I Regret Nothing

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Something that’s been on my mind lately is the notion of regret. All my life, I have lived with a little bit of a utilitarian perspective: What will maximize my enjoyment or happiness the most, even if you suffer consequences as a result? Do the consequences outweigh the benefits? Does the work you put in yield a result that was worth the effort?

(Truly a business student… heh. Not even sorry.)

As we live life aiming to capture the biggest net benefit that we can, we undoubtedly run into situations that make us take a step back and wonder if it was worth the risk, or the effort. I’ll be the first to admit it: I make mistakes on the daily. I screw up, things don’t always go my way, I beat myself up after the fact for not doing something right. (Not to mention that I can be super clumsy, but it’s just something that I’ve embraced)

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Case in point.

But the reality is, just as you cannot control the weather or when the sun sets everyday- you can’t control the way other people act towards you. You can’t control what roadblocks are thrown at you in this journey. But you can control how you respond. Life is 10% what happens to you, and 90% how you react to it.

Sometimes, you can do everything in your power to make something work, and it just doesn’t. Sometimes, what you thought was your ulitmate dream job/school/anything doesn’t quite turn out as expected. Sometimes, the people that you care about turn their back on you, and you have no idea why.

But if you were given a chance to go back in time and do it all over again, would you do anything differently?

If the answer is no, then you have to be content with the fact that you did your best and lived without reservations. If something makes you happy, don’t hold back. If something upsets you, cut your losses and move on.

Looking back at the past year of my life, I can safely say I don’t regret a single moment of it. I’ve learned, grown, and changed exponentially; I’m not even remotely the same person as I was before. I’m a firm believer in our personalities never being static- we are constantly evolving based on new experiences and the people around us. I’m glad I made the choices I did, took the risks I did, and had the experiences that I did.

Live boldly and unapologetically, because we only get one shot at this – so we better make it one hell of a ride.

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Perspective: Life Without Regrets

How amazing would it be to live a life free of regrets? Where you don’t look back and beat yourself up for not having done differently? To freely live out the cliche of “you only live once”?

News flash: You can. Despite all the shortcomings, the times you’ve failed, you can live a fulfilled life where you look back and say, ‘I have no regrets’.

To me, it’s all about perspective. I could go walk down memory lane and point at each “mistake” that I made, and say how I could change this and that if given the chance for a do-over. OR I could think of each mistake as a learning experience, and remind myself that if things hadn’t gone the way they had, I wouldn’t be who I am and where I am today.

Each life experience has helped shape who I am. Through adversity, I learned how to stay strong and keep my eye on the prize, and to take the high road. I matured and learned to take criticism with both an open ear and a grain of salt. When disagreements arose, I’d always think of what I did wrongly before placing the blame on others.

Through each trial and tribulation, I would constantly try to better myself as a person to make me feel better. I’d pour my heart and soul into things that mattered, such as my studies, work, fitness, and spending time with those I love. And when I emerged from the tough times, I’d always bounce back stronger than before.

To be quite frank, I’m not quite at that stage where I’m happy with every single choice I’ve made in life. Because I’m not. But it’s one thing to beat yourself up for the choices you’ve made, and another to accept your decisions, know that you did the best you could in the circumstance, and label it as a lesson learned. Now you know for next time.

And letting go of regret is the most liberating feeling ever.