How often do you beat yourself up feeling guilty over things you regret? You regret things you did as well things you did not do when you knew you should. You regret things you said, and things you left unsaid. You regret not starting a retirement savings plan when you were younger. You regret not standing up at that meeting and voicing your concerns on an important issue. You regret not having a courageous conversation with a friend about their behaviors and actions. You regret not being honest with a friend when they asked for feedback.
There is no value of beating yourself up over regrets. Living with the woulda, coulda and shouldas will not make you a better person, it will only serve to stress you out. Carrying around a backpack filled with guilt and regrets will weigh you down and wear you out.
“We must all suffer from one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret. The difference is discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.”
You cannot change what you did or did not do. You can however, learn from the experience, grow from reflecting on the experience and be better off for the experience. You can embrace the Chinese proverb that says, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” and take action based on what you learned.
You cannot change what you said or did not say. You can offer a sincere apology for what you did say. You can say what you left unsaid. If that is not possible because that person has passed away, then forgive yourself, move forward and share your experience with others so they can learn from your experience.
You can learn to live with the pain of discipline. The discipline to do what is right when it is not what is popular or expedient. The discipline to have those courageous conversations with your friends, family and peers. The discipline to stand up and own up when you screw up. The discipline to stand up when others are being bullied or picked on in the workplace. The discipline to be the voice of reason on emotional issues. The discipline to speak up for what is right up when others choose to be silent. The discipline to exercise daily. The discipline to read, learn and grow daily. The discipline to ask the tough questions of yourself and others. The discipline to ask for clarification, rather than to assume.
What’s Important Now? Discipline is a learned behaviour. Learn to live with the pain of discipline.
Maximizing human potential through Life's Most Powerful Question - What's Important Now?
If you found value in this post please share this with your friends, family and co-workers.