What If?

Brian Bystedt

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The Existentialist

Often in life our actions are measured by results, good and bad, and for the most part those actions define us. But how about those actions we didn’t take, those lost opportunities, those roads not taken. Do they not indirectly define us as well? While it is very difficult (even impossible) to access the “what ifs” of our lives, they are still very well worth thinking about. After all, the culmination of our decisions brought each of us to who we are and where we are today…our journey. For every “Y” in the road of life a different outcome was created by our decision(s). So fundamentally our journey, for the most part, is based on our decision-making process. And for each us that process is different as it is often predicated on our perspectives, perceptions and expectations. More specifically certain desires, fears, capabilities, experiences, opportunities, timing, priorities, etc..


Thus throughout life we have made and will continue to make decisions that govern our journey based on our decision-making process. So we only need to change some aspect of the process to change our thinking…our life. When we have made a so called wrong decision we often see or feel its ramifications, or put differently, the consequence. Can the same be said for those opportunities not taken? Are there not consequences in life by not engaging in certain opportunities that for one reason or another weren’t taken. The simple answer is “yes”, be it a lost opportunity or unexplored potential. Had I only turned left instead of right, had I said “yes” instead of “no”, had I picked up the pencil and began to draw, had I taken the risk to explore, to invent, to engage, to… For all of us the list is perhaps long and many regrets perhaps exist, but the interesting thing is tomorrow is different if we wish it so.

Imagine instead of consequences or repercussions due to inaction or hesitation, we acted judiciously and embraced the possibilities that life presented us. Perhaps for each of us to examine the many opportunities and aspirations that were laid before us, but not pursued, is in itself a real opportunity to understand ourselves and ask “why?” More often than not, the most significant obstacles to fully expressing ourselves is ourselves. Thus the answer to greater self-expression / creativity undoubtedly lies with in us. Stop wondering “what if” and do something about it, take the risks – engage your creative process in whatever that may be. Remember, if we change our perceptions of ourselves we change our thinking, thus we change our lives.

Based on my interest in archaeology and art, my impetus for creating Renditions Arts LLC was two-fold. One, being able to express my creativity and secondly, being involved in what could be considered the beginning of artistic expression, thus the beginning of prehistoric cultures. In that regard, I ask the question, “what if?” What if our prehistoric ancestors never stepped out of the so called box? Possible results, benefits, risks were all unknown for the most part, yet had they always played it safe, did the easy thing, the conventional thing, how would culture ever have been created let alone evolve. So is there a consequence to doing nothing or not taking the risks…”yes.” As the saying goes, “nothing ventured, nothing gained.” While there are risks and consequences in doing things, perhaps there are more consequences in not taking that road less traveled. In the simplest of ways or the largest, the opportunities to see and do things differently are bountiful. Be adventurous, this is your journey!

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