You dropped out of college, didn’t invite that girl to prom, never learnt how to play piano, never got a chance to see that movie on a big screen, but you created a successful startup, are happily married, you surf, and dance, and play the guitar like a pro, and you just moved in your new house with a nice & cozy movie room.

“In life, I regret the things I didn’t do far more than the missteps I made along the way” ― David Stanley.

We all make mistakes. As we get older, it gets a little easier to forgive ourselves for them. Because each time we make another one, we realize that life doesn’t end and the world keeps turning.

“Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been” ― Kurt Vonnegut.

Regrets about inaction carry the same weight each time. Because you can always spend weeks wondering ‘what if’. That’s a fantasy. An alternate reality you never got to live.

Those regrets are much harder to let go than anything you did. Especially because you can fix most things. Little in life is irreversible. But you can’t go back in time.

The next time you miss out, remember – you repeat what you don’t repair.

But above all – be sincere with yourself. Pause and ask yourself: If I’m sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomorrow?

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves” – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.

The truth is that you will make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in your past. But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, you are here now with the power to shape your day and your future.

You do things you desperately wish you could undo. Those regrets just become part of who you are, along with everything else. To spend time trying to change that, well, it’s like chasing clouds.

Don’t allow yourself to be controlled by regrets. At the end – this is only your choice.

“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way” – Viktor E. Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.

You might have a bad case of the 2am guilts – you know, when you lie in bed awake and replay all those things you didn’t do. Because, as we all know, nothing solves insomnia like a nice warm blend of regret and self-loathing.

You might miss more shots because you never took them, but this shall never keep you from living a happy life.

So, accept and appreciate things you didn’t do, because they gave the time and power to what you did.


  • Alla Adam

    Smart Human | Lean Startup Coach | Investor | Author


    Alla Adam is an investor, and a master certified coach with an MBA, MS & BS in international economic relations and marketing. Alla also holds two executive education certifications from Yale School of Management and Harvard Law School, both in negotiation strategies. She is an affiliate member at The Institute of Coaching, McLean/Harvard Medical School, and HeartMath Institute. Alla is proudly future-proofing humans across the globe since 2003. Alla's Client list includes smart humans from such companies & institutions as Amazon, Google, Kraft Heinz, Red Bull, Coca-Cola, Danone, PepsiCo, Nestle, JTI, Ernst & Young, BlaBlaCar, Forbes, London Business School, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, etc. She is an advocate for womxn & LGBTQ rights, and an author of two Playbooks: Million Dollar Coach Playbook and Million Dollar Investor Playbook.