Thanks in part to the movie “We’re the Millers,” there seems to be a spike among people young and old in the idea of living your life entirely without regrets.
French footballer turned actor Eric Cantona once said “he who has regrets cannot look at himself in the mirror,” but footballer turned actor Eric Cantona also once kicked a fan in the face so something tells me he’s not living a life entirely free of regretful acts.
If you’re one of the millions who have jumped on the “no regrets” bandwagon, I’m here to tell you that you should get back off it as soon as possible. There is nothing–nothing–wrong with having regrets in your life. In fact, it’s both health and intelligent to be able to think of a few things you’d do differently if you got another chance.
If I was given the opportunity to start my life again I’d do countless things differently. I’d do almost everything differently. And whether you’re ready to admit it or not, you probably would too.
My saying that I’d change a lot of the decisions that I’ve made in the past might make you think that I’m living a life so full of regrets that the weight of them prevents me from ever leaving my bed in the morning. But you’d be wrong. What it does mean is that I’m not perfect. And unless you are you’re the embodiment of human perfection, there is always room to improve yourself and your choices.
Suppose for a moment that you were to wander upon a curious piece of gadgetry that you had never to that point in your life seen before. This small contraption featured prominently a piece of cheese, seemingly up for grabs, so you decided to grab for it and in doing so, released the arm of the mousetrap and snapped your finger at the joint. You’d likely make the conclusion that you ought not to do that again. Now if you were told right before you made that mistake that if you attempted to grab that piece of cheese, your finger would be broken, you’d likely opt to instead drive to the store and simply purchase some cheese.
This is the beauty of hindsight. If you were given it in this scenario, you’d likely take it–so why not do the same in real world, day-to-day situations? If there aren’t things in your life that you regret or would do differently, you haven’t grown. These are the experiences that you should learn from–and while they may shape you, wanting to do things differently shouldn’t be looked at in a negative connotation.
Just as there should always be room for you to grow as a human being, there should always be room to improve on the choices you’ve made in the past. Don’t dwell on the mistakes and regrets that you have, rather use them to grow, learn and better prepare yourself for the future.