In common with many parents at the moment I have been doing the rounds of the Universities to help my son short-list those he'd like to attend when it's time to go. I've been surprised by our reactions to some of the Universities which has ranged from 'just don't get it' to the 'wow factor'.At this point, as is often the way when I write a piece like this I have taken a few days off from writing it whilst I process my thoughts in the background. I had a concern that what Neil had said in some way conflicted with 'relationships' or family life or whatever label you'd want to put on it.
One such wow visit was to the University of Bath where, building on what had already been a good day, I went to the 'welcome talk', albeit that it was at the end of the day.
One of the presenters was Microsoft Vice President Neil Holloway . Now I'm no Microsoft fan and I envisaged a Microsoft skewed presentation on something or other but Neil presented a well reasoned and understated presentation on his thoughts about University life, life after University and life planning that really made me sit up and listen.
The phrase that really did it for me was 'have no regrets'. Neil qualified this in terms of how when making any decision you need to know your objective, weigh up the options and make a decision. What ever that decision is, whatever the outcome, don't regret it. I thought this was such a bold and brave or maybe even foolish statement to make. Initially I couldn't imagine not being able to make a decision without having regrets if the decision turned out to be the wrong one or didn't provide satisfactory results, but the more I thought about it the more I realised how much easier our decision making processes and lives would be if we didn't have the risk of regret behind our decisions.
I wonder if this state is really possible to achieve?
In my view the answer to that question is 'no'.
The beauty of Neils point-of-view is that he talks about considering the options before a making a decision and having no regrets once you've made it. This is in pleasant contrast to those who talk about life planning as a roadmap to wealth and success but make no room for others and the considerations that must be factored in where relationships are involved.
To conclude, I'd like to thank Neil Holloway for his considered and inspiring talk but I wonder what your thoughts are on the matter. Do you have a life plan? Is it working? Do you have regrets from making decisions? Does it work for you?
Keywords: Photography, regrets, life plan, Neil Richards, decision making, Microsoft, kevin leighton
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