Saturday, June 30, 2007

"Never have to say wish I would have"


re-gret ri'gret - verb, -gret-ted, -gret-ting,–verb (used with object)
1. to feel sorrow or remorse for (an act, fault, disappointment, etc.): He no sooner spoke than he regretted it.
2. a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.
3. a feeling of sorrow or remorse for a fault, act, loss, disappointment, etc.

Synonyms deplore, repent, rue
Related Word bemoan, bewail, lament; grieve, mourn, sorrow; deprecate, disapprove

No matter what way you look at it, how your pronounce it, or define it, regret sucks. Whether it is regret for not taking advantage of an opportunity knocking at your door, doing something you know you should, or something you know that you shouldn’t, boiled down, it’s not pretty. And can leave you with an empty and guilt driven feeling.

Sometimes you can chalk up a ‘regret’ to a learning experience. You went out on a limb only to find that it wasn’t a great decision and to look back on it you can say “I regret doing that… but….” But, had you known of the consequences you wouldn’t have done it. And in most cases you come out a little wiser from every “OOPS”. So lesson learned, and most of the time you won’t make the same mistake twice. But at least now you know.

There are the small regrets that you have that you keep to yourself. You regret not following through with a goal you had set, you may regret overspending on a day out at the mall, and then there is the regret for overindulging at your favorite eatery. These regrets although small, are still kept in your memory. The next time you go to buy that pair of expensive jeans or bag, you think “Um, remember the last time.” Is it healthy to remind yourself of these small regrets or is this something that we can let go of? It’s all of personal choice what we chose to remember and what we chose to let go. But sometimes it isn’t healthy and can eat away at you. It’s almost as if you are mentally beating yourself up. I mean, does it really matter that you had a piece of cheesecake two weeks ago? Well, if you are three weeks away from a fitness show, then maybe, but otherwise, what’s the big deal… because 5 years from now, even 5 months, that day and err will be forgotten..

You can regret not going to a birthday party, funeral, or otherwise social event. That happens to be how you were feeling that day, the mood that you were in, or the company that you were going to have to keep. If you made the conscious decision not to attend and now you are feeling guilty, don’t dwell on it, you can’t get that event back. Why keep torturing yourself. Be sure, though, that you keep that in your active memory so that the next time you decide not to go to, for example, a 50th anniversary party, you say to yourself ‘…remember the last time…’ and you go. You can always leave early, but like most things, when it’s gone, it’s gone, and you can’t get it back.

When it comes to contest preparation, I have always said there is no worse feeling than standing on stage with the feeling of regret… coulda, shoulda, woulda…

If you have made the choice to go after your goals whether it be a fitness contest, art show, or starting your own business, just do it. Don’t make excuses and don’t do it half hearted, because when the end result comes and the final date arrives do you want to look back and have regrets? This, I tell you, is when regret will get the better part of you.

I wish I had spent more money to buy better product…
I wish I had put more time into perfecting my work
I wish I had trained harder, had less cheat meals, dieted longer.

When it is time for the unveiling of your well thought out goal, you want to be sure you have exhausted all resources in your journey toward your goal. There is nothing that you could have done to be any better than you are right at this very moment. You are at your best, the top of your game… win or lose, at the very least you can say “No Regrets”. You can walk away with your head held high. Then and only then can you begin racking your brain in order to figure out how to be better…. Better than your best. One of my favorite quotes “Don’t worry about being better than everyone else, worry about being better than you used to be.”

In my own archive of regrets I can say that a few of them were well thought out but just turned out to be wrong. Some were due to temptation and many were done under a lot of stress. A few were also caused by complete ignorance and stupidity. I can though say that within the few regrets that I do have no matter how cliché it may sound, it is with the things I did not do. Chances I may have missed, opportunities I did not act on, and things that I didn’t do. But as I had encountered that feeling, I can honestly say that I have learned to take more chances, put myself out there, and try new things. At least I can say I tried, and never wonder ‘what if.’ It can be a scary road though, so travel with care.

In the treasure chest of our brains we keep a little compartment of all our ‘regrets’. Things we should have done, and definitely things that we should not have done. Does it help to review them in some kind of formal fashion? Maybe, but this is not an easy thing to do. So in your pursuit of ‘no more regrets’, I wish you a safe journey.

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can't build on it; it's only for wallowing in.

1 comment:

Laurie said...

Great post - words to live by.