“Aiming or claiming to have no regrets signals a life of missed opportunities. Regret offers exceptional levels of insight that comes with sudden cerebral openness to new lessons toward change. Let’s value regret’s call to deeper, wider, and higher thinking. Choose to be motivated and enlightened by regret. Learn what you can. Move on.” -- Mr. John R. Dallas Jr.

No regrets?

This was a spin on the famous saying of 'live with no regrets', and for me, it was one that finally let me release a lot of the regret I had been holding onto in my life. The classic saying always sounds nice in theory, but it’s not that easy to live with no regrets.

We can’t just make certain feelings disappear or act like certain situations never occurred. It is common for us to look back on our lives and look at all the various things we could have done differently, but that only hinders our growth and prospective future.

I looked in retrospect at the times I regretted most, and instead of moping about what could’ve been, it is crucial to look at what was, why it was, and how it could be different in the future. We should treat regret like a failure: accept it, learn from it, and avoid making the same mistakes in the future. Ignoring regret leads to a similar outcome of not consciously learning from it.

We would be mistaken if we aimlessly wandered through life without any strong emotions of regret throughout.

It is in our nature to long for a different outcome. We could easily take any situation that we have experienced and think of ways that that situation could have gone better in hindsight.

Embrace it

Regret is never pleasant, but we often overlook just how powerful it can be. We tend to push those feelings away and rarely want to recall those memories, however, those moments may hold some vital keys to the future that may end up opening doors somewhere down the line.

Take time to look back at the moments you regret in life and delve into them. Reflect on the reasons why you made the choices that you did and the consequences that followed. Hypothesize what would have happened if you made a different decision, learn from your past, and use those lessons to build a better future.

Regret is an experience, a moment, a memory, and above all else, a learning opportunity. Embrace it, ponder it, analyze it, and learn from it. If you don’t end up putting conscious thought into regret, the irony is that you will probably end up with even more of it in the future.