Every now and then we all meet someone who feels they have wasted a large part of his or her life. We may think it about ourselves, from time to time. The relentless push to do more and be more makes us feel a bit guilty when we slow down for a while, or take a break. Sometimes this push comes from the outside, but often, we do it to ourselves.
We may regret actions we took or decisions we made. More often than not, we regret the things we didn’t do or the decisions we avoided making, or perhaps the situations we walked by when we could have gotten involved and made a contribution. We need to remember that wallowing in regrets pays no dividends. It’s a poor investment of time and energy.
Life is a learning experience, from Day 1. We don’t arrive in this world fully formed and ready to make perfect decisions. We do a lot of learning as children and teens, exploring the world around us and all that is in it. The thing is, we don’t stop learning when we become adults. We make mistakes, but it is often said that we learn far more from our mistakes than we do from any unimpeded successes.
There are no wasted experiences on our path to a meaningful life. Everything that has ever happened to us can be used for a glorious purpose, if we choose to do use it that way. Everything that life has taught us – no matter how difficult or painful it was at the time it happened – can make each of us a better, stronger person today and tomorrow, if we let it. The choice is ours to make.
Don’t allow yourself to get hung up about a so-called “wasted” past. It’s not about putting your life in reverse, and attempting a do-over. Take what you’ve learned, and use it to plot out a new course for your future.