Regrets in Life

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Northeast of Rexburg, Idaho (24)

I’ve moved a lot.  Most of the places I’ve lived I’ve been able to find a way to appreciate and enjoy the culture.

This was not true of Southeastern Idaho.  In order to avoid any culture bashing, we’ll just say the culture didn’t agree with me.  Neither did the altitude or the omnipresent sky that felt like it was always pushing down on me.

There was one redeeming part of the northern desert for me, though.  It was the people I worked with.  Whatever was going on at home or in my community, my coworkers and bosses were a breath of fresh air.  They were reasonable, logical and kind.  I was extremely sad to leave them, although I knew I had to for reasons both in and out of my control.

Right before I left, I was helping in the movement of our facilities.  It was a group effort, and I actually enjoyed the time we spent together doing manual labor and serious organizing.  I was in one of my boss’s office, and noticed for the thousandth time that one of his degrees came from Hawaii.  I knew I’d soon be leaving, so I thought I’d ask him about it.  I love learning people’s stories.

He had gone to school partially in Hawaii, and on a whim decided to come up to Idaho with a group of friends.

I quickly compared and contrasted the two places in my head.  I couldn’t help it.  Screw it.  I was leaving anyways.  I asked, “Do you ever regret it?”

He gave me a confused look, as if I had asked one of the dumbest questions ever.  “If I regretted it, I wouldn’t still be here.”

His answer stuck with me.  I had been raised to understand that our actions have consequences, and you have to deal with the consequences.  My boss’s answer that day opened up to me a whole new reality:  consequences are inevitable, but if you don’t like your circumstances, you can change them.  You can’t undo the past, but you can change your future.  It influenced some of the hardest but best decisions I had to make over the next couple of years of my life.

Regardless of your circumstances, you alone have the power to change your life.  While you can’t undo decisions  you regret, you can change the path that those regrets have led you to.  You can turn at or create the  next fork, and change your own reality.

How to Live Life With No Regrets

20 thoughts on “Regrets in Life

  1. Niki

    Love that outlook. You’re right if you’re unhappy with your circumstances you’re the one who needs to change, even if it is an attitude adjustment.

  2. Modest Money

    That is a pretty awesome way of looking at things. That are bound to be things in our lives that we wish may wish we had done differently. It is in our power to change where that ultimately leads us.

  3. canadianbudgetbinder

    I agree 100% so when I hear people moan about why their life sucks or they will never have money etc, I tell them the same. Time to stop feeling sorry for ourselves and start doing something about it if we don’t like it. Your boss was right, if he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t have been there. I do know many people who feel trapped by work and hate where they live but they put family above that. What they don’t realize is that misery spills over into our personal relationships. Change is not a bad thing! Great story. Cheers Mr.CBB

  4. Christine

    Such important advice. I think many of us get stuck and secretly enjoy playing victim, martyr, pessimist etc. so much that we forget that it is in our power to change our situation.

  5. MyMoneyDesign

    I like his style! I suppose most of us would cry or wish we were doing something other than what we are. But your boss is right – if you don’t like things, then change them. Otherwise, why are you still here!

  6. Tackling Our Debt

    You are correct, we do have the power to make changes by making new choices. What holds me back these days is the mistakes I made years ago. The risks I took years ago to change my life failed and now my fears around making new changes are stronger than ever.

  7. Shilpan

    Wow! This is a brilliant article. So inspiring to those who are stuck in the vicious circle called ‘routine life’ and don’t know what to do with it. As you’ve said, you can’t change others around you, but you can change yourself. If you are driving on a road that you don’t like, turn around, there are always other options to choose from.

  8. MariaSelf

    This is one of the greatest encouraging posts I’ve read in a very long time! I’m speechless and the only thing I can say right now is “Thank you!”

  9. Tiffany @ DontWastetheCrumbs

    So true. We’ve been talking about possibly moving, and while God seems to want us here, many times we asked ourselves “what if we don’t like it?” We know that there would be things to deal with, but it wasn’t until many, many weeks of talking did it occur to us that if we didn’t like it, we could move back. That thought itself made the decision easier to discuss and make.

  10. eemusings

    I love this post. Much like sunk costs, you can’t do anything about what has been, only what will be.

    I’m hoping to move overseas myself in the future (tiny country here) which is both terrifying and exhilarating.

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  13. Cat

    I love your boss’ attitude! I think there are not very many of us that could say that so matter-of-factly. He has a very valid point but I don’t think we all embrace it fully, or at least I know I don’t. Kudos to him!

  14. Cindy @ Smart Family Money

    I love this! It’s hard sometimes to let go of regrets about decisions that were made in the past, but we can’t change those. All we can do is decide what’s best to do today.

    I needed to read this today. Thank you.


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