As I look back over the year, it was a year full of changes: Networking changed. Businesses changed. BNI changed. My family changed. The one thing that did not change: I had no regrets in 2020 on the decisions I made.
I’m sometimes asked some variation of a question about whether I have made any major mistakes that I’d like to have a chance to do over. Or, if I have any regrets about decisions I’ve made throughout my career. I always welcome that question but I generally re-position it in a way that I feel is very important.
Mistakes are your tuition to success, and I’ve made a lot of mistakes and paid a lot of “tuition” over the years. I’ve learned from those mistakes and I always endeavor to never repeat them, but I don’t have any regrets. I don’t have regrets because those mistakes have molded me into the person that I’ve become. You see, if you are clear about your personal values and you live a life striving to live those values to the best of your ability – you shouldn’t regret the decisions (even the bad ones you made when looking back) because you were being true to those values.
I think many people feel deep regret when they waiver from their values or make choices that were expedient and possibly not congruent with their inner beliefs. When that happens, we are likely to regret the choices we’ve made. As a rule, I have always tried to make decisions based on having as much information about an issue as I can – while making sure to get advice from the people I trust. Many times, that has served me well. Other times – let’s just say it was definitely a “tuition” opportunity.
Mistakes are ok. Paying tuition is good. Regrets – no thanks.