What if?

Rhys Davies
4 min readOct 29, 2019


There’s nothing quite as counterproductive as a “what if” statement. If you think this way, then I’m afraid you will never know what. There is not always a straight path from A to B, but if there is, should you take it? If there is a way to get to where you want to go, should you go? But what if the way is hard? What if the way is long? What if you’re unprepared for the way and you fall down, or miss-step or you lose focus? Well, what if you get there?

How does anyone get anywhere though? By going. How does anyone do anything? By doing. If you’re to wait around or second guess yourself or what if yourself, you are neither going nor doing. You are dithering. Now, this is not to encourage thoughtlessness. The one who does not think before they act has no more cause to succeed than an animal or a child. Though that’s not to say a child or animal could not succeed. It is merely to say that their success will not be determinate and should they succeed it will only be through their doing, not by their making. You should aim to succeed on purpose, by overcoming the what if statement. By thinking.

One of the hardest things to do in this world is to think. To think well and think hard and think properly. If you take the time to root through your thoughts and find your way to what you want to think about, you will have more than likely missed your bus. Or your train, or your flight, or your dinner. An inability to think unless thought is necessary is not a failing, but a consequence of a busy or otherwise occupied mind. This can be a good or bad problem to have, but it is certainly not a productive one.

Do not mistake my meaning of thought for that of something you’re doing now, reading this. Or for something you have when you’re working. I don’t mean when you make up your mind on what clothes to wear or how long you can spare to clean your teeth in the morning. I mean a good, earned, idea. Clear or good, intentional ideas, come from the times when you can find your way through that maze in your mind, to the root of something. When something comes to you, inspiration or otherwise and you work on it. You can develop it. You can see it through and let it build and come up with something. A whole thing. Not a word, or a sentence or even an exclamation, but an idea. And once you have it, what if you lose it? Shit. Back to the what if statement.

All things are a journey. Every want we have or thought we bare is a journey. The vast majority of these journeys are short-lived, blips that we barely notice if we recognise them at all. Most of the journeys leftover are long and filled with offshoots and paths that we don’t want to follow or obstacles we hadn’t seen and have to strive to relinquish. Very few journeys, if any, will be easy. And what, in my limited experience, I have found, is that it would all be a lot easier if we could just ask for help.

If we could ask for help, or accept some help and proceed with that support for the journey at hand, we’d find the way less hard. All paths are trodden. All paths have someone who looks longingly at the hills and would gladly walk with. Or at least show you a short cut. If you just have the courage to ask for help.

If you find yourself asking yourself what if, I’m not going to tell you just to do it. That’s foolish. Who knows what could happen, what if it’s important? What if it could hurt someone? I’m going to tell you to ask someone. Ask someone what if? See what they say. Ask someone for help. A friend, a colleague, the right place on the internet. Someone. In the immortal words of Samwise …

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