Turn every experience into a lesson and you’ll never have a regret



I used to have regrets and finally learned to turn it around, really.

I know, you’re probably thinking, “c’mon, Mark, everyone has that one big regret. Surely there’s something you would want to go back and change?”

It’s all about perspective.

Here’s how I see it. If you regret anything, it’s because you didn’t learn a lesson from it. If you learned something, anything, then you simply cannot live with regret.

How much regret do you live with? Sure, none of us are perfect. But, you do have the choice and control to turn those regrets into valuable lessons and move on.

Dwell on them, and you’re likely to inhibit any progress.

One of my favorite quotes, when I think about this, comes from the legendary Stephen Hawking: “look up at the stars and not down at your feet.”

Successful, fulfilled people have overcome all kinds of things. They’ve built up persistence and resilience. They’ve learned, as they say in Silicon Valley, to “fail forward.”

You’re the One Behind the Wheel

So, how do you turn those regrets into lessons? You take control.

A while ago I watched a Ted Talk clip. In it, Amy Purdy talks about her medical condition and how she lives life as if she were the author of her own story.

I love this. Just think about how you’d like your story to read.

Many people blame external forces for things going wrong in life. That’s just a cop-out. It’s easy not to “own it,”

You do get to make your own choices. You might not be able to control every single thing in this crazy life, but you can control your reactions.

When you take responsibility for your decisions and actions, you can totally avoid regrets.

Rather, you can learn valuable life lessons.

Turning Regrets into Lessons

One big thing I have learned is that no matter what anyone tells you, there’s always a way, a solution. Even if you’re not as successful as you want to be in something, you can still learn a lesson and use it to grow along your journey.

You know that you can’t change the past, but you can use those lessons to build a bright and successful future.

But, how do you eliminate regret and turn your experiences into lessons?

Here are a few steps you can start using right now.
  1. Don’t be so hard on yourself
We’re often hard on ourselves when we experience regret. That annoying inner critic gnaws at you, reminding you of blunders. It’s important to take accountability for your actions and decisions, but you’ve also got to give yourself a break. Beating yourself up only makes you feel worse. Instead, work on silencing that inner critic and replace it with positive thoughts.
  1. Learn from your actions and decisions
It’s important to highlight the lessons you learn from unpleasant incidents. In fact, it’s important to honor every experience, even the painful ones. The lessons you learn from them will help your soul grow. One thing I like to do is journal. If I have a negative experience, I write it down and then I write down how I felt, how I feel about it now, and what I have learned. It’s that attitude of gratitude I’ve spoken about previously that helps me move past the negative and continue evolving.
  1. Be your own author
You are the author of your own life, just as Amy mentioned in the Ted Talk clip. That means you have the power to re-interpret anything in your past that’s unpleasant.

Just like any great story, there are going to be times of uncertainty and sadness, but as long as you are alive, your story doesn’t have to end there.

So, be your own author. Re-write the version of the story you’ve been telling yourself up to now and truly think about the lessons you have learned. Focus on the good things that come out of pain and sadness and think about how each lesson (not regret) has made you the person you are now.

I really do not believe in regret. I know that every situation is going to teach me something. As far as I’m concerned, there are no downsides. Life is about choices, and I choose to be my own author.


“There are no regrets in life, just lessons.” -Aniston


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