A friend of mine recently shared the picture to the left on Facebook. It is an interesting question. The red pill allows you to restart your life at age 10 with all of the knowledge you have now. The blue pill fast forwards your life to age 50 with $10 million in your bank account. In the comments of the post, the vast majority chose, as I did, to go back to age 10. Most surmised that armed with the knowledge they have now, with that kind of head start, they would far exceed a net worth of $10 million by age 50. Most respondents were businessmen and women who by all means are very educated in the art of making money. The deviation in answers mostly came from those who were already past 50 years old. They got the benefit of both going back in time and receiving the $10 million.
A few interesting breaks from the average answer were from a gentleman who declined both pills, saying he loved where he was right now in life and would not change a thing. Another woman was scared of the red pill, claiming “that’s A LOT of responsibility… I don’t think at 10 years old I would want to know what I know now.” Fair point.
The flip side for me is that I am 41 years old. No way would I give up 9 years of my life. I can always make more money. Making money is easy. Not that money is everything. But the one thing I cannot do, is I cannot make more time. Once I have spent it, it is gone. I would not give up 9 years of life, of experience, of time with my kids and my wife.
But I also acknowledge that this is a hypothetical question. But hypothetical questions always lead me to the real questions. What is the reality of the question to me? Going back to age 10 would mean reliving 31 years of my life. What could I do with my life if I started right now with the knowledge that I currently have? That is not a hypothetical question. I do not need to go back in time to realize the opportunity this would afford. 31 years from now I will be 72 years of age. What amazing things can I accomplish, starting today, with the knowledge that I have accumulated up to this point? Most people, because it was simply meant to be a fun question, thought of what their life would be like if they were actually able to start over, and said, “Wow, imagine!” I know I did. But then I thought about everything that I can accomplish in the next 31 years of my life (God willing) with the knowledge I have already accumulated and said, “Wow, imagine!”