Finding the Courage to Change Your Destiny
“Don’t be afraid to make mistakes. But if you do, make new ones. Life is too short to make the wrong choice twice.” Joyce Rachelle
Over the last decade or so, I’ve thought a lot about the nature of regret.
Whenever I’ve asked my friends about their regrets, one of the most common refrains I hear over and over again is, “I don’t have any regrets. Every mistake I made brought me to where I am today.”
I have to assume, then, that those fortunate people wake up every morning feeling grateful for every choice they’ve made or not made. They love their lives exactly as they’ve turned out. To change anything from their past would change where they are now, which apparently is exactly where they want to be.
They wouldn’t change a thing.
Admittedly, there have been too many times recently when I’ve focused so much on regret that I’ve perched dangerously close to the edge of depression and even hopelessness. Not a good place to be. (Three months ago, I started seeing a good therapist — one of the courageous positive changes I’ve made for myself.)
While I certainly understand and even envy the sentiment of having no regrets, I’m of the mindset that considering and acknowledging my regrets (and they are many) protects me from repeating the same mistakes again.
And rather than continue to allow my regrets to fuel hopelessness and grief, they now provide the fire in my soul to create a different outcome, a better future, a life I can be grateful for at the end of each day — and at the end of my life here on earth.
Thankfully, in his book “The Power of Regret: How Looking Backward Moves us Forward,” Daniel Pink posits that regret is a universal and even healthy part of the human experience. In each of the four core areas of regret are lessons to be learned and ways to optimize our regrets.
I’m at a season in my life where I’m looking back and wishing I had done things differently. And yes, I am using my regrets as powerful lessons for change. There is so much I am grateful for, and some of the mistakes I made along the way led me to experiences and relationships I treasure. I would never exchange those relationships and experiences for the opportunity to go back in time and do my life over again. But I also made mistakes in judgment and inaction that led me to being unhappy with certain areas of my life.
By God’s grace, I still have breath in my lungs and my wits about me. I have time to take action and make changes.
At the end of my life, I want to look back at this point in time and be grateful for the new choices I made and the work I did.
I want the same for you, dear reader. And so at this point in time, that’s the focus of this website, my writing, and my books: you and I finding the courage to do the work to change ourselves and change our destinies.
We’re in this together.