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Day 74 (Stop Regretting Now: The Only Tip You Need)

“There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold.” – Page 8 of The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan Kundera

Have you ever regretted a certain mistake or decision you made?

Mistake example:

I advertised my free newsletter yesterday. For some reason, it felt really odd that no one was signing up. However, I was expecting a few people because they re-tweeted it and liked that post.

One problem: The forms to subscribe didn’t work. When the subscribed button was pressed, nothing would happen. Since those forms weren’t working, it was impossible for anyone to sign up.

Now that’s pretty embarrassing and frustrating. On top of that, it’s a mistake that cost me subscribers.

However, I did the only thing I could do, which was to fix it once I discovered the issue. So, yes, it is fixed now.

My brain was about to explode with regret but it’s a big waste of time.

Regret is a dangerous state to stay in because it’s disappointment of past events.

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Decision example:

There is no right and wrong with decisions. There are maybe preferred outcomes but there is no right and wrong.

How can you ever think a decision or mistake is wrong when you don’t have the second life to compare the other decision or mistake to?

Back on Day 15, I recall regretting not talking to someone I was really interested in.

We talked in the coffee line at university briefly. I asked her about why she had such a huge sketchbook and she told me she was an art major. She had to sketch people in the coffee area. We also had an inside joke because we ended up getting the same granola bar-like creation from the coffee shop. Then she paid for hers and I paid for mine.

I had a good 15 second window to continue the conversation.

However, fear got me and I didn’t do it.

For a couple of days, I asked myself why I didn’t continue the conversation. I started regretting my decision.

I started thinking, “Matt, what if she became a great friend? What if she networked me to amazing art people?”

I failed to take the open door of opportunity.

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At this point you can say that this was a failure.

That’s wrong. That’s where regret starts getting its power from.

There is no right and wrong with decisions. There are maybe preferred outcomes but there is no right and wrong.

How can you ever think a decision or mistake is wrong when you don’t have the second life to compare the other decision or mistake to?

In this life, the opportunity came and went. This would allow me to make sure to minimize those missed chances.

But what if I talked to her? Maybe good things would come of that.

But this isn’t like a choose your own path novel. The alternative route will always be blank because we don’t have another life to find out.

Find the positive in the choice you did make, no matter what.

There’s no reset. There’s no restart. There’s no backup life.

Life is like acting out a play without any practice.

So the only thing you have to do to stop regretting: Accept the good in your decisions without comparing it to any other alternative; we’d never know the result of that alternative because we don’t have the second life to find out its results. We just know the result of the decision we did make.

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