Maybe you wish you would have handled yourself better in a dispute with your then significant other, now ex. Maybe you wish you invested in Bitcoin back in 2010. Maybe you wish you were a bit more social during high school. Or perhaps you wish you spent more time talking to your grandma before she passed.
Whatever the case may be, there are definitely some decisions you made that you aren’t too proud of, to say the least. There are opportunities you skipped out on, chances missed. You made mistakes. You fucked up. And you wish you could go back and do it all again. Do it right. This time.
But you can’t go back. You don’t fly a TARDIS, nor drive a DeLorean, nor own a Time Turner in your jewelry box. You’re pretty much stuck with whatever circumstances you find yourself in, in the present. There’s no going back. Your life ain’t a VHS tape that you can just rewind.
And that feeling of longing for a change in events that already happened lingers on for weeks, months, and even years later after it all took place.
You know better now. You wouldn’t make the same decisions that you did back then. You would do something else. Something different. Something better.
It’s regret you feel. Regret that haunts you for a seemingly eternal timeline.
And man, let me tell you, regret is real and something we all face.
We all look back in the past of our own lives at some point and think to ourselves “coulda, shoulda, woulda.”
We can become so easily fixated on what things *would* look like now *if only* you did things a little bit different in the past.
If only, if only. It’s so easy to trap yourself in the void of “if onlys”. If only I said this. If only I did that.
Yet, through all these couldas, shouldas, wouldas, and if onlys, what we fail to realize, what we remain oblivious to is that the things we do today will be tomorrow’s past.
We can’t change the past that’s already gone, but we can change the past of the future, because today is tomorrow’s past and tomorrow is the future’s present.
In other words, while you can’t go back and fix what previous events in your life, you can change what you’re doing *right now* in the present to directly have an impact on the future (and hopefully create a better tomorrow).
We’re gonna take a look at how to relax and take it easy in life, enjoy the moment in the present, rather than swallow yourself up in regret in today’s blog. I promise you won’t regret reading it. And without further ado let’s dive...right into it!
Have you ever heard of the butterfly effect? It’s this theory that a tiny little butterfly could flap its wings at just the right moment and iit would cause a huge tropical storm and that tropical storm wipes out an entire village of people and that village was home to an important political figure and so on and so forth.
It’s basically saying that small, seemingly inconsiderable actions can lead to large unforeseen consequences.
It’s fascinating to think about how we live in such a vast and complex system that even the teeniest weeniest little changes can have gargantuan effects somewhere else.
One small word. One mall action. One small butterfly. ...can change the entire course of the universe. Kinda crazy, dontchya think?
Everything is so interconnected so tightly. It’s bizarre!
I mean something so minuscule can be so impactful to the grand scheme of things. That can really send your head in a whirl if you really sit down and start to think about it.
It means every little decision you make can literally change the world.
Of course, this phenomenon, the Butterfly Effect, is often thought of in terms of the past. One little thing, as simple as stepping on a butterfly, could alter history as we know it.
I suppose it’s human nature to think of the past. After all, it’s more concrete than the unwritten future. The past is in the books. It’s already written. We know what happened. Whereas the future is sort of vague; it’s uncertain. We’re not sure what’ll happen for sure.
We go on to fantasize about how the past history could look different if it were to change, whether that's the history of the world or just your own personal history. We like to imagine how small choices in the past could lead us to living very different lives in the present.
Truth is though, you know just as much about what *would have happened* in the past as you do about what *could* happen in the future. It’s completely up to your imagination to determine the results.
What I’m getting at here is that if you can daydream about how little things in the past could change the present day, then you can see how the little things you do right now can change the future day.
“The Butterfly Effects” of today create the reality of tomorrow. In short, the little things you do right now, in the present can have large effects later down the road.
Choosing to eat a salad for lunch instead of a hamburger can be the “butterfly” of becoming physically healthier in the future.
Choosing to invest your money, instead of spending it on a lottery ticket or something else equally as wasteful can be the “butterfly” of becoming rich in the future.
You see, the small choices you make every day will have a LARGE impact one day. Eventually.
While you’re busy pining after the long lost past, you’re giving up opportunities that you have RIGHT NOW (and will later regret not taking in the future). By giving into the painful woes of regret, you put yourself in an eternal cycle of moping around in regret, losing out on opportunities, then later regretting missing said opportunities in the future. Rinse n’ repeat.
Be lazy. Don’t make big moves or grand gestures. Realize that the little things you do in your everyday life, the seemingly inconsequential decisions you make day in and day out, like what coffee to buy or whether to even start your day with a coffee in the first place, can make a BIG difference in the long run.
Do a little bit. Do just enough. Do things….half-assed.
A Half-Assed effort is the little butterfly that’ll make a HUGE change in your life.
Mistakes are Meh
If you find yourself wallowing in regret for a very long time, beating yourself up over how you “shoulda, coulda, woulda,” relax, man. It’s all good. What happened, happened. It’s done. It’s over. Move on. Slow n’ steady.
You have to forgive yourself for your own fuck ups. Forgive yourself for letting an opportunity slide, for saying the wrong thing at the wrong time, for forgetting that one important thing you promised to do.
Yeah, it’s true you can’t change the past and go back and fix all the mistakes you ever made, but what you can do, is do better in the future. You can avoid the same mistakes from now on.
Don’t look at mistakes like some sort of detriment to your life.
Mistakes are a tool for learning. They’re an opportunity for you to grow.
It’s funny how mistakes work. I mean you look back at it and tell yourself “I wouldn’t do that now.”
Thing is, you wouldn’t have know how to do it *right* if you didn’t make that mistake in the first place. Kind of catch 22.
You have to make a mistake to know you made a mistake. You have to fuck up to know you fucked up.
Mistakes are pretty harsh life teachers.
Certainly, you know better NOW, but back then you didn’t. And that’s okay.
The easiest way to let go of regret is to tell yourself that you made the best decision you could at the time, given your knowledge you had and emotions you were feeling then.
When you think in terms of “I did my best I could at the time”, then there really is no reason to regret *anything*.
Accept all the wrongs you did. Acceptance is the key. That doesn’t mean you like it. That doesn’t mean you’re proud of it. It simply means, you don’t let it bother you. You’re okay with the fact that you didn’t make the *right* decision, but you did make the *best* decision you could at the time given everything you knew and everything you felt at the time it was done.
Let Go and Go With the Flow
Holding onto regret does nothing but stress you out. It causes more pain than the initial mistake or fuck up caused to begin with.
Regret is picking at the scab and never letting it fully heal.It’s sticking your hand in the building pot of water after scalding your finger. It’s essentially just opening up a fresh wound of emotional pain.
You gotta just go with it, man. Go with the flow. Relax on down the stream.
Let go of your negative thoughts about the past and see it as a growth milestone, not as your defeat.
You can’t change what happened, no matter how much you wish you could. The more you think about it, the more the pain will linger. The more you fill yourself with thoughts of “shoulda, coulda, woulda” and “what if”, the more you lose out on opportunities that are available in the present.
Be present with yourself and the world around you. You know a lot more today than you did yesterday. Use that to your advantage.
Remember, just like the Butterfly, one small ripple can cause a whole tsunami.
Take small, slow, and steady steps towards being able to say “I’m proud I did that” as your future self, rather than “I regret I ever did that.”
Life is about change. The things you did yesterday changed who you are today. And the things you do today will change who you are tomorrow.
Every little thing that you do can completely change your world. So even though you’re lazy and don’t do very much, the *very little* that you do do will determine who you are and where you’re at in the future.
Don’t regret how things turned out “so far” in your life. See it as an ongoing process.
After all, there’s no rush to do anything, man, yet alone become the best version of yourself.
Take it easy,