To regret is to mourn the passing of an alternate possibility. I wish I had used a better first line..
On a more serious note I never really dealt with regret too much until I moved away to college. In my youth I held fast to the notion that those things I was most likely to regret were the very things that made me who I am today. I believed that I did not have the mental capacity to weigh if I would be a better man (or at the time teenager) had things in my past gone differently.
College realistically made me rather full of myself. I fancied the idea of having my younger years devoted to certain skills such as music, games like chess or go, even starting a business in my youth. I had forgotten why I never looked back on how I spent my time and wished differently.
The worst impact I saw in this mindset was it actually causing unhappiness to rise up in areas I had never seen it before. The explaination I used in my past couldn’t satisify the ‘well educated’ me. I thought that my younger years held nothing but building blocks to understand the future. As my regret reached dangerous levels I resolved to cope. I sat down to understand why I didn’t regret in my youth and came to a rather interesting observation.
I realized that it was not my acceptance of who I was that sheilded me from regret. Rather my desire for learning kept it at bay. I saw that every experience I’ve had, both good and bad I learned something from them. Some experience have repeated, and some will repeat again. Yet with every mistake I believe that I come away a little wiser. If I could go back and change my life I could fix my mistakes, but I couldn’t guarentee I wouldn’t make them again. I know that I also couldn’t give myself one treasure valued very highly, happiness.
If I could go back and change anything I would regret my regrets as those are the thoughts that never move forward and never bring happiness.