A Funny Thing About Regret

Last Updated on: September 18, 2023

All of us have regrets – one way or another.

As we grow older, we realize that our lives could have gone another way if only we chose a different option – for better or for worse.

The “what ifs” and “what could have been’s” are some of the saddest phrases we can say, and unfortunately, it’s often used.

We all have thoughts deep inside about making better decisions resulting in a better outcome. “What if I chose the other job offer instead of this? What could have been if I focused more on my education? What if we didn’t break up?” and many more.

Regret can be both funny and sad.

Word Regret In Scrabble Game
Photo By Ds Stories On Pexels.com

I find it funny and sad at the same time that people are filled with regrets. Maybe that’s why many people love time travel stories and movies. Perhaps, it gives us a sense of hope that things in the past can be changed.

Sometimes I think about time travel. Going back in time with all my existing knowledge to enter the consciousness of my 7-year-old body—the simpler times. Then maybe I can change some significant decisions and indecisions I made and have not made in the past.

Isn’t it amusing when we walk away from a heated argument and tell ourselves afterward, “I should have said this!”. Rehearsing in our mind or out loud all the clever comebacks we could have said but didn’t.

We all have regrets. Some are failed relationships while others contemplate life choices. Many regrets wasted education, missed opportunities, and hurtful words.

The Regret Minimization Framework

If someone has some tips about regret, I think it would be Jeff Bezos, the second wealthiest man in the world today. He decides to use the Regret Minimization Framework, and this is what he means:

“I wanted to project myself forward to age 80 and say, ‘OK, I’m looking back on my life. I want to minimize the number of regrets I have.’ And I knew that when I was 80, I was not going to regret having tried this. I was not going to regret trying to participate in this thing called the Internet that I thought was going to be a really big deal. I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that. But I knew the one thing I might regret is not ever having tried. I knew that that would haunt me every day.”

Jeff Bezos

That’s why he left his high-paying corporate job and took the leap of faith. He then started an online bookstore that would eventually become Amazon – one of the world’s most recognizable brands today. During his decision process, he ensured that he would not regret pursuing any idea due to inaction.

Every life-changing decision is an intersection that takes us to a different destination. A path that eventually leads to the life we will live. Both small and significant life decisions have a role to play and have positive or negative consequences. So, we need to choose wisely.

Everyone has regrets, and it only increases as we age. They may differ in intensity and impact on our lives, which would only be revealed once we look in hindsight.

So when the time comes when we finally figure out the mysteries of life. Remember, the decision you made – good or bad – contributed to who you are. We are the collective consciousness of our choices, and I hope that we see the power of God in our lives.

I hope and pray that everyone will see God’s love and the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. The decision you’ll not regret. 

We don’t have the power to travel back in time and change our choices and reality. We have to live with it and hopefully learn from it. We are all time travelers – we are always traveling forward in time while revealing the fogs of war.

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