ImageWe are all tempted to a certain extent by fate.  Tempered with intelligence and experience we hope to make sound decisions that will result in very predictable outcomes.  However not all things turn out the way we plan.  In the moment of despair regret and its close friend remorse enters the picture.  Sometimes they even bring along a mature relative know by most as the ‘Pity Party’ and everyone loves one of those.  It reminds me allot of Dobby the male closet elf from Harry Potter who moaning laments gave rise to his level of sadness.

I was asked whether I regret and my answer was ‘no’.  It seems a bit hard and pompous answer but I don’t regret but I learn.  I learn that I have made bad mistakes and good decisions.  I have learned a number of life lessons that has helped to navigate the turbulent waters of life.  New hazards will present themselves, new opportunities will pass you by and some could have been the ship of fortune that you had been waiting on for decades. Regret is not a friend but a debilitating enemy, waiting to consume your every actions, obscure your vision on taking right (remediation steps) and consume much more energy than producing value.  The title phrase… ‘Woulda-Coulda-Shouda’ is really the prescriptive medicine for learning and not lament.  It helps you to remove emotion and contribute value in the form of lessons learned.

Is Personal and Professional Regret Different?

ImageObviously the object is different and possibly personal regret is more about the heart and professional a bit more aligned with a productive existence.  For me they are commingled and play off of each other.  Loyalty, goals, plans, expectations, commitment are just a few examples that exists in both.  I’m no clinical psychologist (as you probably figure out) but I know from first hand account that regret and remorse is a reaction to an outcome to which we made a decision on.  Regret and remorse, left untreated with additional unacceptable outcomes taking place is why people jump off bridges, overdose on drugs or find other creative ways of ending the pain.  Rather the treatment isn’t in finalization, its not in the pity party interlude but in learning.

Regret Learning

Constructive regret learning cannot occur until you reach a place of clarity and tranquility.  ImageIf you are in the throws of regret and remorse you are not prepared to learn.  Every step when you are in this unhappy place will look either like excuses or implausible answers. One must be in a good place, willing to review, contemplate and to take that hard look into the mirror.  You may not like what you see, but you can do something about it.  Possibly its acceptance or maybe its simply a matter of acknowledgement.  At the center has been those things you have done to contribute to the situation.  A wife who leaves her husband may have cause… possibly its his disrespect of the wife or possibly its the wanderlust of the woman.  In this simple example one can say that the husband could have treated her with respect.  But in the other part of this example the wanderlust of the wife you can’t control but the decision to marry her in the first place (and possibly having turned a blind eye to her behavior with a degree of hope) is clearly your fault and should be admission to make decisions based on what is and not what you might wish.

Conclusion Regret

ImageI bear no regret for sharing this information nor ending this contribution.  I learn that to give rise to a topic of the moment is a good thing.  That a value product is produced with thought, contemplation and dialog.  So while I bear no regrets and look forward to those moments when learning and growth can occur