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Life-Ruining Mistakes?

(This is something that I wrote on

We live at the best time to be alive in human history.

Maybe collectively, on average, but that still leaves many, many, many people with, let’s say, less-than-good lives, and not much they can individually do about it.

I think there are always opportunities in life

I hardly know where to start with this.

Each decision that we make will close doors and open others.

No, some decisions do that, and some decisions close doors… and leave you in a corridor with no doors good enough to make up for the setback caused by the first door.

But, the idea that the average person in highly-developed countries routinely makes “unrecoverable” decisions is a massive overstatement.

The article doesn’t say anything about “the average person” succumbing to this fate “routinely”. It says that “a per­son’s fate can boil down to one mis­judge­ment”. Are you saying it’s not possible for this to happen once, to anyone?

I can think of friends whose lives aren’t awful by any means, but who acknowledge how their lives could have been much better if it wasn’t for one thing they did or didn’t do decades ago. An impulsive decision of youth putting them on a track with fewer options and only realising that when it’s much, much harder to change course. Or when it’s financially impossible to do so.

I’m happy for you that your life has – I’m assuming – gone OK, and none of your friends or family have made decisions that were reasonable at the time but turned out to be poor ones in the long term. But it seems strange to me that you can’t imagine the lives of less fortunate people, and the paths that others’ lives could take.

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