OPINION

Do-over option needs to be a real life hack

Did you ever read a "choose-your-own-adventure" book?

Some genius started that genre long ago. I read some of these books with my son when he was young.

Typically, you choose a course of behaviour in a specific, dangerous situation.

Then you read what the consequences are. Sometimes death; sometimes escape.

If you are like me, you read the result of every possible choice in the book.

The Netflix movie Bandersnatch follows the same pattern, but here your decision leads to dramatic movie endings.

The plot focuses on a game developer who has a great idea for a new video - if he can actually create the needed computer code for it. Weird things happen. Death beckons.

The optional-paths format is original in a movie. You can be sure that I explored all the options.

If you play video games, you know the concept of do-over.

You get to start again if your character dies.

Many times I have taken comfort in the chance to rise from the ashes like a phoenix.

If you are a member of a supportive family or friend group, you may have the do-over option in real life.

This option is valuable if you fly off the handle at times or have a talent for saying the wrong thing.

With the do-over option, you can just ask for another chance to do or say whatever you muffed.

The second time you may get it right. Practice makes perfect.

If the people who play the game of life with you day in and day out do not have a do-over option, you could suggest the idea to them.

Or you could just give others another chance when they do something out of line.

They will like you all the more. They might even follow your lead and give you do-overs.

If you have someone in your life who is a habitual manipulator or who is some other type of scoundrel, do not include that person in your game of life.

You decide who gets to play the game with you.

Most people who do you wrong in some way are not evil incarnate; they are just imperfect humans operating in an imperfect world.

So granting a do-over may work out well for you and for these people.

Even if you never get to a happy ending with the person, you may still feel as if you did something good.

John Malouff is an Associate Professor at the School of Psychology, University of New England.