“A past has no legs. Why run from it?” – David Verity

So many of us live our lives regretting something – someone we’ve dated, something we’ve done, something we should have done – but in reality, are these feelings of regret warranted?

[bctt tweet=”A past has no legs. Why run from it? – David Verity”]

Every single thing I’ve ever done in my life, good or bad, I take responsibility for. The great thing about having accountability with yourself, and owning things that we’ve done is that, by doing it, we can actually enjoy and appreciate our experiences. By appreciate them, I mean to sit back, reflect on, and most importantly learn from the things we have done. It is pointless to look back at your earlier self at say, 5 years old, and be mad at yourself for not being able to ride a bike yet, spell words like pneumonia, or reach the pedal of your parents car. Where you were at at 5 is totally acceptable for where you were at that time in your development. Empathy doesn’t stop with being understanding of others – it includes being able to be understanding and empathetic to yourself, and your own development.

We’re human beings. No one is good all the time. No one is happy all the time. No one is on point all the time. Legends have bad nights. So living with regret about something from your past is like wanting to live a non-human existence. Think about that. If there’s nothing that you’ve ever done that you don’t wish you couldn’t have done better, you’re not a human being. But the difference between not liking something that we’ve done in the past and living with regret is, that by taking accountability for our actions and taking stock in our behavior, we get to USE the experience for the greater cause of becoming better.

If we never had failures, how could we know we needed to try harder? If we never dated the wrong girl, how would we know we didn’t want to date another psycho chick? If we never tried the business everyone said we shouldn’t have done, how would we have known for ourselves that we couldn’t do it? And who else’s opinion means more than your own when it comes to the direction you take in your life? No ones. So it’s up to YOU to prove it to yourself. That is your right, and your gift.

The experiences in our lives hold remarkable amounts of potential in terms of our ability to grow from them, both the failures and successes. Neither is more important. Success is no more important than failure. Failure let’s you know what not to do. And without that, you can’t ever succeed in the first place. Success teaches you what to keep doing.

Please don’t get the idea of this post wrong. I don’t think regret in and of itself is a bad thing, it has it’s place. What I’m saying is that we shouldn’t harp on it, and drag it out until it becomes something that haunts or plagues our thoughts. An example of how to handle regret would be something along the lines of, “you know, I really could have changed my tone in that conversation… next time I’ll be mindful of it, and see what kind of  results that has.” It should be a tool to revise and guide future decision making, and nothing else. Living in the past accomplishes nothing.

So before you go living with regret just remember to take stock in your behaviors, and let whether or not you repeat them be the ONLY thing you scrutinize. Do not ever scrutinize your experiences. They are perfect and beautiful, and have the power to mold you with tantamount potential.


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