This post is sparked by Anita’s post with the same title.(I suggest reading it first. )
My straight forward answer is No.
If I leave it at that, chances are – I might be perceived as cynical. Not that I am not. I can be very cynical at times (never pessimistic though). In this case, I am not.
Time keeps moving and you cannot return to a phase or moment when you would have wanted to do something.
Suppose you wanted to learn piano at 12, and you didn’t have any classes in your neighborhood. Or take my case, I learnt the harmonium (on keyboard) for 2 years (2000-2001). I had to leave them in order to focus on my SSC board exams. I never joined back (except completing 1 more year with intermittent attendance) citing one reason after another. This was a ‘partially voluntary’ miss.
There are other instances which are ‘forced’ misses.For example, you have to move to another city where there are no (Indian classical) music classes. Or you are over-age for training in a certain sport, when you come to know the training for it exists within your reach!
Does this mean you give up your desires of wanting to do something – THAT thing you wanted so much?
I talked about activities above. The thing can be a business venture or simply a phase when you wanted to decorate your room a particular way or a higher education opportunity.
You cannot return to that point of time when the opportunity slipped from your hands. BUT you can try again, at a different point of time, FOR the thing or SOMEthing related to it. You can stop obsessing about the miss and gear up for the hit!
Look at it this way – every day is a chance, to try doing something you missed earlier. Second chances do not present the exact circumstances that were back then, heck- they’re not even real, but you simulate them and trick your brain into grabbing the opportunity!
There are 2 very important things to remember while doing so :
1. Do not fall prey to the warnings of your brain’s frontal lobe, which keeps shouting ‘Oye, yaad hai na…tab aisa hua tha!’ You missed it then, you’ll miss it now! Refer this article.
2. Make a list of all things you want to do and all chances that you will possibly have. Now connect the things to the chances and prepare yourself for them. Keep revising the list – bi-annually, quarterly or even monthly.Refer this article.
To sum up :
There are no second chances in life. Simulate conducive circumstances! Your nagging self-deprecating inner voice will take them up and you will ACTUALLY get to do what you always wanted to do!