(Published in Daijiworld TV & media network in 2019).
I had a seminar at the Lokhandwala complex in Andheri in January. It was aimed at creating awareness and defeating the Fears. When I questioned the participants about a few other issues that bother our daily life and limits the growth, word “regret” dominated the list. In this article, I am trying to shed some light on The Regrets, the baggage of our past actions, and their impact on our lives at present.
One of the fundamentals of happy life says that “There is no point in regretting a decision taken at a particular time. It is because whatever decision we made is the right decision under those circumstances. It may not look wiser after some time. It is because as time passes, our circumstances also do change. Human tendency is always to make the right decision, whatever he/she feels right at that particular moment. Even an action that looks bad for others may be the right one for the person who is in a particular situation. We usually comment from a distance without being in that situation and without knowing what the person is going through.
Remember readers, under the light of new exposure, new learning learned through life, most of the best decisions also have a chance of coming under the shadow of regret in the future. That is why it is always advisable to rectify things of the past (mostly so when we try to reconnect with the lost relationships), we should consider the present as the priority and should take on from there rather than staying stationary in the past simply because we cannot get back the time and situation of the past on which certain decisions were made.
Regrets are nothing but dragging forces. They may not halt our progress as such but definitely may cut down the pace. The impact of the past may not allow us to strike the right decision at the right moment in the present, leading to some unpleasant situations.
When an action of ours enters into the list of regrets? It is when we fail to act on the wrong decision we made. Our inactive state of mind should be regretted somewhat because it is not the action but the motive and the type of process we employ before the action, and laziness after it makes us regret it.
Generally, we tend to put down the “near miss” incidents in life. These are the signals coming from within, cautioning that something is going wrong. When we downplay these warning signals, we land in trouble.
We should never forget that we may end up what we wanted most of the time, but we may initiate an action a few times, but its result may not match our designs or dreams. It is not in our hands always. There is no point in regretting such situations but to move forward with new experiences at the same initial pace. In such situations, we should consider the motive/intentions of the action instead result. If the intentions are good and the result is still negative, there is no point in getting struck.
Life throws many challenging situations toward us. Sometimes we fall into heavy confusion, whether to face or fly. By attempting such situations will reduce the regrets instead of avoiding them. If we do not attempt, we do not stand a chance of getting what we wanted. Often, actual happening is beyond our reach; it may either be positive or negative. Thinking that result would be negative (perception) if we do not make an effort, we definitely will be the loser. Whatever the result, by attempting, at least we learn a new lesson that will develop a more matured personality.
Regrets of not attempting and losing are much more profound than the real regrets of failure if any.
Should not we regret it? We should. Nevertheless, that leads to more maturity, new learning, and understanding rather than dragging force. Those regrets should be a building block for the future’s positively intentive actions, irrespective of the results. Because most of the time, our deliberate actions give us huge disappointments.
We encounter difficulties, pain not to keep us down but to conquer them, learn from them, and do our best possible from its learning. Regrets are often rectifiable. It is not the result. Almost every action of ours may be corrected. I have often witnessed the majority of the people being known that they are at fault do not take any action to correct it. The time spent on regretting, if used in rectifying the mistakes, we would not have the possibility of regretting anything. Often we do not do this and look at others for possible solutions as it is someone else’s job.
We should learn to value the intention of our actions; the result may be good or bad. People who regret are generally those who did not learn anything from their past experiences. Let us do our best to our ability with good intention and move forward.
Recreation is a small word with a considerable impact. The person who knows the art of recreation hardly regrets it. Invest the time we spend on regrets in recreation. Regrets never pay, but the learning does. Regrets remain as regrets only when we fail to learn from them.
Every second we are moving toward death. We will perish one day, do not know when, where, and how. In the light of this truth, do we regret our birth, our existence? Not at all. Do not take and treat life as punishment, and it is to rejoice even when we pass through a difficult phase.
In July, one of my companions went to India for his son’s admission to an engineering college after a yearlong planning how to proceed and select considering many parameters, including his son’s week command over certain subjects. When he returned, I was shocked to learn that he selected the same, which we ruled out. The reason is even astonishing. One fine day he met a person working as a clerk in an engineering college in Mangalore who advised him to go for that particular engineering branch since most people select that. So my friend also wanted to be one of them and ignored all the things we were discussing for months. Here the problem is what made him select that finally, he selected. He fell for an isolated person’s advice who is not exposed to an outside competitive world; my friend ignored his own experience and exposure and his son’s abilities.
The above small illustration is sufficient to understand why we face unpleasant situations in life. Who is responsible if this student fails to progress in his studies? Emotions play a significant role while making certain decisions in life, which may take our entire life span to recover. One 60 seconds meeting with the wrong person made to sideline all the year-long planning in a rush to give his son the best, which was not the best at all. Clouds of emotion covered the rational thoughts in a minute, and the results may be a lifelong punishment. Having control over one’s emotions and pressing more on rational realities will help in the long run. May play a vital role in overcoming mistakes.
To lead a happy life is a critical IQ, but managing emotions (EI) also plays a significant role.
When I was reading a book on Psychology, I read an imperative sentence that changed the direction of my life. We can avoid all our tomorrow’s regrets, remorse’s, pains, and sorrows related to our actions by concentrating on one thing, by checking on the actual process, “How we do, what we do.” You will be surprised by the result. Because 90% of our actions we do not do the way they should have been done, which eventually leads to regret. Most decisions are based on indecision, confusion, faulty pieces of advice, influenced by the wrong environment, and so on.
Our understanding of the problem we encounter is very vital, which we ignore often. Originality is missing in the majority of our actions. Generally, when we commit a mistake, we hesitantly accept it and behave in such a manner that the solution part belongs to someone else. Be the boss of your problem and the solution as well. Getting advice is welcome and needed, but we should remember that those pieces of advice are not facing the actual situation. It is we and our understanding of the problem and action that counts. That is why when we seek advice and direction, we see that they are professionals, resourceful, indifferent, and are not emotionally connected to us in any way.
Before concluding, let me repeat that imperative sentence above again, which may help you change the way you look into your life; before doing/taking action, kindly check how you do what you do and do the right thing. “.Check the process of an action we do for the right steps taken.” It is about putting the process under the microscope; processing the process itself. I am sure you will not be having any more regrets in life.
Some of the regrets that bother us in life are when we fail to keep pace with the changing scenarios around us. Changes are an integral part of our life. If we want to improve, we should learn to welcome changes.
We may be having an extensive list of regretful incidents in life. Behind every such incident/action, the culprit is the same always, and the mistake is unique; we do not employ the correct process.
By Vincent D’sa; Dubai.