The way to avoid regret seems obvious.
Leave nothing undone.
Easier said than done, right?
See, fear keeps us from making an attempt to begin with, and then regret hangs around to shame us after the fact for our inaction.
Truly, what silly games we play with ourselves.
I give you permission. Go to that wedding. Buy that plane ticket. Take that trip. Tell that girl that you desperately love her. Go see an old friend. Don’t wait one more second. If you are in doubt, take action.
Understand: Failure is better than regret.
“Regret is tough to repair,” he had said to me one night as we walked the beach. I was young, living under the pier, and still nursing wounds I carried from the deaths of my parents. “It’s a fairly simple thing to avoid,” he had said, “but regret surely is tough to repair.” “How do you avoid it?” I had asked, which I am certain was what he had intended. “Really now, Jones . . . how can you avoid regret?” “No unfinished business,” he answered simply. “No good things left unsaid. Wrap folks in your arms. Express your gratitude. Always say, ‘I love you.’” Then he shrugged. “That’s how you avoid regret.” “Really?” I pushed him. “That’s it?” I will never forget . . . he stopped walking and turned to face me. “Yes, son,” he said. “That’s it. I thought you knew. But maybe you just don’t want to think about it right now. One day you will. To avoid regret, you do and say and express every good thing you can possibly do and say and express to those you love. ’Cause you’re going to find there isn’t always time to whisper good-bye.”
-Andy Andrews, The Noticer Returns