Regret as Stimulant

We regret something we failed to do. We also have postponed future regrets. These result from adopting bad habits now that shall hurt us in the future.

We have regrets from the past when we had many choices but the one we selected was not the best. We may even make false wishes such as if only time goes back I would have done things differently.

We regret sometimes marrying the wrong partner as we could have made better choices.

Whenever we have choices, we may regret selecting the one we did. It is a natural human feeling.

The problem with regret is it is making false wishes crying on spilled milk. Regret may develop into anxiety, stress, and a host of negative emotions. We regret to add to our sense of loss. This is all for nothing. No, as regret may teach us life lessons.

The agile and creative mind changes regret into a positive energy.

There are examples of people who managed to turn regret into a motivating emotion.

An old woman regretted that she did not go for a Ph.D. and opted to accept a job offer. Later, at the age of seventy, she got her PhD. He pursued her dream as regret provided her with the fuel to follow her lost dream.

Regret can empower you to make better decisions and to do things that few did before.

Asking the right questions is the secret. I explain by sharing a few examples.

What did I learn from regretting? Am I better now at making wiser decisions? Turning the experience of regret into a useful outcome is a worthy challenge.

Have you helped others do the same by sharing your experience with them?

Have you learnt to sort out many choices in clusters to make choices easier?

Have you found ways to disallow regret to control your life?

How did you get rid of the habit of regretting?

Do you repeat mistakes or bad habits that you may regret tomorrow? Work on them now.

Regretting is natural, but to turn its negative energy into a positive one is the worthy challenge that awaits you.


Ali Anani
Ali Anani
My name is Ali Anani. I hold a Ph.D. from the University of East Anglia (UK, 1972) Since the early nineties I switched my interests to publish posts and presentations and e-books on different social media platforms.

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  1. At my “venerable” age, if I had to look back, well, I would change something about my life. Fortunately, the present exists and I know that I can give and still do what the Lord will give me the time to do!
    Life offers us lessons that we should learn as soon as possible, to avoid regretting later on everything we wanted to do and didn’t do.
    Personally I banished regrets. We get lost regretting and the present is escaping, it’s flying away… If we keep complaining, we get trapped in two eras that don’t exist, allowing all that we really have, the “here and now”, to vanish. The sooner we learn this lesson, the sooner we are able to make the most of our time.
    Great intuition and reflection my friend.

    • .Yours Aldo and adds great value.

      Overloading the brain with the feeling of regret opens the door for more negative thinking. We imprison our minds and deplete possibilities.

      You explained this thoroughly and I feel great reading your comment my friend.

      Thank you

  2. Thank you so very much, Ali Alani, for your insightful thoughts on this very important aspect of our lives.

    Most often this emotion is grossly neglected, and many a ‘regret’ can eat away just as cancer does. You also raised many questions and answering each of them would take many pages.. “smile*

    You rightly pointed out that ‘regrets’ can be turned into positive energy for growth.

    Many years ago, while I was super excited to learn all about the Japanese art of massage to relieve pain and stress – Shiatsu, I was also introduced to the art of Kintsukuroi, also known as kintsugi. It is the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with a precious metal such as gold. Instead of hiding the flaws or throwing away the vessel, those past scars are highlighted as a form of beauty, strength, and survival.

    I have taught myself to use all kinds of secondary substances to enhance a “scar” on/with any material and behold the resulting beauty created. Likewise in my personal life, I have learned to treat my ‘regrets’ the same way with a positive attitude.

    I am convinced that as we each learn how to embrace our negative feelings in a healthy way, we can move forward and achieve our goals.

    “Never regret anything from your past because one day, you’ll look back and thank it for hurting you so much that you decided to become a stronger human being.” – Faith Star

    “We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.” – Steve Maraboli

    • Great comment and great quotes as well Jonathan Solomon

      I love the idea of the Japanese art to repair broken items and make them better than thy were.
      So you applied the samr to repair your “scars” and make them a way to strengthen you and be stronger in the future.

      Excellent comment and I am so glad that you shared this brilliant comment