“Running through the changes, going through the stages,
Coming round the corners in my life,
Leaving doubt to fate, staying out too late,
Waiting for the moon to say goodnight.
And I could cry for the time I’ve wasted,
But that’s a waste of time and tears,
And I know just what I’d change if I went back in time somehow,
But there’s nothing I can do about it now”
-lyrics from “Nothing I Can Do About It Now” by Beth Nielsen-Chapman
Willie Nelson sings that song and it’s one of my all time favorites. I didn’t include the first lyrics of the song, but it starts rather sarcastically by saying, “I’ve got a long list of real good reasons for all the tings I’ve done“. I like that because it speaks to me as an imperfect human being. And it insinuates that there are some decisions made in life, which may not have been the wisest in retrospect, but at the time probably seemed like at least a fairly good idea. (Hey, I’ve got my list, too).
Let’s face it – we’ve all done things we probably shouldn’t have. And a few of us have done things we know we absolutely wouldn’t have, if we could get a do-over. And whatever those choices or decisions were, we’re all living with the aftermath to varying degrees as we continue along life’s road.
My thing is, why in the world would we regret anything? It’s such a negative feeling and it forces us to try to do something impossible; to live in the past.
There are many reasons why regret is something you never want to carry around with you. It can drag you down, it can impede your progress or growth, it can cause you to lapse into depression, and in general it’s just a massive distraction, keeping you from living your best life.
But, the most compelling reason I can think of for not regretting anything you’ve done to this point in your life is this; there’s nothing you can do about it now!
You live in the present. And that’s the only time you are alive. The past is gone forever, and the future isn’t even promised to us. Now is the only time you can make decisions, take action, and live your life. You can do things in the present that might help correct mistakes that have carried some damage with them, but you can’t go back and change what has been done. So, don’t worry about it. Don’t regret. Like the song says, it’s a waste of time and tears.
Live your life out loud and in color. Live with passion and purpose. Make decisions as best you can, based on the knowledge you have and the circumstances around you. Follow you heart, but use your head. Don’t be reckless, but don’t be afraid to take risks. Dare to be extraordinary, and reach for your dreams.
If you slip up, stumble, or even fall flat on your face, learn the lesson, adjust your focus, and keep on keepin’ on. Always moving forward.
And no regrets.