Hello to all my readers ,
Have you ever wasted valuable energy and time on the wrong pursuits?
Have you ever experienced unpleasant feelings of regret?
Have you ever thought I wish I did that?
‘Of all sad words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: It might have been!‘ – J. G. Whittier
I’m sure that most of us have experienced similar feelings as the poet above referred to things that we regret that we wish we could have done or we did and we would have done it differently, ‘if only’…
Regret is a mental sorrow and a pain of mind at something done or more often something left undone…
All of us have done things we wish we could go back and do differently.
In my coaching, this is one of the most common theme and to what I have recently personally pondered over. I meet people who recon that have done grievous mistakes during their lives, others have not done so bad but they still wonder whether some of their choices in life were really the best. Some of them have been able to overcome the past regrets and continue on with their lives by learning the lessons whilst others are continually plagued with ‘if onlys’ about their past.
Which one are you?
Do you wish that you could live from now on without regrets?
Below are the top 5 regrets of dying. Do they sound familiar?
1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
What can be done about our regrets?
A common people’s reaction is to worry about. To worry continually means to plague, vex or persecute oneself. It causes great anxiety.
Does worrying solve any problems?
Not even one! You know this is an absolute truth!
To illustrate, imagine to move forward by rocking for hours in a rocking chair, expending all that energy but getting nowhere! It doesn’t make sense, does it? But this is what we do when we worry about, expending a lot of energy without taking any actions to solve the problem!
Therefore, instead of worry, some positive action on our part may produce good results. For example, we can apologize to the person we wronged, perhaps restoring good relations; we can avoid whatever led up to the wrong act, thereby preventing future problems.
Then again, we may simply have to live through some situations of life to learn the lessons to benefit from them. But worry is nothing but a form of paralysis that can leave one unable to live fully. The sad reality is that there is no reward for worry!
What are we doing right now, or failing to do, that years from now we will wish we have done or had done differently?
Are we maintaining a course of action that will prevent any possible regrets at a future time?
Instead of just worrying about such sobering questions, we want to use them to analyze ourselves and ensure that we are giving our best to live our lives to the fullest. Otherwise, we could be continuing in a way of life that may result in even more regrets.
Remember, regret comes in all shapes and sizes. Some are small, like when we do a bad thing for a good reason. Some are bigger, like when we let down a friend.
Some of us escape the pain of regret by making the right choice. Some of us have little time for regret because we’re looking forward to the future.
Sometimes we have to fight to come to terms with the past and sometimes we bury our regret by promising to change our own ways.
But not for the things we did – but, for the things we didn’t do, things we didn’t say that could have saved someone that we care about, chances we didn’t take, relationships we were afraid to have and decisions we waited too long to make.
The reality is that in life we do a lot of things, some we wish we had never done, some we wish we could replay a million times in our heads. But they all make us who we are, and in the end they shape every detail about us. If we were to reverse any of them we wouldn’t be the person we are. So just live, make mistakes, have wonderful memories, but never ever second guess who you are, where you have been and most importantly where it is you’re going.
‘Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.’ – Soren Kierkegaard
As the quote above says, life can be understood by looking back but that it must be lived by looking ahead. So instead of worrying about the past, dwelling on what cannot be undone, stop worrying and stretch forward to what lies ahead. On this very subject, my dear bro wrote a very inspiring article on how having a positive attitude and a strong belief in what you are doing will naturally infiltrate into positive actions which will inevitably move you closer towards your goals. Enjoy your reading: Attitude trumps Altitude.
To your living without regrets!
Double Winner Awards Author of ‘The book on Success‘