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Any profound regrets?


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#1 of 85 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 20 2008 - 12:36 PM

I'm wondering who else out there has some mistake (or a good decision, for that matter) you have made that is so profound you now believe it significantly altered your entire life? Particularly something that couldn't have been painfully obvious at the time, like committing a serious crime. I've been coming to terms with some actions over 25 years ago which now appear to have been one of, if not the most significant in determining the path of my life, and possibly even someone else's.

Deep stuff on an HTF evening. Any contributions?

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#2 of 85 OFFLINE   Holadem

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Posted August 20 2008 - 12:44 PM

Quote:
I'm wondering who else out there has some mistake (or a good decision, for that matter) you have made that is so profound you now believe it significantly altered your entire life?
Yes. No, I will not elaborate, sorry Posted Image

It's heartwarming to know that assuming I last the average lifespan, I have plenty of time and occasions for even more spectacular fuck ups.

--
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#3 of 85 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 20 2008 - 12:49 PM

That was fast.

BTW, no need to elaborate if you don't want to. I personally intend to, after a while. I know a lot of people here think I'm pretty hard nosed. It will surprise you.

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#4 of 85 OFFLINE   Chris Lockwood

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Posted August 20 2008 - 01:05 PM

So for both of you, the regrets are about things you did?

There's an old saying that most regrets are over things you didn't do rather than things you did. That's why I'm curious.

#5 of 85 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 20 2008 - 01:15 PM

Mine fits both, in a way. In the end, it is about what I didn't do or should have done differently, several times.

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#6 of 85 OFFLINE   Kyle McKnight

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Posted August 20 2008 - 01:20 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnRice
I'm wondering who else out there has some mistake (or a good decision, for that matter) you have made that is so profound you now believe it significantly altered your entire life? Particularly something that couldn't have been painfully obvious at the time, like committing a serious crime. I've been coming to terms with some actions over 25 years ago which now appear to have been one of, if not the most significant in determining the path of my life, and possibly even someone else's.

Deep stuff on an HTF evening. Any contributions?

So you have a story to tell, but you're asking for others to share before you spill your experience? Not really the way to start a thread.

For me, nothing comes to mind, but I love reading about those kind of experiences. Maybe someday something will click with me.
Kyle McKnight

#7 of 85 OFFLINE   ZacharyTait

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Posted August 20 2008 - 01:25 PM

The biggest regret I have and probably ever will have is not asking out a girl named Sarah that I met my first year in college. I'm a typical looking nerd, although I do play sports, and she was a tall, gorgeous blonde in my Intro to Computers class. I was almost late to the first class and grabbed the first seat open which happened to be next to her. We said Hi to each other and waited for class to start.

Over the next 4 months, I ended up spending lots of class time with her and in the lab since the class was a joke to me, but required nonetheless for my Computer Science degree. The chemistry between her and I was nothing that I've ever had before or since with another woman.

Maybe if I would have asked her out, she would've said no or we would've went out a few times and called it good or we could've been in a relationship. I regret the fact that I didn't take the chance.

#8 of 85 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 20 2008 - 05:15 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyle McKnight
So you have a story to tell, but you're asking for others to share before you spill your experience? Not really the way to start a thread.
I guess that is one way of looking at it. The fact is I want to find out some more first, and was curious about the stories of others. I'm guessing most of them will involve relationships.


Still, I'll appease you with the one decision I made which I think was the most life-changing in a positive way, plus just the most courageous thing I think I've ever done.

After I graduated from college, I went straight into a corporate job. Things were going extremely well and I was promoted after a couple years. I started at a pretty high level job and there were only about 4 or 5 levels above me, so promotions were a big deal. Not long after that, I realized that I was already burning out. I worked endlessly and sacrificed my entire personal life. After about another 18 months I was promoted again and I kept sinking further. Finally, about 3 years later, I was offered a national management position, and I told them to stick it. Instead, I moved back to Colorado and eventually got married, though that unfortunately didn't go so well.

That decision surprises me now. I can't believe I had the guts to do it. It did not make my life easier in one way, because up to that point money came easily. Since then, earning even a minimal living has been a constant struggle, but I'm no longer sick all the time and I get to enjoy things much better. So, even though it led to some real struggles, that was probably the best move I've ever made.

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#9 of 85 OFFLINE   andrew markworthy

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Posted August 21 2008 - 01:57 AM

Ooh, let's see:

(1) Totally missing that a girl was keen on me when we were students together, and who is now mega rich and famous (at least in academic circles)

(2) Throwing away a winning prize draw ticket in a candy bar promotion whilst on holiday in Canada. The prize was worth $100k (in 1978).

(3) Instead of (1), chasing after a pretty but insipid girl and wasting a couple of years.

I regret these things in the sense that I wonder why at the time I didn't do differently, but in the long term, I wouldn't have wanted these events to be different because then I wouldn't have got the life I have now and am happy with. E.g. I doubt whether the girl in question would have been suitable (I've met her a couple of times in recent years at conferences and found her an acerbic harridan) and if I'd had that sort of money aged 18 I doubt whether I would have tried quite so hard to succeed at my work. And as regards the pretty but insipid girl, it taught me a great deal about being careful in your choice of friends and why what appears on the surface to be attractive can be anything but in the long run.

I know this sounds hokey, but that old adage about being dealt a hand of cards and making the best of what you're dealt is a reasonable guide. Wanting for a better set of cards doesn't mean that you'd ultimately be any happier if by a wave of a magic wand you got them.

#10 of 85 OFFLINE   Scott McGillivray

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Posted August 21 2008 - 02:56 AM

Mine is pretty easy. I married a girl for all the wrong reasons. The marriage only lasted 1 year. It devastaed me for many, many years afterwards. Looking back, it is not so much the fact that the marraige did not work out that I regret, it is the fact that I married her in the first place. Like I said, it was for the wrong reasons. I still feel bad about the event, but now that I am re-married over 10 years later, I feel that I learned so much from that horrible time that, I pray, I can apply it to my life now.

Second would be going into business with a friend. Yikes. Not a good idea. Again, I learned a lot, but it was painful. I was lucky to escape pretty much unscathed.
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#11 of 85 OFFLINE   dany

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Posted August 21 2008 - 03:01 AM

Dope instead of homework. Bad decision.
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#12 of 85 OFFLINE   Michael Reuben

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Posted August 21 2008 - 03:09 AM

I'm old enough to have a list that would go on for pages, but I don't think I want anyone to know me that well. Posted Image

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#13 of 85 OFFLINE   JohnRice

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Posted August 21 2008 - 03:18 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott McGillivray
Second would be going into business with a friend. Yikes. Not a good idea. Again, I learned a lot, but it was painful. I was lucky to escape pretty much unscathed.
Ooh, I did that one as well. Holy crap was that stupid. On top of it all, mere weeks after the partnership blew up, the friend was diagnosed with cancer and eventually died a horribly slow, lingering death. Sorry to be graphic, but it took years. When this is done, it might be clear why some friends tell me I should write a book. Of course, I tend to think they are just trying to get me to shut up.

The truth is Scott, I did the first one too, but in my case it lasted 18 months 16 days, not that I was counting. We must be cosmically connected.

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#14 of 85 OFFLINE   Greg_S_H

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Posted August 21 2008 - 12:43 PM

Mine's more along the lines of Zachary's and not really "profound," or anything. In the eighth grade, I totally dug the smoking hot new girl, and before I said anything, my friend started telling me how in love with her he was and all this. Well, she ended up asking me out in a humiliating way (I was very shy, and it was in front of the whole class and through a third party), and I backed out with the "gotta be loyal to my friend" bit. Which was bullshit, since a) she obviously wasn't into him and b) he would never have done the same for me. The real reason was being scared of girls combined with the public humiliation.

I never thought I'd tell this story in a public forum. Posted Image

#15 of 85 OFFLINE   DavidJ

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Posted August 21 2008 - 03:35 PM

I have many regrets and like Michael, I don't think anyone wants to know me that well. I'm not sure that I would term many of them as "profound" and most are small. I would be afraid to change any of the decisions because, like Andrew, I like the life I have now. One thing I would change is to take more chances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott McGillivray
Second would be going into business with a friend. Yikes. Not a good idea. Again, I learned a lot, but it was painful. I was lucky to escape pretty much unscathed.

I'm sorry that it did not work out for you (John too) and I know that is the case with many, but for 15+ years it has been great for me. Like any long-term relationship or partnership it doesn't mean that we haven't had ups and downs. The overall experience has been extremely positive and I am currently exploring other opportunities with others. I know that at times it can turn bad, but the potential for good outweighs the risks for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Markworthy
acerbic harridan

Oooh, she sounds hot. Posted Image

And that should also give you an idea of some of my regrets. Posted Image

#16 of 85 OFFLINE   ChristopherG

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Posted August 21 2008 - 04:32 PM

Regrets, I've had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.


It takes 52 pounds of pressure to rupture an eyeball... :blink:

#17 of 85 OFFLINE   Yee-Ming

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Posted August 21 2008 - 09:39 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by andrew markworthy
Ooh, let's see:

(1) Totally missing that a girl was keen on me when we were students together, and who is now mega rich and famous (at least in academic circles)

I regret these things in the sense that I wonder why at the time I didn't do differently, but in the long term, I wouldn't have wanted these events to be different because then I wouldn't have got the life I have now and am happy with.

Likewise. On two separate occasions when I was young and stupid, I was friends with a girl who had similar interests but wasn't perhaps the most pretty girl around, then I got distracted and went chasing after her prettier friend. At least in the earlier instance I'm still friends with the pretty girl I chased after (now 20 years and counting) even though nothing romantic ever worked out, with the latter it was just a complete waste of time (and a lot of wasted time it was).

But now I'm happily married, six years and counting, and wouldn't have it any other way.

#18 of 85 OFFLINE   RickER

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Posted August 21 2008 - 11:13 PM

I regret that i knocked over a stand full of cigars...30 years ago. They went all over the place! Was i embarrassed!
How did that change my life? It didnt, but thats all your getting out of me! Posted Image

#19 of 85 OFFLINE   KurtEP

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Posted August 22 2008 - 01:16 AM

When I was in college, I took an intramural class in an Indonesian martial art called Kunetao. When the term finished, the instructor invited me up to the main class, where his instructor, a local police officer and very nice guy, offered to teach me for nothing. Unfortunately, I had other things going on and declined. I still regret that to this day, since it was a really cool and brutally effective art.

Otherwise, all my screwups have ended up benefiting me in some way or another, so I can't really complain.
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#20 of 85 OFFLINE   Cameron Yee

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Posted August 22 2008 - 02:36 AM

So what do you all think of the somewhat popular "no regrets" life philosophy. I understand the underlying premise - don't let regrets hold you back - but whenever I hear someone say "I don't believe in regrets." I just think they they're in denial. At the very least I think people should reflect more - again, not to beat yourself up or let the mistakes or missed opportunities hold you back - but how do you know how to change or improve without looking back? And even if some things can't be changed, I think it's important to at least acknowledge and understand what went wrong.
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