Feeling sad or sorry about something you did or did not do is normal. This is called regret or regrets. Regret is part of life. Without it, you will not know the importance of something or someone. Living without regret seems impossible but you can always live with it and move on.
Karl Pillemer from Cornell University conducted a study about living with the regret. He interviewed 1500 people ages 70 and above. He asked these people what life lessons they want to share to others about regret. All his findings are written on his book. Here’s what old people have to say about living without the regret:
Be honest. Many people suffer regret later on because they were not honest in the first place. Avoiding dishonest acts – whether small or big can make a difference at the end of the day. Lies will only make things worse for you and the people around you. Be honest even if others are not.
Say yes. Whether it is a marriage proposal or a promotion at work, you should say yes. When you are offered with new challenges or opportunities and you think you can do it, you should not doubt yourself. Just go with it especially if you feel happy. You will likely regret you said no than saying yes.
As you age, you will be restricted to travel because of conditions. Then you will regret not travelling enough whilst young. You have to travel while you are young and if you have to sacrifice some things, do so. When you get old, you will look back and remember your travelling adventures.
Choose your mate carefully. Ideally, you want a lifetime partner. That means one partner from one point in time to the end. Sometimes when you panic, you tend to hasten the selection and end up regretting the partner you chose. The key here is not to rush on your decision of a partner. Take all the time that you need to determine your compatibility. This is for your long-term relationship.
Now is the time. There is no best time that now. If you want to do something or say something, it is better to say it now. Perhaps the saddest word that you will ever utter is “it might have been”. If you do not do the things you like now or say the things that you want, you will forever regret the missed opportunities.
While taking note of these, Singaporeans should remember to go easy on their selves.