“Regrets are mistakes you never had an opportunity to make right”
This past year and a half has been quite interesting for me. I’ve spent some time refocusing my goals in my professional and personal life. 18 months later I’ve a new career, focus and I’ve determined exactly what I want in my personal life.
I learned what it is to be happy especially when it comes to the people I want to enjoy life with.
I try to focus on the positives in life and look for the opportunities out of various challenges or negative outcomes. In doing so I try to ensure I don’t have any regrets with what I do or say. I suppose what I found disappointing is that there is one thing I actually genuinely regret and I’ll get to that later.
Now, I know we should never have regrets according to social norm however, when I look at it a bit closer, I believe regrets are simply mistakes you never had an opportunity to make right. What I mean by this is, mistakes are part of life and therefore regrets are too. While no one wants to admit to them, unfortunately they are part and parcel of learning and we are configured from a small age to do, that is why life is so exciting.
To live you’ve ultimately got to learn, it’s limitless. You learn from your family, friends, colleagues, teachers, experiences, surroundings, emotions, (you name it) and also by making mistakes. All these things help shape who we are and help determine what we want in life. Some of us hear advice from so many people, however we don’t necessarily listen and the decision is solely ours along with the responsibility and outcome be it good or bad.
For me living is following your gut and if you make mistakes in the process, thats ok because the most important thing is to learn from these mistakes.
So no regrets right!!
As I mentioned, I believe regrets are simply mistakes you never had an opportunity to make right. Think of it, no regrets therefore means you’d the chance to make things right which is a positive outcome and you therefore turned that mistake into a positive and voila – the regret is gone.
How about that time you didn’t get the chance make it right. Be it to yourself or that special someone. You didn’t get the chance to show you’d learned from the mistake then what happens. Does it remain a regret forever?
Regret for me isn’t a negative thing, now hear me out….
While its deemed to be a negative word, why not try turn that regret into a positive. Regretting something ultimately can make you a better person. Regretting an action or deed you did or a heart you broke can give you purpose in life because it can unlock your true character, you may not be proud of your previous actions and thats why you see it as a regret, you wish to make up for it so much you’ll do whatever it takes. Its not a regret if you don’t care or your looking for self fulfilment, thats a whole different nasty story.
So why do people say you should never have regrets in life? To be sure you don’t have any regrets you first must have the opportunity to prove you’ve learned from them so you can in call those potential regrets – mistakes.
Making mistakes is In our DNA. We’ve been making mistakes all our lives and all our lives we’ve had the opportunity to learn from them and self improve.
I recently met up with an old friend of mine who royally screwed up a few years back however he had the courage to look me dead in the eye and say sorry and truly mean it. While it took a long time for that to happen I could see that he regretted how he’d handled the situation and he was looking for an opportunity to show he had realised his actions. While time is a healer the best thing someone can do is admit they messed up and if they are truly sorry then I believe they deserve another chance and show they have learned from it.
On a personal note a few years ago I too royally messed up. Like us all I’ve made plenty of mistakes along the way. I’ve had the opportunity to learn from them all except one which is what triggered this post and what I still see as a regret. I let someone I cared about and who was close to me down. Since then a lot has happened in both our lives and while I’m happy now, if I could change one thing back then I would.
I now understand the effect my regret has had. At the time I went with my head and not my gut and that is why I regret. I apologised recently and that wasn’t the hard thing, what was hard was the reaction and to see the hurt I’d caused was still there. I can’t change what has happened however I’ve an opportunity to let my actions speak for themselves. Where this journey ends I don’t know, however I believe that if you’re given an chance to make amends then you seize it with all you’ve got no matter what. Thats what I’m going to do. Remember regrets are mistakes you never had the opportunity to make right so realise when you’ve a chance to make it right and take it.
This can also be applied to business also. We make many mistakes in business however we usually get the chance to make new ones over and over again which is majorly positive. New mistakes mean we are learning from our old ones and progressing. Ultimately it means we are reducing any opportunity for regrets to set in. For example, make the wrong business decision it may be a regret at the time however the next time you’re in a similar situation you’ll show you’ve learned and then (for want of a word) upgrades from regret to mistake, which you’ve learned from. And so the process continues.
You gain more respect in business and in life if you admit to your mistakes and show how you’ve learned from them.
The next time you regret something, think how you can turn that regret into a mere mistake and ultimately show how you’ve learned and are now better as a result of it. Turn that regret into a positive. While the outcome may not be solely down to you, believe in what you’re trying to achieve and if you’re given that slither of hope, seize it.
That’s what I’m doing anyway. Fingers crossed.
When in Rome.