Useful Regrets

useful regrets

I love podcasts and one of my favorites is NPR’s Hidden Brain with Shankar Vedantam.  One episode “Why We Can’t Shake Life’s ‘Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda’ Moments” explored regret.

Regret is a big emotion; people get angry, self-critical, mournful and disappointed about the choices they’ve made.  They blame their decisions for causing their unhappiness or opportunities they’ve missed.  They imagine every choice has either a right or a wrong decision.

That’s simply not true.  For every decision we make, we use the experience, information and resources available to us at the moment.  Each decision presents us with different challenges and opportunities.

The most common regrets people have are:

  • Not speaking up
  • Telling lies
  • Making small mistakes that had big consequences
  • Lost and never found
  • Playing it safe

It’s a waste of time to squander your attention on past choices.  Those moments are gone.

Instead, focus your attention on now.  Bring the best of you – your wisdom and experience – to the next opportunity that presents itself.  And don’t look back.
The road is easier together,
Linda

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