Just say No to “No Regrets”

Recently, I had what I thought was an epiphany. 

What if I positioned The Unconventional Route as an anti-regret resource?

Everyone hates regret, right? 

My potential audience would be limitless! Maybe that would finally explode my subscriber list from thousands to millions and allow me to afford a second bedroom for Zac, so I wouldn’t have to set up my floor bed in the living room anymore.

But I didn’t want to regret making a hasty move.

So, before plowing down No Regrets Avenue, I decided to do some research. And what I found stopped me in my tracks and flipped my thinking. 

Regret is a good thing. 

You could almost certainly use more of it.

Consider this…

Watch: Just say no to “No regrets” (28sec.) on YouTube/Instagram/TikTok

No No Regrets

Regret is pain.

It’s the most painful negative emotion and the second most abundant (after anxiety). 

And like physical pain, regret serves to warn you against doing stupid sh*t over and over again. 

As far as I could find, there aren’t any cases of people whose brains are incapable of feeling regret. Lobotomized folk come the closest.

But I did read about people who can’t feel physical pain. They suffer clumsiness, disfigurement, and early death. So being incapable of feeling regret would probably doom you to something similar. 

As Jane Fonda was fond of saying, “No pain, no gain.” 

“No regret, no get,” maybe?

Because regret lights a motivational flame under your fanny. 

And you’re best off proactively sparking it yourself. Because if you sit around waiting for regret to burn you, by the time it does, it might be too late to move. 

So, to use another Fonda-ism, you gotta “feel the burn.”

This brings to mind the hedonic paradox: “He that seeks pleasure shall lose it.” 

Its ugly cousin for regret—the…googling “regret” in Greek…lypic paradox—is this: 

If you avoid regret, you’ll regret it.

By being less of a regret-o-phobe, you’ll learn more, move faster, and live better stories. 

And that’s what I’m coming to think The Unconventional Route should be about. Not avoiding regret, but seeking extraordinary stories. 

You may want to consider the same. 

Regret minimization cover image

↳ Dig deeper: Why You’ll Regret Living a Life of Minimizing Regret

Thought Starters

  • 🔫 Shoot first, make the best of it later? “We should focus less on making the right decisions and more on making sure our decisions turn out right.” – Ed Batista
  • 🔮 Want success? Foreshadow failure. According to Andrew Huberman in this podcast episode, we are more motivated when we imagine the regret we’ll feel if we don’t work toward our goals than if we visualize the glorious feeling of success.
  • 🏆 The #1 regret. According to Cornell research, people’s biggest regret is failing to fulfill their ideal selves. So it may be worth asking yourself: What’s a potentially regrettable risk you could take that might push you to “be all that you can be”?

Until next time,

Chris

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