Quite an oxymoron there isn’t it! That’s what amused me too. I met a friend and that’s where this began.
We were having a serious conversation about one of those important things in life (you know what I mean ;)). This friend kept asking a lot of questions – ‘what if this…’ and ‘what if that…’After listening to a bunch of ‘what if’s’, I asked him what’s important about all of these what if’s. He replied , ‘it’s all about being practical after all isn’t it? And hence, these questions’. I was clearly amused by this response and immediately said, “That, somehow, seems to be the exact opposite of being practical.” That’s like being practical in theory – or being hypothetically practical.
The possibilities of ‘what if’s’ are almost endless. There can be a ‘what if’ after a ‘what if’ and we may not find a final answer or the right answer. I am not averse to asking the ‘what if’ question. In fact, I think it is good to think ahead at times and think holistic. However, it is also good to be aware if we are being controlled by the questions or if we are controlling the questions. There’s nothing right or wrong. It’s just that we may miss out on living life and being practical in reality because we are so caught up in the theory or philosophy of being practical. Knowing that hypothetical questions can only have hypothetical answers and that, reality may be different – can keep us from getting swept away in a barrage of ‘what if’ analysis. Also, attempting to find answers to all our ‘what if’ questions before we could arrive at our decision may lead to delay in decisions or ineffectiveness in decision making. One of the keys to fast and effective decisions is the ability to deal with a certain amount of ambiguity.
It’s not about having all the answers. It is more about asking the right questions, knowing what’s important and being able to embrace clarity and ambiguity equally. There’s a lot of fun in going with the flow as well. While daring to dream is good, caring to make it a reality is what matters at the end of a day. And what’s important is being able to weed out all things unnecessary and focus on what’s most important. There’s no dearth of information around us. But how much do we actually need to know to do what we want to do in the best way – it’s important to establish that. The reality of practicality is simple. The theory may be more complex. Let’s not think it over and instead, live it up!