i just turned 36. there's no way i would want to go back and relive my life at age 23. there is a romanticism that i could go back and "do things better" lol but there's no way i would fall for that trap is an evil genie offers me the opportunity.
1) i am unhappy now
2) i was happier at age X
3) therefore i want to go back to that time
that works. but also
4) between that time and this time there is way more unhappiness than happiness
5) i will just end up back at this time, with this unhappiness
6) therefore i do not want to go back to relive that (and then this all over again)
but that's completely off topic since its just about not achieving goals. tao te ching has been a great guide for me and i have very few goals and it doesn't really matter if i achieve them. but that's of no comfort if you were comforted by success stories. since my success story is that i started out with a lot of goals, failed over and over, gave up, and then learned how to be mostly ok with it. but hm i get the sense that some people go through life focused on what they can get, and they get some of what they want, and focusing helps with that. while others are generally denied what they want, and focusing on that is a bad idea. its a different paradigm. as different as hedonism and Buddhism. not that i would advocate Buddhism, its just more well known that taoism. maybe there is some level of healthy compartmentalization, see some things one way and see other things the other way.
"I take what is mine. I pay the iron price."