Overcoming Regret and Fear

There are two kinds of regret. One is regret from acting. The other is regret from not acting. Regretting not acting is probably uniquely human.

Imagine you’re a bear. You see a funny looking black-and-white animal waddling about. You play with it, only to be sprayed with a foul stench. Learning not to play with skunks in the future is helpful. This is regretting acting.

Humans have the most powerful imagination. You can envision what no other animal can. That is where your power over nature comes.

The huge brain helps you imagine benefits, but also fears. It’s trivial to imagine possible bad consequences. In the past this was useful. Being too optimistic in a dangerous world is deadly.

These days are incredibly safe. Your imagined fears aren’t likely, but you still have them deep in your brain.

Regretting not acting might originate from imagining unlikely fear.

Being afraid of choosing badly can give you regrets. Fear is the main obstacle between you and happiness. Fear feeds on itself. It’s even worse than hard work, because you get stronger with that.

How can you choose and not regret? Ironically, more thinking will probably not help.

You have to get your feet wet to see that it won’t kill you. To overcome fear, run toward it.

You’re an incredibly smart animal. More thinking will solidify your fear-based position. To break out you have to try the novel. It’s a safe world, don’t worry.

Why not get your feet wet and see if it kills you?

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