Is living life with no regrets, really a possibility ?
I don’t think so…….
For me, life has been like a maze, where at each point in life, I have had to choose before taking any decision. Every decision incurred a cost and a reward. Before taking any decision, it has been extremely tough to determine whether the reward is higher or the cost. With life passing by, the biggest fear in my life has been that I don’t have any regrets at the end of it. Most of us relate to this. There are movie dialogues, famous people commenting about doing what your heart really wants so that you don’t have any regrets. But, in my life till now, there hasn’t been a single time where my heart really wanted just one single thing. Most of the decisions that I have been able to take, is because the other one was either completely shitty or I had no other option.
There have been many analogies about reaching a cross road in life, but in reality, life is a big graph of connected nodes at each point. There is a plethora of different possibilities and decisions which might take our life in a direction which we never thought. Considering, if my life ends today, I have regrets and they are gonna stay till the day, so I think that ship has already sailed and I believe this is true for everyone. The most common decision, each one of us ever has to make is between stability and “a chance of growth”. Now, this chance may go completely downhill and may “make our life miserable beyond amends”. This is what we think, while making a decision. Our mind makes the bad situation look the worst. The worst case scenarios in actuality can never actually happen. Even if they happen, the result can never be as bad as our mind imagines. I remember my thought process from school. I used to be a topper, and yet I still used to fear about the possibility of failing the exam. In reality, such events actually happened. I left one complete side of my question paper. I still did not fail the exam. I just came till the middle. I believe reaching the worst case scenarios takes much more effort than it takes to really reach the best case scenarios. Along with this, stability in itself is a variable which changes automatically to instability if it stays stable for quite long. I learnt this through money. Like money, depreciates in value, so does everything in our life. There is no man made thing in this world which lasts forever. Some might argue that love lasts forever, but it really does not and never can. It either has to go up, or go down. Same amount of love can never sustain any kind of relationship. You can work and gain more money, similarly you can work on relationships and gain more love, but the amount that existed as to either grow or shrink. The value of Gold today is much more than it used to be 100 years from now, and the value of telegram is 0 which used to be the most important medium of communication just a century ago. So, stability in itself is never stable. This means that the “chance of growth” is a necessary chance to lead a happy life. You might decrease or increase the rate of growth, but growth is inevitable.
But, some may survive the life of stability, which can be big enough and might even be equal or even more than a person’s life. Now even if we go with our gut and really take the decision and choose the path to growth, that path also takes away the one thing we lost- which is stability. And, even though in a short run, we might become successful, but in the long run, it may seem a bad decision.I realised, to life there is just one end, but things in our life have multiple ends and beginnings. A startup for which you lost your job might be successful today and lose its value within a year bringing everyone in your life to streets. A decision which seemed the best a year back might be the biggest disaster now. Now, you will regret the stable life which you lost. Some might argue that you can still get back on your feet and change your life back to a happy place, to which I completely agree. But we do not know when our life would end ? And whenever it ends, there will be regret. Even if you become successful and stay successful, it might have cost you your health, family, leisure and maybe everything else in your life.
We regret eating that burger, when we are on a weight loss journey, but what if this was your last day. Would you regret it ? The answer is no and the answer to whether, there is a life without regrets is also a big fat “NO” which I believe completely depends on our mindset when we are dying. I never had in my life just one single aspiration. It was rather a step to a rather bigger aspiration and as soon as I reached that step, the step lost its value and the next step became more important. The only thing left to cherish were the experiences and not the result.
I believe life is all about experiences and finding balance. We can never live a life trying to keep regrets till minimum. Rather, we should try to create a more holistic approach and put in all our efforts to make the current day a “happy day”. On deep retrospection, I realised that success is completely relative. It is only the mindset of the person who achieved it that makes him happy/sad. I am grateful to say that my life is a dream to many and someone else is living my dream life and there is no end to it. Money/Love/Freedom/Power, nothing in itself can come without loss of something. For you, success of someone might be minuscule, but for that person, it might mean the whole world. I can make my mind to believe that I have no regrets and die today peacefully or I can make my mind believe that my complete life was a failure and die today with a lots of regrets and this will be true forever.
With each thing we gain, we lose something, the laws of nature and universe apply to anything in our life, fungible or non fungible. I believe the only thing at the end, which would matter will be the experiences. I also think, we should do exactly what we want to do at a point in life without thinking about the consequences. The consequences themselves are relative. There is no one absolute goal which can make you happy and reach nirvana. I want my life just to be filled with experiences which make my journey worth following. It is never the destination which matters, it is all about the journey. We should never really try to curse ourselves for the things which we did in past and believe they were stupid, because they all resulted in some experience which is unique in itself and there is someone out there who craves that.
Living your life without regrets is not decided by any single path that you took or did not take. Rather, it depends on the mindset which you have when you will die. You can either focus on the landmarks in your life and regret about the ones which you did not achieve, or you can just smile on the trajectory of your life journey which looks extremely weird…..