Is a Life of No Regrets Possible?
As you lay in bed late at night you may be taunted by thoughts of what you should have done throughout the day, rather than feeling reassured by what you actually did accomplish. Perhaps on your lunch break at work you may browse a social media site on your mobile phone (I can’t be the only one!) and begin to rethink your own choices as you look at the supposed successes of others. Maybe you still feel awful about causing a former lover’s heartbreak, and seem to be reminded of him or her at every turn. What you are experiencing can be triggered by a full gamut of sensory input- the sight of everyday objects, old photos, and music videos for example. It can even be unintentionally inflicted by the offhanded remark of a concerned friend. Does it have to be?
Regrets are feelings that most people are quite familiar with. If you encounter it often, you may wonder if it is even possible to live a life free of it. After all, it is one of the most intense of all feelings. It’s a nasty mix of anger, sadness, guilt, and unhappiness with a situation past or present. It may seem that the more you try to get away from it, the closer it sticks by you- that the harder you struggle with it, the tighter it grips you.
I am here to assure you that while it may not be entirely possible to prevent unexpected twinges of regret from occurring time to time, you can significantly reduce its presence in your life. You can start to live in the full-color, 3D, present of the present. It doesn’t have to be difficult to step out of the 2D, black and white, pain of the past. How?
The answer may sound too good to be true, but it isn’t. To live a life free of regrets, you should simply do your best to make good choices from the start. If you had good intentions when you made a particular decision, but got bad results, you shouldn’t really struggle with regrets because you likely learned a valuable lesson of sorts. Try to figure out what that lesson was. Try to learn something each and every time you make a mistake. That way, something good still comes of it.
Impulse acts readily as a road to regrets. Oftentimes, your initial reaction to what is being said around you is not going to be your final one. It’s okay to ask questions to garner a better understanding, but try not to judge others or get heated until you’ve had a chance to hear them out. Similarly, do your best to always treat others as you would like to be treated. These behaviors can lead you to a life of less regret about your interpersonal relations.
More importantly, if you seek a life of no regrets, it is important for you to understand the power and magnitude of positive thinking. Thinking positively will banish pangs of regret that unsuspectingly pop up and seek to sour your whole day. It is pertinent that you put your focus on the positive throughout the day, rather than the negative. For everything you feel you have done ‘wrong’ or wish you hadn’t done at all, try coming up with two things from the same time period that you are glad you did or feel that you did very well. Do this every time that you sense regret’s icy grip, and you just might rid yourself of it for good.
This article is a bit vague on purpose. It isn’t meant to be a roadmap, because the final destination is different for everyone. One person may only ever live a life of minimal regret due to a strong conscience, while another may live an entirely regret-free life with no trouble. The only way to find out which result you’ll find, though, is to try. You might just be surprised at where a little good decision making, positive thinking, and self-love can get you!