I’ve made a lot of mistakes in my life, but mistakes are not the same as regrets. To me regret is a feeling of disappointment or shame towards one’s previous actions and choices. Mistakes alternatively are a symptom of trying. They’re scars, either physical or mental, that say that you had the courage to not to play it safe.
I am pretty happy with the person I am today. To regret my past would be to deny who I am in the present moment. To regret is to say that if I did things differently I could have more successful, or I could have be smarter, or richer, or cooler, or more well-liked. What’s the point of that? I can’t change what happened, so why should I dwell on it. That doesn’t mean I can’t learn from it. If I undid a “mistake” or undid something I “regret” then the lesson I learned would be gone.
You won’t get very far living with no mistakes. Living without regret on the other hand, to me is the only way to move forward in peace.
I actually don’t even like the term “mistake” because it implies something needs correcting. Math homework can have mistakes, grammar can have mistakes. Not to get all Bob Ross here, but in life there are no mistakes, just accidents and events and choices. Was it a mistake to where an Iron Man shirt everyday in junior high? Or to go to a private university? Or study biology? Or have a long distance relationship? Or not pursue acting/ cooking/ inventing/ law? And if I did things differently would I be the same person I am today? I don’t think so. I don’t regret any of it and would make the same decisions all over again if I could.
Every choice we have ever made and ever will make is influenced by those that came before it, and thus will influence every choice that comes after. I know it sounds cheesy and like a cop-out, and I also recognized that I’ve been very blessed throughout my life, but there really is nothing that comes to mind that I truly regret. Perhaps the only thing that I wish I had done sooner is to stop living by other people standards and expectations. This is something I still struggle with, but now it’s easier to recognize and adjust my behavior accordingly.