I am a dreamer. I guess like everybody else, I dream of being rich and famous; of travelling to exotic locations in the world; of having my own mansion with my own majestic view of the valley and my own swimming pool. I do have days when I like day-dreaming of things that does not hold a hint of seriousness for me in the sense that they are not really part of the goals I want to achieve. Or in other words, they are impossible for me, since for me, they are just that – dreams. I also have days wherein I dream of things I do want to achieve such as a fulfilling job, a loving husband and well-raised kids. These are my goals in life which I would further break down into details in terms of short, mid and long term goals. Now these are the kind of dreams that I know are possible because I will make them not just dreams but reality as well.
Then there are those days when I dream of what could have been; when I think of past events in my life wherein a different outcome would have happened had I made a different decision or did a different thing. I guess we all have our moments when we think about the what if’s in life. What if I didn’t go to that school and pursued the kind of education I have now? What if I didn’t lend that so large a sum to that person and instead have invested the money some other way? What if I remained in my own social niche and pursued something else instead of totally uprooting my life to pursue what I am doing now? What if I had taken that offer to go to this place? This company? This country? this university? There are days when we dream of all the what if’s of life.
I think it is alright to dream of the what if’s. To dwell on them, I believe is a different matter entirely. Dwelling too much on the what if’s of life makes us wish that it was that other option we’ve taken or that other decision we’ve made. It makes us wish for it so hard that we become unhappy with the choice that we have now. And this is what we now call regret.
Regret, I believe, is a normal part of life. It is normal for any sane individual to have regrets in life and I believe this is something that we cannot really avoid. I think that without regret, we won’t learn any lessons and we won’t improve as a person. There are indeed times when the other decision would have really been better; when the grass is really greener on the other side of where we’re at. At this point, if we regret the decision we’ve made that led us to the not so green side of the grass, then we can learn from the experience so that the next time around, we would know how to distinguish which grass is indeed greener.
Then again, after we’ve learned the lesson that led to us having regrets, then it is thus befitting that we live with the decision we’ve made or the path we’ve taken. The grass in the other side may indeed be greener, but who said that we cannot make the grass where we’re at as green or if not even greener than the other side. It all boils down then to what we do with the decision we made – whether we decide to live by it and do the best we can to make the most of it or if we forever wallow in regret and wishful longing of what could have been thereby forgoing the actual choice we made.
I know this is a hard truth to swallow. I have my own bagful of regrets I could share. I admit I have my own moments wherein I wished I could have done something else, decided something else, said something else, tried something else. But then at the end of the day, the ultimate loser will be ourselves if we let our minds wallow in self-pity over what could have been; if we stressed ourselves over what we could have done.
Bottomline is: let’s just simply make the best of what we have now, learn from the reason why we are having regrets over this one, and do our best the next time around. J I know it’s better said than done but we could at least try.