Existential Psychology

Do Not Regret What You Were Never Prepared To Do

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There is a tendency to look back over life choices with a sense of regret at not having pursued a more difficult path that also might have been more rewarding. That ‘what if’ hangs over the present like a cloud. Other than the fact that living in the past is incompatible with the mindful attitude, a good reason to let go of that ‘what if’ is that maybe you were never prepared to do what it you regret not doing.

The road of mastery is not for everyone because it’s all consuming. Life is a series of choices about where, how, and why you’re going to devote your time, time is the exhaustible resource, and putting all that time and energy into a single endeavor means diverting it away from many of the other simple joys of life. These joys might be accessible to everyone, easier to attain, but this doesn’t necessarily take away from their worth.

The single minded determination that any serious endeavor requires is full of pain, struggle, and disappointment, and like we said it also requires you to sacrifice a lot. It’s pointless to regret what you were never prepared to do, it’s like looking up at a mountain and shaking your head in disappointment at never having reached the summit when you never needed or even really wanted to be a mountain climber. Why waste your time regretting a path that was never realistically an option for you? Better to get in touch with the present moment and derive your meaning from that which authentically draws you forward.