A dear friend asked this interesting question recently. He asked, “how do you avoid the regrets you don’t want to have?”
Short answer? You can’t.
But allowing the potential for regrets to stop you is unfortunate. Without action, you have no regrets, it is true. But you also have no victory. Without action, you have no momentum.
If you want to live the life that you imagine, you have to face the potential for regrets. So a better question to ask is, what do I do with the regrets when they happen? (Assuming you will take action, and thereby incur regret at some point in life)
No Regrets? Impossible!
“No regrets” is self-help jargon. A life without regret doesn’t exist. Everyone’s got them. So what?
Regrets are the residue of active creation. If you are doing something worth doing in life–anything at all–you will have regrets. You’re not perfect. That’s okay. (Hint: Neither is anyone else!) Once you get over that little bump, then you can deal with the real issue. What do I do now?
So you have regrets. Will you allow them to define you? Will you allow them to determine the limits of what you can and cannot accomplish? May I offer a different way to think of regrets?
Here’s the crux of the matter. Will you use regret as a club to bludgeon yourself for daring to risk, or will you leverage it as information to create something greater–to risk more precisely?
So I say, instead of avoiding regrets, collect them. Get as many as you can, as quickly as you can. Learn from them, and create some more. The effort spent trying to avoid regrets shackles you from daring greatly and creating the life you were meant to live.
The life of no regrets is not worth living. Instead, live your life with authenticity and integrity. Where you err, first pardon yourself and then ask forgiveness of others. Where you fear, walk with courage so others may follow. Where you find regret, grow with humility, confident that knowing better leads to doing better.
The question is not whether you will succeed but whether you will dare to persevere. (tweet this)