Regret: feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that one has done or failed to do).
Regret is a human emotion (of many) that can wreak such havoc, cause such discomfort and leave stubborn scars.
It sits amongst jealousy in the camp of human emotions that can spread and create immense negativity. If happiness, joy, laughter, love and companionship are on one side of a ‘world’………..regret, jealousy, anger, anxiety and sadness would be the polar opposites.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could determine which emotions we feel?
Some may say meditation is a method that could illicit such an outcome, but there’s an art to meditation, it’s something to be learnt. When overwhelmed with negative emotion, it’s mightily difficult to address the process and apply such techniques in which to stabilise the mind. Often we fall victim to these erosive and destructive emotions.
A rear view of regret can erode your soul……….
If you let it.
There are few things sadder than regret, sure life contains many occasions of unavoidable sadness and sorrow. But a regretful life is the saddest tale of all.
Have you ever heard a mature person say; “If I had my time again, I would do instead”? I have heard that reflective statement numerous times. There are actually two forms of interpreting such a sentence:
- An implication of sadness, a lifetime mispent, an awareness of shortcomings, errors, poor decisions and perhaps unrealised potential?
- A state of reflection, a sharing of wisdom, the list of life’s “lessons”. Even the ability to accept the outcomes of decisions (good or bad) thus knowing themselves better and being a better character for it.
Enter the power of perspective!
Perspective is what keeps this wonderfully complex, inspiring, structured and breathtakingly beautiful planet of ours diverse. It’s the diversity of the world we live that preserves the genuine, raw beauty of this world. No man will ever be what every woman wants. No woman will ever be what every man wants.
“One man’s meat is another’s poison”
Without perspective, variety would not be abundant in our lives. In the absence of variety, our world would be singular, dictionaries would be devoid of the term: unique. It would not exist. We would inhabit a planet of clones, exact clones = boring.
Let’s embrace a sense of perspective to overhaul the common understanding of “regret” – why don’t we tutor ourselves to transform sad phrases such as: could have, would have, should have, shouldn’t have and wished I had…………into the more appealing: I did, I learned, I experienced, It happened, I risked, I tried, I dared and above all I acted!
Regret to the optimist is simply “experience”
The optimist is accustomed to viewing their past as a study file or casebook, if you like. A source of aid in future endeavours, an ability to reflect with clarity what can be taken, not regretted from yesterday’s adventure’s.
– It’s this approach that allows you to be free from the uncomfortable imprisonment of regret.
We are human, we will never be able to truly evade the downfalls and appearance of regret. But we can decide and control how we categorize our past – the very thing that shapes who we are!
It’s your past that can shape the person you are today, so why be ashamed? Why regret? It happened, it cannot be changed and you did what you thought best/wanted at the time. Life is too short to get it “right” all the time. None of us can master every field. It’s commonly said it takes a genuine “10,000 hours” worth of practice in order to reach a status of mastery in whatever that chosen field is.
There are far too many variables in this great life to be able to “conquer” everything!
Make your decision, use the input of loved ones, friends and above all a nice slice of trusty old instinct. Embrace the products of your decisions and thoroughly intend to learn all you can from them. Use what you learnt and share it with others. Strive for your own life dictionary – a dictionary that doesn’t contain the word “regret” – a dictionary that instead has in place of regret: Experience.
“The wisest man in the room is nearly always the one with the most experience”
Let’s all strive to be those admirable individuals that look back on their career’s and life, and say “I have no regrets, I would do it all again if I could! And I’d enjoy every second, all over again!” These people see their past as nothing but positive, undoubtedly they had downs and lows, but those have been allowed to fade in the memory and the highs and ups have been allowed to flourish – all because they have the correct perspective.
If you drive on a highway with your eyes fixated on the rear-view mirror, inevitably you’ll crash. If you crash, you’ll cease moving forward.
If you stop moving forwards, you’ll become static, being static is as good as dead.
Evolving any way we can is what we’re made to do, it’s what life is all about.
That’s a funny word, I don’t think I’ve heard it before.