Regrets: The Things Done Versus Those Not Done

Ever done anything you regret?

Do you regret not doing something?

Keep reading.

We all have regrets of one sort or another.

I should have…

If only…


How could I have done that?

What was I thinking?

Everyone does.

Okay, maybe not you, but the rest of us do 🙂

The point I will make here is better choices lead to less regrets.

The, ‘What Was I Thinking’ Regrets.

Isn’t it odd that with only the title of this post you were already thinking?  And with the title for this section you thought even more, didn’t you?

Your mind was targeting bad memories that you’d rather not think about.

How do I know?

Because that’s what happened to me. If we aren’t honest with ourselves, we will tell ourselves that they were all in the distant past.

But, were they?

We all have things that we wouldn’t want publicized across the front page of a newspaper. Some distant and some not so distant. Some would include alcohol, narcotics, etc.

Some may not be ‘helped’ along by a substance but more of a pattern: anger, fear, vindictiveness, etc. We repeat the very regrets we regret at times! For more on this read this article…Getting out of a rut.

The regret you shouldn’t have done could last a week, or maybe 10 to life! Some regrets turn into habits (patterns).

Be careful.

The bad thing about both kinds of regrets is that you can’t go back in time and delete them like something in a file. Some won’t stick. Others will.

My objective with this post is the same as my objective with Today Has Power, to build others up. So, there is good news. It’s called a filter.

But first, let’s tackle the other regret.

The ‘Why Didn’t I Do It’ Regrets

These can be a bit better and a more optimistic lot.

But, still sad.

They may include things like: education, employment, hobbies. They include things never started as well as things never finished. There are age constraints on certain things in life. Some things have a window of opportunity that closes. Others don’t. There are things that can be done no matter your age. For more on that read this post on Grandma Moses 🙂

Life itself also poses challenges such as: family, bills, etc.

This is part of our experience.


I will bring both regrets together like this:


To fully disinfect suspect water using a water filter, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends:

  1. mechanically filtering the water,
  2. treating it with a halogen (chlorine or an iodine solution),
  3. letting it sit 15 to 60 minutes,
  4. then drinking.

Anyone ever suffered side effects from tainted water? Well worth the prevention, no?

What if we were to take that same precaution with choices we make, before we make them? I’m not talking whether you put some feta, asiago, or parmesan as a salad topper (or even all 3, more is better!). But choices that will have a real and lasting impact on you.

It would look the same for either something we should be doing or shouldn’t be.

  1. Give thought to the choice. What is on the line?
  2. Include reasoning on both sides of the topic. How will I feel if I do or don’t do this?
  3. Allow for time. The more serious the implications, the more time given. Although, I will make a sidenote: If you are needing an hour to decide whether you should spend your Friday night getting sloppy drunk or working on something constructive…get real.
  4. Ask someone that you respect to reason it out with you.
  5. Above all, run it through this filter: Will it fulfill, or kill? Think about this on a deeper level. How will I look at this a week from now? A month? A year? 10 years? Will it truly fulfill me in some way? Will it be temporal and laden with side effects (guilt, sadness, etc.).
  6. Make your choice and live with it. With no regrets, of course.

Live this week and the next and the next without regrets of either flavor.

Live it with a smile, and…

Live it LOUD!

Remember friend, you are the only you, you have.


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11 Responses to Regrets: The Things Done Versus Those Not Done

  1. I really love the step-by-step process you lay out, Rob! That’s exactly how I approach many decisions in my life. What’s especially amazing to me is how my blog has become a venue of discussion and reflection for me too. =)

    In expanding on your sixth point, once I get there, I usually sit with the issue and all the advice/thoughts/input, and then I let my intuition decide. My intuition is ultimately influenced by others, even if only slightly, but I trust in it the most. =) And I’ve never had a regret so far! =)

    • Rob says:

      Hey Sam,

      It is good not to have regrets! Trusting that still small voice, and knowing that you can, is important.
      My friend, keep inspiring and smiling. You make the world a better place.

      Live it LOUD!

  2. Hajra says:

    Hey Rob,

    Another interesting post!

    The step by step walk through is awesome. I used to be a person who regrets all the time, many bad decisions, some bad people 😉 but then I realized that we make the changes and we are responsible for our own future in a way actually. So even if “kismet”, “karma” and destiny decide to play it against us, we make choices and we learn to fight them out or at least pacify in the fact that we try and we keep trying.

    Living it loud I am 🙂

    • Rob says:

      Hey Hajra,

      Is that a s-m-i-l-e??? HMMM? We need a close-up! Nothing but teeth:D

      Keep trying is a great theme. It’s funny when we do that, it seems that “karma” is on our side.

      Keep Louding it LIVE!

  3. Paul says:

    Everytime I have a hard decision to make I’ll think about if I’ll regret not doing something. I would say that about 99% of the time I end up doing it anyway because a life filled with regrets is a life not worth living!

    • Rob says:

      Hey Paul,

      Thanks so much for commenting. That is the truth.
      A quote that will be in my next post : It is one thing to study war and another to live the warrior’s life.
      -Telamon of Arcadia

      Live it LOUD!

  4. Chris Barba says:

    Hey Rob,

    Love the topic. Always looking for new insights on this one.

    The filter idea is perfect. I think once I get there, to truly take advantage of it, strip down all filters when weighing decision. I feel my regrets are caused by thinking from one specific perspective. When if I would have been able to take a step back and look at it from different viewpoints, my decision might have been entirely different.

    Great post Rob!

    • Rob says:

      Hey Chris,

      You gave me a new insight on this also. I, too, have caught myself using blinders (one view point) to make a decision. It has been the cause of Resistance winning in some cases.
      Thanks for a personal perspective.

      Live it LOUD!

  5. Mika Castro says:

    Rob, After reading your wonderful topic about Regrets, There’s something i want to share regarding decision making. It is really a must to think twice on any decisions that you make (I learned that from you) for you not to regret in the end. So it is very important to view back.

    • Rob says:

      Thanks Mika.

      Think of it as a brainteaser. One may not be able to solve the riddle right away, but with reasoning (even days later) an answer can usually be had.

      Live it LOUD!

  6. Mika Castro says:

    Thanks for replying Rob. I don’t thin it as a brain twister until you said so. You caught me on that! Soon i will be able to solve your brain twister. Regards to you!

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