How have you handled life’s regrets? Over 60s share valuable life tips

Nov 27, 2022
Regret can consume you, here's some advice on letting go. Source: Getty

Life’s journey is full of ups and downs and missed opportunities, and as the saying goes ‘hindsight is always 20/20’, but spending time dwelling on your past regrets can often result in negative repercussions.

However, it can sometimes be hard to move on from what could have been, so when seniors were asked to provide their best tips on moving on, they did not disappoint.

Posting to the online forum Ask Old People on Reddit, over 60s were asked “How have you dealt with regret in your life?”

While some admitted they’d dealt with regret “poorly”, the majority of advice was insightful, providing food for thought.

“I have accepted that I cannot predict the future. If I did my best with what I knew at the time, and would have done differently if I knew now what I knew then, what else can I do? To a large degree we’re all stumbling around in the dark. There’s not much point in beating oneself up for not having precognition,” one person said.

“I did the best I could with what I had. Besides, things tend to work out in the end. Mistakes I made led me to some of the most important people in my life, who I might have never met otherwise, and that’s not a cause for complaint.”

“There are opportunities I missed for stupid reasons. People I should have tried harder to spend time with. Some things I’ve done which were perhaps better if had not been done,” commented another.

“But if your mostly happy with where you are at in your life and who you are with all of that is probably not significant. In fact if it were not for the regrettable things you may not have what you do now. So if you can be grateful for what you have the past does not matter so much.”

One of the most notable pieces of advice was self-forgiveness and learning from the past.

“There are few things in life you will regret more than regret, and it’s better to regret the things you’ve done than the things you wish you’d done,” one perceptive senior surmised.

“Make your decisions with reason, integrity, and accountability, and when you’ve used those tools to make an informed decision…don’t dwell on it. If it turned out to be a bad decision, don’t wrack yourself with guilty trying to rationalize why, rather, concern yourself with how.

“How did it go wrong? Bad assumptions? Bad information? The actions of someone else? Could you have predicted those actions? Should you have?

“The idea isn’t to figure out so much where you went wrong as to figure out where the process let you down. If you can find things to improve to help the process, do so.

“Beyond that, let it go. Some things are simply bad luck or bad breaks. There’s no one to blame and there’s no way you could have known things would go wrong.”

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