Byron's Babbles

It Ain’t Like You Get Do-Overs

Posted in Educational Leadership, Global Leadership, Leadership, Leadership Development, Regret by Dr. Byron L. Ernest on January 24, 2023

Johannes asked Zeb, “Do you ever regret not doing anything in your life?” Zeb answered, “Don’t think there’s anyone who doesn’t ever regret something. The question is how many regrets we have, how big they are, and how long you let them last. It ain’t like you get do-overs, Johannes.” This conversation took place between western mountain man, Zeb, and immigrant from Denmark, Johannes, in Book 4 of Threads West An American Saga: Moccasin Track by Reid Lance Rosenthal. I love the insight of the character Zeb, here. Sometimes, we like to say we have no regrets, but the truth is that’s not very realistic. Regret is actually an emotion we are psychologically able to deal with. It could be something as simple as ordering the lobster mac and cheese and then seeing someone else’s salmon and wishing you had ordered it. Our mind instantly gives us the solution – we can order the salmon next time. Now, ordering the salmon next time works unless we are at a restaurant in a foreign country that we will never likely return to again. But, according to Zeb’s comment, this would be a small regret. We are probably not losing much sleep over it. Sometimes regret is just regret.

Most of the time we regret more the things we don’t do than the things we do. Zeb said, referring to regrets, that “…we don’t get do-overs” and there’s the question of “how long you let them last.” We need to keep in mind that we really don’t get do-overs. There are second chances, but not do-overs. Remember, the opportunity may, and probably won’t, present itself again. The thing I found most profound about these lines in the book was the question of how long we let regrets last. Sometimes reversing the regret could be as quick as making a phone call and saying what you wish you had said earlier. Sometimes it is not something that can be reversed or anything that can be done. I like the idea, however, of asking myself, “how long will I let this regret last?” Remember, it ain’t like we get do-overs!