I’ve been thinking lately about regrets. Sometimes I talk to people and they have these regrets about last week or last year or five years ago that are just weighing on them. It’s awful. They still just wish that they had done things differently.
I think that if you have big regrets, what you’re really saying is that you are dissatisfied with the way your life is right now. And I think that’s a problem. I think it’s important to recognize that even though your circumstances might not be ideal, you can do things differently starting today. Once I talked to someone about how it bothers me a little bit that we have New Year’s Resolutions. Why can’t we have mid-April resolutions? Why not September resolutions? I don’t think it’s wise to pile on the goals and resolutions and try to start them all on January 1. It would probably work better to pick one thing you want to be better at and start it today. Why do people so often give up on their resolutions? I propose it’s because they’re trying to change too many things at once.
This is getting a little off from my original intent of this post. But anyway. I think it’s important to live a life where you don’t regret what you do (or don’t do). It’s understandable to wish that you had done some things differently, but I think it’s important to not regret what you’ve done. If you regret, you’re projecting the image that you’re unhappy with the way things are. And maybe you are unhappy with the way things are. In that case, it’s time to get hopping. Things won’t just get better while you stand and watch. You need to be an active participant in your life and make the changes you want to have happen.
I also think it’s important to recognize that all the things we have done and haven’t done have made our life the way it is. It wasn’t just by happenstance that you are where you are. It was all the decisions you have ever made in your life that got you to where you are. Maybe you wish that you had been in the marching band in middle school. But let’s consider what may have happened if you had been in the marching band. If you had been a member of the band, you probably wouldn’t have taken that art class where you met the person who then became your best friend and no doubt influenced the course of your life in a variety of ways. Don’t undervalue the things that happened as a result of choices you’ve made. Whether there is a clear, direct result of a choice or not, there is always some effect of each decision, and those effects can make a big difference to us in the long run.
We have limited amounts of energy. Let’s not spend our energy regretting things or resenting the way things are. Instead, let’s be happy and grateful. And if we feel we need to make changes, let’s make them! Nothing is stopping you from becoming better; nothing is stopping you from becoming who you want to become.
Don’t let regret rule you. Live with NO REGRETS, be grateful for where you are now, and do your very best to be even better.