1. If you could have changed something in the past, why didn’t you?
2. Did you learn the lesson? If not, why not?
3. Why don’t you change now? What is holding you back?
I think the reason that life is so hard on some people is they don’t ask those questions and they are unwilling to change. You can sigh and shrug it off with, “Que sera, sera…whatever will be will be.” The problem with that attitude is that it shirks self-responsibility and the outcomes will be far from positive.
Here are a few of my regrets:
- That I didn’t always follow the advice Mom and Dad gave me. It turns out they actually were pretty smart people. Parents actually know what they are talking about! Who knew?
- That I didn’t listen to the inner voice telling me, “Don’t do it!” I learned that lesson the hard way on more than one occasion.
- That I did not learn early in life that the secret of contentment is having a grateful heart. This caused me grief in many ways because of the constant striving to have more. Thankfully, I understand that now. I have learned to be truly thankful for what I have.
- That I hurt people I loved by saying or doing things that were selfish or insensitive. I am much better at not doing this now…probably because I have been humbled in the process and have seen the devastation that selfishness leaves.
- That I ever let fear hold me back. Fear is the enemy of our destiny.
The good news here is I don’t live there. I don’t beat myself up for the woulda, coulda, shouldas of my life. That is wasted time. It serves no purpose other than to torment myself. I can’t change it, so why keep reliving it? There were some lyrics to a song that went, “Every road I’ve taken lead to my regret.” Don’t let that be your epitaph.
If you are one of those people who beats yourself up over the past, then I hope you ask yourself the questions above. Life is too short to be lived in reverse. Start fresh today. Change your mind, your heart, your habits, and your attitude if you want to live your life without regrets.