Kanye West=Regret?


Kanye West performing in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Image via Wikipedia

Watching Kanye’s video with Matt Lauer today was painful. He was the epitome of regret …oh and my definition of regret that I am very familiar with is wishing you could go back in time and undo something you either thought, said or did. A phenomenon that I am all too familiar with!

Without getting into the particulars of Bush’s and Kanye’s feud (plenty of YouTube videos you can look up if you want to go back in time and see  Kanye struggling to articulate his regret) ,  which in the current economic and health care crisis seem so irrelevant, we can look at how regret shapes what we think, say and act.

The thing about regret is that once it’s done it’s done! You can’t go back and undo it, but you can look back.

‘It,’ being something you either thought, said or did. The only thing you can do after that is make future decisions based on the outcome you experienced. Regret being the cousin to  reflection can be a powerful motivator to take a step back and anticipate what you will gain from doing something.

When you anticipate the outcome you are experiencing anticipatory regret. You look at the pros and cons (the risks involved) of what you are about to do and then make a decision based on what you think you stand to gain. This way you can make a decision that hopefully you won’t regret.  It is a great way to decide whether anything is worth doing.

I would love to say that I have little to regret but alas, my life has been full of many regrets. I like to call them experiences (it has a more positive connotation), but learning from what has happened in your life and using those experiences regrets as a template can save you many unnecessary  problems regrets.

So using the Kanye’s /Bush story: if Kanye had anticipated the outcome of his statements, perhaps he wouldn’t have had to pretend he regrets the choice to say them and Bush would not have been feeling so low in his presidency about unimportant stuff and maybe he would have focused more on Katrina, Iraq, Afghanistan, 911 etc.

Regret is dangerous, try to avoid it by anticipating the outcome of your thoughts, words and actions!

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5 thoughts on “Kanye West=Regret?

  1. I can relate to the article and don’t regret my experiences as they do inspire me.
    I prefer to simplify things so I call them experiences, or at times i call them paths that lead me to my final destination.

    Lovely article…

  2. I rarely use the word regret, it is what it is…I have hit a few bumps on the road but that’s just what they were, bumps on the road. Sure, there are some things we all wish we had done differently but we sometimes have to swim through a river of sh!t to come out clean on the other side.

    1. Thanks Gracie for your comment.
      Bumps are a definitely unavoidable on the road of life….but I sure hope that before I have to swim through the “murky”river you describe, I have the foresight (anticipatory regret) to build the canoe to get me across and guarantee that I come out clean (without regret) on the other side.

  3. If the machinery (brain, heart, soul) worked as we hope it should, then human progression and evolution would call for the lessening of regrets or regretful actions that take over our lifetimes.
    The machinery seems to work well for a great number of human beings, but seems irrevocably broken for a majority of humanity. Majority – no scientific number by no means, look no further than the general disintegration of civility in our society.

    That we should learn from our mistakes to make us better, is common sense. How common common sense is, the jury’s out of that one.
    Why do we keep making the same mistake over and over – look at wars, genocide, petty hatreds and strifes, etc? Haven’t we learnt dearly from past mistakes? The answer to this question often keeps me up at nights, even though the answer that comes to mind each time is ‘human nature’. Yet I feel there might be another answer, a better answer, an Windows 7 answer. A wise friend once told me something such to this effect … we keep asking the same question over and over again, when the answer has been there all the time ….

    Here’s to a regret-free life. If not, then to a life of fascinating regrets.

    1. Wow!
      What an interesting take Helena. Regrets are based on decisions that are made and a less than desirable outcome.
      If we are to look to precedence then we naturally should not be making the same mistakes. Right? Yet we keep making the same mistakes over and over as you said.
      I wonder what fascinating regrets await us in the future.

      Thank you for your interesting perspective.

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