What if You Never Regretted Anything?

Downtown LA, 2011
Downtown LA, 2011

If we never had any regrets in life, I think many of us would be a lot happier. Regret is the demon of the past which holds us back. Regret is fear that debilitates us from future action. Regret is letting the phantoms of past actions continue to haunt us for no good reason.

I have a lot of regrets from the past that still haunt me today. But what I try to do is this: re-interpret my regret in a positive way.

For example, I ask myself, “What positive lesson can I learn from this regrettable event or action?”

There are a ton of photos that I wish I had taken, but I didn’t. Because fear held me back.

Rather than regretting it, I tell myself, “The next time I see a scene that makes me afraid, I will take it.” And the next time, I find myself more emboldened, and to push my boundaries and limits.

Everything happens for a reason

Downtown LA, 2016
Downtown LA, 2016

I am also a deep believer in the idea that “everything happens for a reason.” If you’re spiritual or religious— this is an easy concept to understand. If you’re not — you can think, “Everything doesn’t happen for a reason— but it happened. Now that it has happened, what positive lesson can I learn from it?”

In life, we always have the choice of re-interpreting events that have happened to us in the past. We don’t have the ability to change what actually happened.

For example, I grew up with a lot of stress and anxiety as a child— because I wasn’t sure whether my mom would be able to pay the rent at the end of every month. I’ve re-interpreted that as teaching me a life lesson: to value money, and to also create information that is open and free (to those who don’t have a lot of money).

I think about all the arguments I’ve had with loved ones— and I’ve found that whenever I’ve said or done something I regretted, it helped me become a better person. And my relationships have improved as a result.

If you want to become the best boxer in the world, you need to fight the toughest opponents. You will get bruised, bleed, and break bones. But as a result, you will get stronger, more resilient, and be able to conquer even the toughest opponents. So when life throws you shit, difficult situations, pain, and misery — know that it happened for a reason. To make yourself stronger.

Learn from your mistakes

Downtown LA, 2011
Downtown LA, 2011

So friend the last thing I want to leave you with is this: no regrets. Only learning. Re-interpret whatever negatively happens to you in a positive way. Grow stronger. Empower yourself, by putting yourself in challenging situations. Keep growing.

Become the best possible version of yourself you can be. And don’t let the demons of the past hold you back.