I’m pretty sure we’ve all walked home like the guy above before.
Regrets and “If Only”
In the words of Ol’ Blue Eyes, “Regrets, I’ve had a few”
Now a lot of people like to preach not looking backwards, forgetting the past and not dwelling on it. As it happens regret can be an extremely useful tool, if you can learn to it, it can be really powerful motivator.
Regrets can broadly be broken down into “I wish I had done/hadn’t done that”
This scenario occurs when you feel you missed out on something, didn’t capitalise on an opportunity you had or didn’t handle a situation in a way you wanted. E.g. “I wish I had started exercising earlier in life” or “I wish I hadn’t eaten that entire KFC Family Bucket on my own”
Variations can include a near jealous mindset of looking at what someone else has created and wishing it had been you that made that move. Finally, there’s the people that go through life with the constant “I could have done or been x,y,z but…” the people who would have ruled the world, been an athlete, been a billionaire but they just didn’t get the rub of the green, they didn’t get their chance to shine. Truth is, for 99.9999% of these people, even if they had been given their chance for greatness they wouldn’t have seized it and in most cases wouldn’t have even noticed, they have a victim’s mindset.
When it comes to looking at what other people have achieved, you have two options. Look at them with envy, wish them ill and hope they fail eventually, or, you can use their example as motivation, analyse how they managed whatever it was they did, what did they learn? What habits did they build? How did they position themselves to achieve? You follow up that “I wish I had…” with a “So now I will…”
“When it comes to looking at what other people have achieved, you have two options. Look at them with envy, wish them ill and hope they fail eventually, or, you can use their example as motivation”
In the case of regrets you have about things you did or didn’t do in your past you can use that motivate you further. Wish you had begun an exercise regime a year ago so you could have a great beach body? Start now then this time next year you won’t be looking back with regret again. Regretting eating a massive slice of cake? Remember the way you feel right now next time the cake comes out next time and have a smaller piece.
Obviously, some of your regrets may not be possible to resolve either because they are times or events that have passed, however use these by promising yourself that you won’t let any more opportunities pass. Always wanted to scuba dive or fly a plane, start making plans, research how you can do these things. Regret never going to university? Find a course that can fit around your life. So what if it takes 4, 5, however many years, in 5 years time you’ll still be the same age as you would have been had not done the course.
So yes, have regrets, but use them to power you through life, to seize every opportunity you can and to help you make the most out of the short time we have on this planet.
“The Shame” | Flickr – Photo Sharing! : taken from – https://www.flickr.com/photos/greyworld/6813149012
Author: Grey World https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/