It’s really strange, but in the past month a few of my friends have all asked me similar questions about whether I have any regrets or if I would do anything in my life differently, or if I can identify certain decisions that hugely shaped my life. I found it odd that various people (who don’t know each other) were asking me this. Coincidence, I’m sure! But it did get me thinking…
I try really hard not to have regrets. Nothing should leave you with regret, it is all just a learning experience in some way (even if sometimes you have no idea what you’re learning). So that is a simple enough answer. But then I guess it gets a bit more tricky – are there things I would do differently, or any big decisions that I can identify as life changing that I might go down a different route?
My immediate reaction was ‘sure, there probably are a few’, and I even thought about some of those big moments and the choice I made. And then I started thinking about where I would be if I had done things differently. But the more I thought about this, the more I realised that again I wouldn’t do things differently or make different decisions. Not the big ones, anyway. There are smaller ones I would love to have a do-over for, and a little part of me does consider that I wish I’d done the big things differently. Yet, ultimately, as with the regrets thing, everything I’ve done, every choice I’ve made, has led me to where I am now. And although some things I wish hadn’t happened or had taken an alternate path, they helped shape my life. Good and bad.
If I’d chosen a opposing way in any of these, I might not be who I am now. I mean, things might have ended up the same way. But maybe not. And I really like who and where I am now – I have an amazing community of supportive and loving people across the world, I teach yoga, I get to do some writing and marketing, and I get to feel way less stressed than I used to. Yes some things could be better and they might be if I’d done things differently, but they aren’t enough of an issue for me to change everything.
So I guess what I’d say is, if you are having big regrets or wishing you’d made different choices, just take a second to think about if that’s really the way you’d want to go. Would you want to sacrifice where you are now, who you are now, for that? Can you see why doing things that way made you who you are now? And if you realise that these things have moulded you and your life, maybe reconsider having them as regrets. Instead, have them as lessons, or just things in your life. It’s all an experience, after all.