Unknown Future, Regrets in the Past, Live in the Present

Our future is something that has been on our mind at some point.  We think about the next day, week, month, and year.  We try to plan things far out in advance and sometimes life says otherwise.  Sometimes not knowing the future can be scary.

There are people who map put there future.  They map out when they will graduate college and grad school.  They map out their career path, what age they want to get married, if their going to move somewhere new, how many kids they want to have, the age and year they want to retire, when they want to buy a house, etc.  There are people who try to map these things out, but you if noticed map out how old they want to be when they achieve one of those goals and what year it should happen.

It’s all right to have goals and plans like finishing college, having a career, wanting to get married and have kids, and living on your own.  Trying to map out every precise and specific detail can become stressful and no fun.  I have mentioned the unknown factor before and that can happen at any point in your life.  It can help and ruin well thought out plans.

When our plans get ruined or we don’t have a plan, that’s when the future can be scary.  We don’t have anything to work toward or have something to look forward to we can become lost, confused, stressed, and fearful about the future.

Past Regrets

We have a tendency to look back at our past sometimes seeking answers to our questions or when we do some soul searching.  Sometimes however we get caught up in our past mistakes and regrets.  Sometimes this just happens or we do it to ourselves intentionally. 

We sometimes dwell on those things thinking what different about outcomes could have happened or what we could have done different. 

In the back of our mind, we believe that we can undo every one of them especially the big ones.  In some cases we can, and in some cases we can’t.

Savor the Present

‘Live like there’s no tomorrow’ is another saying that we have heard at some point in our lives.  Living and savoring the moment can be difficult for some people to do.  Some people believe that they have to be doing something every moment of everyday. 

Instead of looking ahead, take a moment to look around your current surroundings.  Are you outside?  Look up at the sky and take that in.  Are you in your living room?  Try putting down and turning off all electronic devices and just sit in silence.  If your laying on your bed, turn everything off and take some slow deep breaths.

Did something good happen to you?  Did you relish that moment, that good feeling?  If you did that’s wonderful.   If you didn’t and were thinking about something else, it’s ok; I’ve done that myself.  I was thinking about the next thing I was going to do or question that compliment.

Advice and Tips

Here’s some advice and tips on how to balance the past, present, and future:

  • Take each day one day at a time
  • You don’t have tomorrow’s energy; you only have enough for today
  • It’s ok to not be ok.  You don’t need everything single thing in your life to be mapped out right now
  • You can add things, make changes along the way, and things can still be fine
  • Learn from your past and look forward and right in front of you
  • Forgive those who wronged you or forgive yourself
  • Be grateful for what you have
  • Appreciate the good people in your life
  • Dream about the future, but focus on what you can do today
  • Look back at past achievements, but don’t dwell on them

Wrap Up

Like Ferris Buehler once said “Life moves very fast.  If you don’t stop to look around once in awhile, you could miss it”.  It’s ok to think about your future.  It’s all right to make plans for your future.  You can have a general idea and be all right.  Where people make the mistake is that they try to map out very specifics details in a specific and sometimes condensed time frame.  They dwell on those plans for a majority of their day and sometimes neglect their health and friends and family.  They hope nothing unexpected will happen otherwise they believe everything can fall apart and chaos will rule their lives.

It’s all right to look back in your past to understand your roots.  What people fall victim to is getting caught up in those regrets and mistakes where they dwell on them and feel bad afterwards.  They try to change things that already happened to them in the hope that the outcome will change even if a lot of time has gone by.

Living in the present is one thing, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t think ahead or make any plans for your future.  You can plan out your day like things to do in the morning, what you want to do after school or work, or what your having for dinner tonight.  If we want to change something about ourselves that we don’t like and is hurtful to others, sometimes we need to look back to our past to find where things started and work there.

Enjoy those good moments, accept those compliments, and remember it’s ok to stop and do nothing.  Take care of yourselves, stay safe, and remember your not alone and you have worth in this world.

What Everyone is Saying About Regrets

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

Steve Maraboli

Hey guys, hope you all have been doing well.  With everything that has been going on lately, I know people’s hearts have been very heavy and have been consumed with a lot of emotions.  Going back to my post on moving forward and not back, there was something else I wanted to include, but I thought it would make more sense to make it its own topic.  What I’m referring to is regrets.  I have things that I regretted doing and not doing.  Your not the only person who has regrets in this world.  Everyone has one thing they have regretted doing or not doing in their life. 

What Regrets Do to Us

As humans, we are not perfect.  We all make mistakes at some point in our lives.  We can forget to do something important, we say something we wish we could take back, and we forget to say something important to someone we care about.  We do things that seem right at the time and later regret doing them.  A mistake can turn into a regret depending on how you react to it and if there are other people involved, their reactions can have an impact on it.  Regrets also come about when we are disappointed over something and feel sad.  According to Psychology Today (2017), “Regret is the second-most common emotion people mention in daily life, some studies show. And it’s the most common negative emotion” (Grierson, para 2).  Regrets can eat away at you and bring down your mood.  You can begin to neglect your overall health and become weak and fatigued.  You may begin to think your not worth a dime to anyone and that all the good things you have in your life, your not worthy of them.  You replay what happened over and over hoping for a different outcome and what you did wrong or what went wrong in general.  You look for a hidden meaning which may not be there.  People can get lost in the sadness and guilt that can come with having regrets. 

Common Regrets People Have

There some regrets almost everyone experiences at some point in their life.  One of them is not having the courage to live a life that is true to who they are.  They live their life of what is expected by other people and they don’t find true happiness and peace of mind. 

A second common regret is wishing that they worked smart and not hard.  It’s one thing to work hard, but working smarter (while still working hard) to where your not burning yourself out, not sacrificing your happiness, being able to spend time with others, and maintaining your overall health is what you should aim for. 

A third common regret is being able to stay in touch with good friends.  We can so easily get caught up in our lives and whatever problems we are dealing with that we forget to see how others are doing.  We forget to spend time with our friends which can be helpful in recharging ourselves and breathing a sigh of relief.  We can also forget to ask them for help and forget to help them out. 

A fourth common regret is being able to have the courage to express their feelings.  Sometimes we bite our tongue to maintain the peace between friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and family.  Yet in doing so we may also suppress our feelings.  This can cause us to not reach out more to friends and family, build or rebuild bonds and connections with other people in our lives, and not be able to be vulnerable to them. 

A fifth one is just not letting yourself be more happy with your overall life.  So many times we let good things get away from us because were either scared of something or someone or not feel like we’ll be good at something.  We also can be blind to good things that are right in front of us because we’re so consumed with our problems, wishing for things we don’t have, and wanting the next day or weekend to come so that we can enjoy something while ignoring the other days.  

A sixth one can be how someone approaches their education.  Some regret not doing well in school, some regret not finishing school, and some regret their major in college.  There are those who regret the way they handled student loans.  According to PayScale (2019), “the years of commitment and the repercussions that academic choices can have on earnings potential leave many regretting their educational choices.  Our research shows that the vast majority – nearly two thirds – of those with at least a bachelor’s degree regret something about their education” (Gruver, para 2-3).

Here are some ways that you can avoid making mistakes that can lead to regrets:

  1. Don’t follow someone else’s dreams
  2. Don’t take your loved ones for granted
  3. Live in the moment and the present
  4. Stop pretending to be someone else
  5. Take care of yourself
  6. Don’t fear failure
  7. Experience and listen more
  8. Stand up for yourself
  9. Seize the moment
  10. Think before you act

Here is a list of tips on how you can better cope with regrets you have made:

  1. Acknowledge what you’re feeling
  2. Catch yourself doing negative self-talk 
  3. Find the triggers that make you feel down and avoid them until you feel no pain from them
  4. Focus on what your grateful for because others have less than you
  5. Genuinely apologize and forgive yourself
  6. Focus on and embrace your positive qualities (you have them)

Wrap Up

Life can be too uncertain to have any regrets.  Yet they happen still happen even to the best of us.  Seizing the moment is one thing, but there are scenarios and situations where you should think before you act and what to say, as it could hurt someone’s feelings or hurt them physically.  As I mentioned, there is probably one thing that you regret in your life.  I hope that by reading this that you find a way to cope with it so that it doesn’t rule your life and the decisions you make in the future and that you can better avoid making new ones.  I’ll leave you all with this, one thing I recently learned is to work on solving your inner conflicts first and then whatever is going on in the world, it won’t be as overwhelming to you.  


Grierson, B. (2017). The Meaning of Regret.  Retrived from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-carpe-diem-project/201710/the-meaning-regret

Gruver, J. (2019). Biggest College Regrets. Retrieved from        https://www.payscale.com/data/biggest-college-regrets