How to Think about Regret

Thoughts on regret.

  • It seems that regret should be handled like pain – it’s a warning that something is wrong and should be addressed immediately.
  • Regret seems to be useless beyond that initial stab of discomfort. Otherwise, you’ll end up trying to change what is unchangeable- the past- when you could move forward on some aspect of life.
  • Mistakes are lessons, sometimes expensive lessons, sometimes opportunities are lost, sometimes people who you cared about are no longer responding in the way that you prefer because of what you’ve done (or omitted doing). These are tough circumstances, but think of them as lessons. What can you learn from this? Glean what is beneficial from the situation.
  • When you train yourself to see a rough spot as potentially beneficial to you, you begin not to fear making a mistake as much.
  • Note that you do not need to be born this way. (I’m not sure that anyone is born thinking this way). You can train yourself to start seeing problems as opportunities for improvement, instead of pits of despair and regret.
  • How do you train yourself to see problems, not as potential things to regret, but as lessons that benefit you? Well, how do you build muscles? Daily. It will not be easy. Remember to practice patience with yourself. And try not to do all of this alone.
  • To train yourself to see problems as benefits, it helps to write down what is good about the terrible situation. It might take a while to write this list, because your brain might be stubbornly stuck in pouting mode, but it can be done. Review that list regularly. You are rewiring your brain to focus on what’s good.
  • This rewiring of your brain does not mean you should keep doing the thing that led to your situation in the first place, it is simply a way of viewing life to get you out of the rut of regret.

Peace Be With You,


SARK has an Inspiration Phone Line!


I know I’ve been talking about the author of Juicy Pens, Thirsty Paper a lot lately – SARK (Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy)- but I just had to let you know. This author has what she calls an “Inspiration Line,” a phone number where you can call and be inspired by something that she says.

I was flipping through the book and there it was on page 87 under one of her writing prompts. The number is 415-546-3742, if you want to call it. That’s a San Francisco number; whatever your rates are to call  will apply.

It seems as if SARK changes the message monthly. Currently, it’s  3 minute 10 seconds which includes

  • An intro to who is SARK
  • Then a recitation of a poem by John Donahue called “For a New Beginning.”
  • She then wishes us all well.

I really love the last bit of Donahue’s poem:

Awaken your spirit to adventure
Hold nothing back, learn to find ease in risk
Soon you will be home in a new rhythm
For your soul senses the world that awaits you.

I’m speechless! What a lovely poem. And what a lovely thing  for SARK to do for people who need a quick mental pick-me-up.  She’s using every medium possible to be of use to people. I would never have thought of using a phone line for my business or personal development outreach.

Have you ever called the Inspiration Line? What did you think?



Casey Neistat and Orson Welles on a Creator’s Job

Casey Neistat addresses someone who states, “You’re a filmmaker; stop vlogging.” His answer is one that can be useful to any creator, whether filmmaker, writer, blogger, painter, etc.

Our job as creators is to further define the medium. Our job is to create the new cliches, not adhere to those that were defined by generations past.

Watch the video here: “What’s Your Motivation?”

It is an answer similar to a statement given by filmmaker Orson Welles,

“I passionately hate the idea of being ‘with it;’ I think an artist has always to be out of step with his time.”

What do you think?



How does technology change our relationship to each other?

I’m just thinking about how communication technology changes behavior and how we relate to each other.

We have talked about why vlogging is popular; we have discussed why your blog is necessary. They both boil down to communication – you are connecting with other human beings, mostly people that you do not personally know or perhaps have never met face-to-face.

Yet you feel as if you can know, like and trust this virtual stranger.

How will we relate to each other in the future as vlogging, blogging, paying bills online, seeing recent pictures of your grandchildren on Facebook,  (and some say Virtual Reality) become more standard?

I recall many road trips as a child wherein some hotels would advertise “wireless internet” to the thousands of passing cars along the highway. This was a draw for potential guests since not every hotel had it then (some still don’t). However, now the internet is a utility, the internet is just as much expected to be at a hotel as is running water or a bed.

What will these cultural shifts do to us or for us?

The format of communication seems to change the way we view the other person. Let me explain what I mean.

When movies were king, seeing Clark Gable on a 30 foot screen was the most fascinating thing ever. According to film star Robert Wagner in his autobio, Pieces of My Heart, you never expected to see these luminaries of the silver screen in real life.

Fast forward and television is taking attention away from film. People do not have to put on their shoes and go out the door to see famous people; everything is right there on a box in the living room. Wagner says that, because of this format, TV stars were considered more homey and relate-able, people who seem as if they could be your neighbors. (Mr.  Rogers, anyone?)

I wonder, then, what mobile devices have done to our view of other people. If you can have your entertainment or communication in the palm of your hand, do you feel as if you own the show?

Because the communication is now a two-way street, lots of feedback coming from readers or viewers of the content, do they feel as if they know the person? Do they feel better reflected or represented?

It might be too early to tell.

I’m just thinking through some stuff. You can’t have this seismic shift in communication – this heavy internet use- and not change culture, and not effect our relationship to each other.

What do you think?