Is There Anything You Wished You’ve Never Done?
About 4 years ago, during an ex-college mate’s wedding reception, my friends and I were seated with some of her previous colleagues and their spouses. Having come from an international accounting firm herself, my college mate’s colleagues were either senior finance managers or financial controllers of large multi-national corporations. High fliers, I would say.
A friend started chatting with one of the spouses. Seriously, I wished he had never started it because throughout the conversation, the spouse was haughtily bragging about his corporate profile. How many people there were in his department. How much turnover his company generate every year etc.
But he was stumped by one question.
“So, which secondary school (ie. high school) were you from?” My friend piped.
“Errh…” There was a long pause before he continued, somewhat defensive. “I was from yyy school. I was young and ignorant then and my uncle was telling my mum what a good school yyy was. It was only after I was admitted that I realized the school was quite notorious in the neighbourhood. I wished I had never listened to my uncle’s advice!”
When I heard that, I was aghast.
Why was he such a loser? Quick to claim credit for his achievements but brushed away facts that seemingly tainted his wonderful track record?
But as I reflect the incident now, I realized that the spouse was not alone.
Why You Shouldn’t Do That
A lot of people I knew personally, like looking back into what they’ve done. They call it reminiscing. I don’t see a problem with that except that most of them chose to do it in a manner that is very destructive.
They review the past wishing and hoping that they’ve never done certain things, hypothesizing that if they had never done what they did, they would be much better off.
That they would be spared the agonizing experience which they went through.
That they would not be required to bear the blemish of that “stinking” past.
But the truth is, when you’re doing that, you’re indirectly judging yourself. You get upset for the “imperfections” you’ve sole-handedly created and tries to make it up by working even harder. Even when you’ve attained remarkable achievements, you still felt that they weren’t enough. Whatever you’ve done couldn’t atone for the misdeeds. Because in your eyes, your past was too unforgivable.
To lessen the pain, some people chose to relinquish all responsibility. Like the spouse, they pushed the blame to others. However, it just makes them even more conscious of that “imperfection”, a pain that wouldn’t go away.
What You Should Be Doing Instead
Now, if what I’m describing above sounds like you, the first thing you should do is to stop fretting on the past and slowly learn to
Whatever that’s good or bad about you or your choices is yours alone. Only when you acknowledge them as part of your entirety will you realize you actually possess the ability to change it.
Think about it, if not for your past, would you be inspired to work even harder to achieve what you did today? If not for the outcomes of past decisions, would you know what course of actions to take or not to take? It’s through setbacks that you get to see how tough you’re. So shouldn’t you feel glad that you just went through one more opportunity to manifest that potential?
Enjoy the Journey
Coming down so hard on yourself merely robs you of the pleasures in life and simply makes you more disgusted with it. Take heed of the downs and savour the rewards of your achievements. You know you should. Because you jolly well deserve it!