If we have goals and dreams and we want to do our best, and if we love people and we don’t want to hurt them or lose them, we should feel pain when things go wrong> The point isn’t to live without any regrets, the point is to not hate ourselves for having them… We need to learn to love the flawed, imperfect things that we create, and to forgive ourselves for creating them. Regret doesn’t remind us that we did badly — it reminds us that we know we can do better.
- Kathryn Schulz, Author of the book: Being Wrong: Adventures in the Margin of Error.
The statement "I live life with no regrets." Has always annoyed the hell out of me. I've always felt that if you're making that statement you are either: a) consciously lying, b) unconsciously shielding yourself from the outcomes and consequences of things that occur in your life, c) too young to realize that living a life with no regrets is unlikely, and requires that you seperate yourself from the humility of accountability. It's like planning to live your life with no intention of maturation, or growth or change. Are you the same person you are at 16? 25? 35? 50? If you remain unchanging through the good choices (and the poor ones)...then you ARE living your life with no regret...and you're probably very alone while you are doing it.
We ALL have regrets. Whether we speak to them or not, is the real question. What we DO with them is the answer.
Thanks so my friend Camilla for this clip of Kathryn Shulz speaking about the psychology of regret at TED 2011. I highly recommend it.