Don’t Live a Life Full of Regret

You’ve probably heard a lot of interesting quotes about life’s regrets.

None of us is immune to the unwelcome sentiment of regret.

It’s far too easy to look back and wonder why something didn’t turn out as we hoped … or why we didn’t try something we now regret … even said something to someone we’d like to take back.

This is a provocative answer to the question of regrets

One of the reasons you may face regret more often than you’d like is summarized in this simple exchange which hit home for me.

The legendary writer, James Lee Burke, whose brilliant novels are bursting with the gritty side of life, included this exchange in his recent book, The New Iberia Blues”.

It’s Clete Purcell, the best friend of the main character, Dave Robicheaux, who poses this question, using one of his pet names for him:

“What are the things you regret most in your life, bwana?'

“Constantly taking my own inventory.”

James Lee Burke

Are you "taking your own inventory" too often?

That tendency may be the impetus for all of our regrets.

I suspect we not only take “our own inventory” too often … but when we do, joy and satisfaction are on vacation and regret steps in to take their place.

Regret appears like an irresistible force and we have to consciously push back and try to reflect on the achievements and joy we’ve experienced in our lives and kick our regrets to the curb.

Otherwise, the disappointment that emerges can become an unforgiving roadblock to our happiness.

Regrets are inevitable but they don't define you

Remember: You can learn from the past but you can’t recapture it … and you don’t want to live there.

Celebrate your accomplishments and enjoy the ride. There is no hope for a better day yesterday … so cut yourself a little slack.

I’ve found this mantra to be the most powerful way to step back from my regrets, give myself some credit for doing my best … and soldier on with this phrase foremost in my mind:

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