We all believe that a life well-lived is a life without regrets. After all, regret is usually accompanied by negative emotions such as guilt, disappointment, self-blame, and frustration.
It is a universal experience — one that has kept most of us awake at night.
In fact, 90% of people say they all have something they regret in their lives. Some of these modern regrets include getting tattoos, sharing selfies online, and staying in dissatisfying careers that only make money.
As for myself, I have lived with my fair share of regrets.
When I was 15, I refused to ask the boy out from across our street because I was scared he would reject me. A year later, they moved to the city and I never saw him again.
Before I left for college, I prioritized my nervousness and excitement over saying goodbye to my grandmother because I thought I would see her on Christmas anyway. She passed away shortly after I left.
And just over two years ago, I still hate myself for taking back an ex-boyfriend who cheated on me, only to have him ghost me two weeks after I forgave him.
Looking back, I have come to realize that while some of them were actions I wish I could have done differently, most of them were caused by inactions on opportunities that were presented to me on a silver platter.
Regardless of any form our regrets may take, they will continue to exist as long as we are working towards a goal.
The only problem is that we forget they are an essential feature of our lives because we are often advised to avoid them.
Therefore, the most honest yet most overlooked advice is to simply accept that they happen and then learn to overcome them.