It’s been a while since I’ve had a reflective post, and I’ve had a lot on my mind recently. So here goes…
A while back I heard an interview with Michael Caine where he was asked, “…do you have any regrets in life?” in which his reply was, “I only regret not having done something.” He goes on further to say, “…if you did not do it and it was something great, that regret would stay with you for the rest of your life. Regrets about things you did do never stay with you.”
Regrets about things you did do may not have the expected outcome you are looking for, but at least you can’t say you didn’t try. I’ve been trying to apply this philosophy more recently since I want to be able to say I have very few regrets for things not done. For the things you did try, you may regret doing it if the outcome did not result in your expectations but at least you can continuing in knowing that you tried.
I feel sad to say that even at 25, I feel like I have regrets for not having done things. I look back and see missed opportunities and think, “What if…?” What would have been the outcome had I followed that path? Would I have been happier? Could something great have happened? It’s painful not knowing if I’ll ever find out the answers to those questions, or if there’s any chance at rekindling those opportunities.
That’s not to say I’m not trying to learn from those regrets and move forward. It’s difficult to try and adjust your life to a new philosophy especially when it pushes the limits of your comfort zone. But even in the midst of my failures and regrets I have to move forward realizing the potential of having no regrets. If I make it to be old and gray, I want to be able to look back on my life and say, “I have accomplished everything I wanted to accomplish and left no stones unturned.” I want to do the best I possibly can with the opportunities that are presented to me and be satisfied with the outcome, no matter how horrible it may be.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, and life changing philosophies take time as well. I’m taking it one day at a time and trying to learn from my mistakes. I think that’s the best I can do.