I was, admittedly, working goofing off on Facebook when I came across this meme.  My first, nay, my only thought was I would choose neither.  When I clicked on the comments section, not to my surprise, most respondents picked the red pill.  What did surprise me was that out of 300 responses almost no one picked neither.  A year ago I would have attributed my selection to my creative spirit, my inclination to rebel against rules, or my need to always chart my own path.  Now I realize my choice has a deeper meaning, one more in tune with my philosophical stance, that we are only given one life and we need to make it count.

So, why does it even matter?

The simple and seemingly innocent question posed by the meme strikes a chord directly at the most confounding concerns most people struggle with daily:  regrets over the past or worrying about the future.  To be clear, we should always examine our past mistakes and use them as a compass to the future we desire but we should never let those mistakes anchor us in the past.  Allowing our mistakes to anchor us in the past is called regret.  People living with regrets can never be truly happy because they are always looking over their shoulders worrying about the past.  They allow mistakes from their past to chart their entire lives and that is a guaranteed recipe for unhappiness.

Red or Blue Pill?

For those that picked the red pill, your mistakes were not meant to destroy you life but teach you a lesson.  The sad truth is the past still holds way too many people in a perpetual state of regret over things they wished went another way.  When people pick the red pill it’s because they regret past relationships (the biggest harbinger in people’s lives), missed job opportunities, chances to travel,  not writing a book, the chance to live overseas, etc.

Instead of focusing on the negative aspects of the past, people need to learn to embrace the positive outcomes of their past mistakes.  I have made many mistakes in the past but I have learned something from each mistake.  I’m the person I am today because of the mistakes I made in my past.  I learned to treat women better, developed more charm, learned the power of honesty, learned to forgive, learned how to love, became more confident because of mistakes in my past.  I have learned to take more professional risks instead of playing it safe based on mistakes in my past.  Our past mistakes can not be changed but we CAN learn from them and chart to a better future.

To move on from our past mistakes we MUST forgive ourselves, forgive others, and promise to take advantage of future opportunities.

For those that chose the blue pill I understand the need to peek at the future and see what’s to be.  In fact, I would argue there was something wrong with you if you didn’t wonder about the future.  I truly believe we must always think about the future and the direction our lives will take.  As a dreamer, I’m always thinking about the future, like all the time.  I dream of the way things could be and what I wish my life to be.

But I don’t just dream…I do…I put in the work…I hustle…I sacrifice… I take risk…I’m preparing.

For those that picked the blue pill, I can predict your future right now.  I’m not joking.  I can predict your future based on what you are doing today and I don’t even have to give you the blue pill.  Our futures are determined by what we do today or what we are not doing.  If we are not actively pursuing our dreams our future life will suck.  That’s no hyperbole, if we  don’t pursue our dreams our life will forever be incomplete.  I don’t mean to scare or depress anyone, I just don’t want you to get to the end and wonder what if.

If we don’t take steps to find pursue our dreams, life will suck because we will get to the end of our limited time on this planet and realize we never pursued our passions and dreams.  We will realize we settled for comfort and convenience instead of taking a chance.  Once this happens, the full weight of regret over what could have been will oppress our very soul.

The future is what we prepare for today.  If you want a peek at your future, just look at what you are doing right now, and how you spend your free time.  Are you gossiping in about others, surfing Facebook, partying every weekend, or writing the next Oscar Award winning screen play?  Whatever we spend our spare time doing is what will determine our future…don’t waste another minute.

My friends, when it comes to picking a red or blue pill, I challenge you to go your own way.  Learn to forgive the mistakes of your past and prepare today for the future you want tomorrow.

-C.J. Bell















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