There is a novel by P.D. Ouspensky, one of several Russians who have become English novelists, called The Strange Life of Ivan Osokin. The main character, Ivan, regretted his life, and was given a chance to live it again with the full knowledge that he had in his later, wiser years. As he lives his life over again, he finds he can’t change anything, because circumstances made the things he had done before unavoidable.
There are many things I would do differently. One is that I would study math better and take more science in school. Knowing more math would make my life easier now, and I would now get a great deal more satisfaction from life if I knew more science. In fact, when I hear about some of the breakthroughs in medical research, it makes me so excited that I wish I had gone into that profession.
Another thing I would have done differently is that in my 20s I would have gone ahead and stolen other men’s girlfriends. This sounds crazy, but let me explain: When I was in my 20s and early 30s, I would sometimes be approached by perfectly nice young women who were interested in me, and I would reject them. I would have been happy to date them, but the problem for me was that they would often be in a relationship with another man. Out of a sense of honor, and a sense of compassion for the other man, I would not “steal” his girlfriend. After all, how would I feel if someone did that to me? I just couldn’t do that to any man. This was always a really stupid mistake, because the girl never stayed with the guy anyway, and because of my “honor”, I never got her. Maybe I would have found a good wife among these girls.