It is a time in your life when you are faced with emptiness and an overwhelming desire for change. It is boredom with routine, a midlife crisis, or a lost dream that was never fulfilled .
What makes a person regret?
We have all made decisions in our life that we later questioned. We are intelligent beings that have been trained to be inquisitive since the first day our legs were strong enough to explore the world. This type of nature has led to many great discoveries, inventions and schools of though but have also been the cause of many disasters and premature deaths.
Soren Kierkegaard, a famous philosopher, was quoted at saying that: “there are two possible situations - one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it - you will regret both.” We are a species that is never satisfied. Gluttons of the earth. We can never have enough of something and most often we just want more.
It is simple to say that we must be happy with what we have and not long for those we lack; that regret and what if’s only bring further despair and longing. But life is short. We are not placed here to conform to anyone’s ideals. We are here to have our cake and eat it too.
Regret comes from choices we have made in the past. The key word here is past therefore meaning that pondering on regret is like trying to find a way through a dead-end street. There is no getting around it and forcing your way through will only prove to be ultimately frustrating.
The only way to work with regret is to not work against it but to find a way around it. Similar to how water behaves when it is faced with an obstacle. It does not fight through it but looks for another path instead.
The next time a thought of regret occurs to you, try to discover and save the dream that was attached to it instead of wallowing in sorrow while being buried slowly with “what if’s”. There just might be some part of that dream that is salvageable. Maybe this time, we will be smarter from the mistakes we have made in the past. Maybe this time, we can do it right.
You will never know unless you give it a try.