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Symptom or feeling? What remorse reveals about you
Often people ask what we would have preferred to do differently in life or what we regret. Recently someone put the question on Facebook like this: If you could, which decision would you make differently today? Of course, I couldn't hold back my answer.
No risk, no regret
To be honest: I am annoyed by this question, all this past-subjunctive fuss. What could and would and should have been. Even if the question was phrased a little differently this time, behind it, once again, lurks the scrutinizing look at regret. But I ask myself, you and everyone out there: Can I, can you, can we REALLY regret something? Whenever I decide something, it is always and exclusively based on the current state of my possibilities. I use everything that I have in terms of experience, knowledge, and room for maneuver up to this point. The fact that later in life I will have better knowledge, different experience and greater scope for action or whatever is a completely different story. The status back then was the best I had. How am I supposed to regret it?
So by definition, there is no decision that I could have made differently and there is no decision that I regret. Or ... is there?
A dangerous look into the past
Something else that irritates me, no, even bothers me about this kind of questions is the focus on the past and the problem orientation. Once again, the focus is directed to something that, firstly, I can no longer change because it has already taken place and, secondly, the resulting "damage" is primarily considered. Not a solution, an alternative, a new way, or the like. Whatever goal you have, it won't be achieved yesterday. Look into the now, look ahead.
The message of regret
If we regret something, it means one thing above all: we decided against our better knowledge. We acted against our current state of knowledge and experience. Didn't listen to our intuition. Didn’t trust a gut feeling. In short, we did not make the most and best out of our present possibilities. Because only then do we know and feel later that we could damn well have done better. And not just today, but back then!
Looking at it this way, regret is the best guide to ourselves and the question: how authentic are our decisions? How close are they to who we really are and what we really want to do in life?
Therefore I regret nothing
No, I have no regrets. Not even the decisions that brought me unpleasant, stupid, or bitter consequences. Because I decided from the bottom of my heart, full of conviction and with everything that was part of me at the time of the decision. I couldn't have decided any better and I was ready to face any consequence at any time.
If you want your life to fall into place, dare to make your best decisions. They don't have to be “right”, they must be you one hundred percent. When you look back, you should look at gold, crap, failures, and successes with exactly one feeling: the deep certainty that you have given your best and that you were alive. Exactly this is luck.
Foto 1: Christina Pörsch
Foto 2: Katy Otto