My Mom once told me that jealousy is a wasted emotion. It’s true, and it helped to open my eyes. That and show me another trait I’ve inherited from my Dad.
In a similar vein I’ve always thought that having regrets is pointless. Instead, learning from our mistakes is better. To that end I’ve always mantained that I don’t have regrets. Now watch this video (via Chris Brogan):
It made me think about all those things that we know we need to do, or should do, but just don’t. And how we eventually end up having regrets just because we didn’t have the self-discipline to do anything about it.
I realised, though, that maybe it’s not such a bad thing to have regrets. Rather, we should acknowledge them but make sure we learn from them at the same time. To this end I’ve decided (in true self-help tradition, with me being such a big fan ‘n’ all) to acknowledge five regrets and start thinking about how to avoid the same mistakes again.
Here goes, in no particular order, my five biggest regrets;
- Not spending enough time with my family
- Allowing myself to get so stressed for the past eighteen months
- Loosing someone who was very special to me
- Letting work become far more important than my social life
- Keeping myself to myself
Those might sound quite big, and they probably are, in all honesty, but they’re not impossible to fix.
So, here’s five ways I’m going to avoid making those same mistakes again;
- Make time to go and see family, even if just for a cuppa and a chat.
- Take lots of breaks instead of working constantly and never ‘switching off’.
- Never take those around me for granted, always be aware of how they impact my life.
- Go out and enjoy the company of friends, even if I don’t ‘feel like it’. It will always seem like the best idea once I’m out.
- Be honest and stop bottling things up (inherited from Mom). It’s good to talk.
And for all those people who think this kind of thing is all a bit lame, just remember one thing you regret and then ask youself, honestly, if you could have done anything different. Think of all those things you’ve been meaning to do, or dreamed of doing, and imagine what will happen if you don’t do them. Will you regret it?