If you’ve ever felt regret or remorse in life, and that guilt holds you back… here is some advice to help you conquer those emotions and feelings, in order for you to move forward, and continue to do good in your life.
1. You made the best decision at the time
Primo, regretting or feeling remorse after you do something won’t change anything. In terms of physics, what you did already happened. You cannot go into a time machine and fix your past “wrong”.
Also, realize when you made your decision to make that action— you made the best decision based on the information you had. A lot of us feel regret or remorse afterwards because we have the “hindsight fallacy”— of course you are going to find more information after you make a decision. It is like thinking…of course I should have predicted that Apple was gonna be a good stock option, I should have invested in it 20 years ago. But, that’s as dumb as wishing you could have jumped in a time machine and “predicted” lottery numbers.
Anyways, nobody is omnipotent and can read the future. We can make conjectures and educated guesses.
With decision-making, just know what your maximum loss is. And cap your potential downside or loss. Then take epic risks in life, to live a heroic and exciting life.
2. Don’t bite rocks
I’m getting off topic, let me go back to the idea of regret and remorse.
Apparently the word “remorse” comes in Latin which means the “biting” feeling you feel after you make a decision.
But one wise thing Nietzsche says is that feeling remorse is like a dog biting a rock. Pointless, and probably not good for your jaws or teeth.
3. Live a noble and epic life!
Trust me, I have a lot of regrets and remorse in my life. I regret things I have said, done, or people I’ve hurt or offended. And also, I regret things that I didn’t do.
But I follow the Jeff Bezos “regret minimization framework” in my life:
I imagine myself 90 years old on my deathbed and ask myself, what regrets do I NOT want to have in my life?
Essentially, that means not taking the “safe”, “normal” or the “boring” path in life. That means taking more fun risks in life, doing cooler shit, and not doing anything that doesn’t interest me.
Or in JAY Z’s words,
I’d rather die enormous than lie dormant.
4. Let the stream of life wash away all your regrets and remorse
Your life is short. Don’t let regret or remorse hold you back.
My suggestion: see your life as a stream. You might have someone pour oil or dirt into your stream of clean crystal clear water. Just let the flow of time and water wash away the impurities… and keep flowing.
Philosophy: love of wisdom.
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