What if I studied harder at school or an extra degree at university? What if I chose a different career? What if I rather invested my money elsewhere?
Most common regrets
In a Ted Talk video Don’t Regret Regret Kathryn Schulz mentions that education and careers chosen are the things that people regret most in life.
Education – Many people regret that they didn’t study harder or further, because it could have opened doors or job opportunities that they now do not have.
Careers – Because people often land in jobs that they do not like and a career change is one of the most stressful things in life.
Unfortunately most people do not enjoy the work they do.
Kathryn Schulz herself feels that one of her biggest regrets in life is the tattoo that she got at the age of twenty nine. She then mentions that regret often plays out as follow: (Her tattoo makes for a good example)
- Denial: I wish I can make it go away.
- Bewilderment: How could I have done that? (You cannot identify with it.)
- Punishment: I can kick myself.
- Perseveration: You focus excessively and repeatedly on the exact same thing, meaning numbers 1 – 3 repeats itself in your mind continually.
Unfortunately certain things like a tattoo cannot be undone. According to Schulz, as many as 17% of people with tattoos regret that they ever got one. It is not like social media where you can undo, unfriend or unfollow.
So how do you deal with those big regrets of your life?
# Things you cannot change
I remember in my parents’ house was a picture with the famous “Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Niebuhr. (1892-1971)
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.
I think that regrets most often fall in the “things I cannot change” category. The most difficult part in dealing with those disappointing regrets is to forgive yourself. Although it is difficult to forgive people who wronged us in some way or another, we tend to be harder on ourselves.
Bitterness and constantly pondering on our regrets are things that destroy many people’s lives and it is only by forgiving that you can be free. It is important to deal with the past; repent if you need to repent, forgive if you need to forgive and make peace with your imperfect nature. Nobody is perfect.
I know it is easier said than done, but without forgiveness you will never be free. But then,
greet a new day and move on. Remember, your destiny is in your own hands.
One of the greatest business authors Peter Drucker said “the best way to predict the future is to create it.” Do you have a roadmap / plan of where you are heading with your life? No one can undo the past, yet you can somehow influence your future.
Not sure whether you are on the right track for your life? Consider a Career Direct Assessment which will point you in the right direction. I can assure you, it makes all the difference.
Also tune in to my radio program “Jy die Entrepreneur” Monday evenings at 20:00 and Saturdays 12:30 on Radio Namakwaland www.934fm.co.za.