I’m writing about regret today. Why? Because it affects us every day and I just happened upon this great infographic from Happify about it and wanted to share. Because I’m a nice person. And again, because it’s relevant.
Regret can linger in the mind. But it’s like the Force: you can use it for good or evil (don’t go the Darth Vader route, it’s got cool factor but also highly unpopular and you won’t end well). What are some of my regrets? Heck, I have too many to count. Most are small ones that disappear by the end of the day, like eating that whole dish of fried chicken by myself when it was CLEARLY not something my doctor would recommend. By the way, having a doctor who actually gets to know you and has things in common with you (like going to the same high school) really adds to the guilt and regret factor. But one of the bigger regrets I have is not getting my college degree. That one is of the lingering kind since I’ve knocked my head against some glass ceilings due to it lacking on my resume. Another reason I regret it is because, I’m not a dummy. I worked hard in school and did fairly well when I was interested in the subject. So the regret has a lot to do with regret that I didn’t keep focused on school until I had that piece of paper in my hands and instead ran off to get a job and tried climbing ladders and, in general, got distracted from my goal. I’m not the best climber anyway and it’s a good thing I don’t have any trees in my backyard to fall out of.
So now I’m choosing to use that regret as a motivating force to get my head out of my a… ahem… and forge a path to correcting that lack of a degree. It’s now a point of pride that I get that degree so I don’t let that laziness, lack of focus, etc. from when I was young and dumb haunt me. And to be perfectly blunt, I don’t want that younger, dumber me dictating to my relatively young, (and hopefully) less dumb me.
Here are this week’s Kick Me takeaways:
- IDENTIFY any regrets that are hindering you today and that you can actually DO something about. Drinking that whole bottle of tequila with the guys on that bachelor trip last year doesn’t count. Really, that was last year… let it go. Regret about missing that school play that your kid worked really hard on because you put too many hours in at work, put that on the list.
- DO SOMETHING about them. Look at that list and create goals that can eliminate that sense of regret. Like spending quality time with your kid doing something she’s been wanting to do and give them your undivided attention. Or work on scheduling time with the family and making it more of a priority so they know they’re important to you.
- REMEMBER, we’re only human. We make mistakes and we’re not alone in that. It’s what we do about those mistakes that make us happier about the type of humans we are. Work on eliminating those regrets and preventing future related ones and life becomes a happier place.
Oh! And don’t forget to check out the cool infographic about regret I mentioned above: Happify
Have a great week!