Michael Roberts


This conversation is closed.

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and realised that the last 30 years of your life had been a dream?

What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and realised that the last 30 years of your life had been a dream, that you'd been in a coma for a year and dreamt your 'life' up to this point?

How would you deal with the fact that it was in fact, not October 5, 2012..but October 5, 1982?

Would you write down your "memories"?
Would you change the direction of your life?

  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: I would be disappointed in my imagination.
    • thumb
      Oct 6 2012: Love it! Nice answer.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: I would take my 20 year old body and make up for lost time:)
  • Oct 11 2012: I would be so relieved I would cry like a baby.

    Then I would get busy with physical therapy.

    Find a way to keep my wife healthy. Convince her to go back to college and medical school.

    Floss my teeth every day.

    Invest in Apple.

    Home school my children.

    Keep my mother-in-law safe. She was killed by a driver who was high on cocaine.

    Convince people that the internet protocol must be secure before it goes public.

    Build the first internet search engine, complete with advertising. Get rich.
    Attend a TED conference.

    Go back to school and work on artificial intelligence.
  • thumb
    Oct 9 2012: Get back to sleep pronto !
  • Oct 7 2012: I have acquired a friend who has a problem that is somewhat like that (really), but it is simply mental illiness. Of course, real dreams are unquestionablyinteresting and varied things unless you are a fan of Carlos Castenada.
  • Oct 6 2012: I would invest in Apple, Microsoft, and a few others.
    I would use my knowledge of the future to help people and save lives lost to tragedies.
    I would use my knowledge of what worked in raising my kids and what did not to improve their childhood.
    I would have started playing golf sooner, and played at least one round with my dad.
    I would have kept the same career, but choose some different employers.
    I would keep a journal, so if he next 30 years are a dream, I would have better records, maybe write down a few lotto numbers.
  • thumb
    Oct 6 2012: i think i would be a litttle strange .and ask myself what is the matter ?am i thru through .and then i will continue my job .sit in front of the computer and chat with people and maybe next i will call my dad .and ask what is the matter .

    back to nomal i think 30 years is not a long time .time is always flying ,and i hope i can achieve something in my life .i am not going to reget and i am not going to cry why my thirtyyears is a dream .while i will open my purpor
    and find if my money is still there then i can asure my meals .i will start a new life and look for new dream ,and fight for my future ,maybe in the next dozens years i will find out what is the matter with my last 30 years .

    still learn ,do and fight .life is always easy for me .i wont ask for too much .just wateriness.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2012: The first thing I would do is to make sure I understood that everything I "experienced" for the "fantasy 30 years" was not reality. Why? I have dreams every night when I am asleep, and some of the decisions I make in those dreams aren't rational. If I confuse how I conduct myself in my "real" life with my "fantasy" life, my real life is going to be a disaster.

    Your premise is that when I woke up in 1982, I would "already know" what my next 30 years of "real life" were going to be...the experiences, etc. If those 30 years were all a fantasy, but I tried to live my real life according to them, I run the real risk of making myself and everybody else around me miserable when my expectations don't meet with what is really going to happen.

    Oh...I would also be greatful that the 30-year fantasy was only a dream, and not a nightmare. ;-)

    As a comparison, the concept you propose is actually the same one that science fiction authors have used for a long time already. They "dream up" a future, then write about it. Doesn't mean it's going to happen or not. And it doesn't mean I should necessarily alter my current life to accomodate those dreams about the future. Actually, any person who provides a "vision" about the future is doing the exact thing you describe in your question.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2012: I was 12,i would go rob a bank as it was a lot easier then and go and buy up as much apple stocks as i can through a third party then stow away on a boat and try and meet up with Craig Ventner,convince him that me being 13 means nothing and that genetics is his future as well as starting up a company with him.

    I wouldn't write it down,too risky.

    I would also start up an R & D project to look more closely at pushing the direction towards superconductive material research more intensively.
  • thumb
    Oct 5 2012: I'd be heart-broken, and yes, I would write it down in all its detail.
  • Oct 5 2012: I would cry for a while...I would miss the way my life has led me so far--as I considered it to be a reality. I'd get confused because there would be nothing I can be sure of. After a little while, I would be glad that there's another new life has been waiting for me to start over, which means I am lucky enough to get a chance to live a new life. Although I'd miss my friends--have been imaginary people, sadly, I'd be able to meet the same people in my real life, surprisingly. I'd promise myself not to repeat my previous mistakes again and not to hurt their feelings again. With gratitude, I'd enjoy every moment of this life and also write down both of my memories and reality I’d actually face every day. I could be a novelist--as I've always wanted to be. Just like Alice in wonderland, I'd be pretty surprised to know that actually my mom and siblings are all the same people I met in my dream. I'd enjoy teasing them secretly because I know the only truth they don't know of. I either become an old young woman who gets bored of this repetitive human life cycle or just like a new born baby(in this case, a new born grown-up)thrilled to enjoy another adventurous life.
    The direction of my life would slightly change at first. Since I'd be well aware of the fact that I’d still be a fragile and vulnerable human being likely to repeat the same things again and again, what would really change would be just the way I see the world. And as time goes by, the direction of my life would move on to doing something good, something meaningful to others however small it may be.
    I really hope in that effort, writing my own story is also a major part of it.
    What an intriguing question, btw!!
    I've always wanted to join this kind of question on TED site!!
    Thank you, Michael! :)
    (P.S. unfortunately, this talk I’d started already finished, but I want you to read it for fun lol. Click the link below.)
  • Oct 5 2012: "How would you deal with the fact that it was in fact, not October 5, 2012..but October 5, 1982?"

    Are you saying dreams happen at least 30 times faster than real life?

    "What would you do if you woke up tomorrow and realised that the last 30 years of your life had been a dream, that you'd been in a coma for a year and dreamt your 'life' up to this point?"

    Miss my dreamed up girlfriend and friends, but it wouldn't be a complete loss since my dreamed up education should still be valid (at least the mathematical part of it).