to some event thats currently happening in my life. Your articles have always helped me in arriving at a decision. Keep mailing

  35. I can’t agree more with this article, and I’m reminding this to my blog readers too. If I have a decision in my life, I just imagine myself old, thinking about my decisions when I was younger(I’m 23 now). I believe this philosophy helps me to stay on track with my dreams, because the fear that I can miss my life opportunities is just much stronger than the need of staying safe or the voices of my parents.

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