Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Regret Factor II

I've written the Regret Factor, but I heard this amazing Ted Talk on the radio last week by Karen Shulz. The last line is so powerful. "Regret doesn't remind us we did badly. It reminds us we can do better." Please listen to her talk as she takes you through her experience and conclusions.

I'm so excited to hear this perspective because she gives permission to people to feel the pain and acknowledge the mistake. However, she also grants the hope to do better the next time.

One of my favorite quotes about success and failure - You don't fail when you fall down. You fail when you don't get up.

There's always a chance to do it again. You took the wrong action or perhaps you did not take an action at all.This could be at the individual level or a larger social or community level. We could struggle with our own demons. However, we can't just stop. I had to tell this to my daughter when she was struggling in school - it's all about getting up each time.

Sorry to throw more quotes in this blog post,  but another favorite quote is "Regret is hoping we can change the past."

Yeah, that's not going to happen. So, why are we so intent on reliving the incident over and over? Like Karen Shulz said, it becomes an infinite loop. It's a mantra. One should have a positive mantra rather than "I'm such an idiot and I can't believe I did that." It's during that time we need to check if we're spinning our wheels in the mud or actually moving forward.

I love this quote because it allows us to accept that it's over. You're done, don't bother unless you've got a Flux Capacitor and building a time machine to relive that moment.

The best part of this is that we have the gift of looking back and saying, "Wow, that was not the right thing to do." If that situation arises in the future, we know how we should handle this.

Our lives are made up of light and dark moments. Imagine the rocks strewn along the beach as moments our lives. There are some perfectly round rocks, smoothed by time and tide. Then there are jagged or malformed rocks. They belong there on the beach and they were put there for a reason. But, we don't need to keep dancing on those and keep feeling the pain. Those are the ones we pick up and throw back into the water. We take a side step and continue seeking the smooth ones.

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