April 20, 2020
It’s strange isn’t it that a question we are asked quite often is “what are you biggest regrets?” Sometimes people ask us this even before they have asked what makes us the happiest in life. Why is this? It is just because thats the “normal” thing to do or is it because people want to learn from our mistakes…..are mistakes and regrets the same?
I get the question a lot mainly during Q&A’s after a talk I have given and my answer is always the same…..I do not have any! Some people may think thats somewhat arrogant and not true so let me explain.
Our brains have to make somewhere in the region of 35,000 decisions a day. Some of them are pretty straight forward and are the same day after day, some we even do pretty much subconsciously, for the rest there are certain decision making processes that we go through. Our end decision could be based on feelings, experiences, knowledge, fear and many more but in the moment that we make that decision we use our process and make it. No matter what we used to make our decisions when we made them for the most part we felt fully confident that it was the right decision.
As things transpire we may have made the greatest decision of our life or after the decision is made we may for example “up skill our knowledge” and so when asked to make the same decision in future based on the learning will react differently. This is part of life and learning, no one makes a bad decision on purpose no matter who you are from the high school kid to the CEO we make decisions that we think are right…..in the moment we make them.
Somehow however we beat ourselves up about the decisions that we later learn were not quite as good as they can be and we turn these into regrets. Regrets that we then think about, spend energy on and in some cases lead to things like anxiety and depression. They are however things in the past and things that we have absolutely no control about and no matter how much time and effort we put into them we can not change. What we can change is the way that we act in the future and that is where we should focus our attention.
We have not all made the best decisions in every part of our life but we have done so for a reason and that reason should not lead to regret. None of us have any time to process the baggage that comes with regret. So learn from the good decisions you have made and learn from the bad ones but please, non of us have time and energy for regret.
Lets live our lives with “No Regrets”