$50 Million or Twenty-Five Years Old?

Here’s the question:

If you were given the choice, would you accept $50 million tax-free, no strings attached, or would you return to your life when you were 25-years old, taking with you all the knowledge and experience you possess today? Whichever you choose, why did you choose it?

I asked this question on my Facebook page, and was surprised by some of the answers.

Several people made the point that if they were given the choice, they’d happily go back to when they were twenty-five years old. A few of them, pointed out that, with the experience and knowledge they’ve gained over the years, they could easily make $50 million or more as a twenty-five year old.

Others said they would stay the age are now and accept the $50 million. Their reasoning was that they could do so much good in the world with the money, including helping their loved ones.

There were even a few people who said they wouldn’t choose either option. These people say that they have already been blessed in life and wouldn’t change anything. It might be these people I envy most, although, wouldn’t $50 million make their already blessed lives even more blessed?

On Facebook, I didn’t answer the question, although I had a complicated answer already in my mind. Here’s what I was thinking:

My kneejerk reaction is that I would go back to when I was twenty-five and live my life over again, but this time with the benefit of a lifetime of experience and knowledge. I’d have a second chance to do more with my life, I could correct or avoid mistakes, be more productive, more effective, and as others stated, make a significant amount of money from my knowledge and experience.

But there’s a catch.

Unless I re-lived my life exactly as I previously lived it, I likely wouldn’t end up with my two kids. And losing them would be a deal-breaker. Sure, I could have other kids, and they’d likely be great. But they wouldn’t be the kids I have now. And there’s no way I’m going to lose them.

My latest novel, The Ones That Got Away, is all about the chance to go back and re-live a life that was less that satisfying. The thought of getting a second chance at life has always intrigued me. But the truth is, if I was offered the chance, I don’t think I could do it. I couldn’t risk losing my kids.

I guess I’ll just have to settle for $50 million.

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