To dismiss something because it seems obvious has been the source of many grievous errors even in the most concrete disciplines.
Onto what’s right about regret. You can be aware of inequities in your intentions, and actions, and consequences. This deduction is actually very useful and a source for self informed and self directed decision making, but does “future regret” have the negative emotional load? The emotion is how your body mind gives you feedback on the quality of your thinking.
I’ve found that regret sometimes arises when people I care about, or have cared about, make choices that result in consequences that I see as being harmful to themselves and others. I wonder if there could have been anything I could have said or done to sway them in a different direction? The answer is no. Each human being has, as part of their nature, a core of consciousness that runs deeper than any “rational” thinking.
But the thought still arises. Couldn’t I have tried harder, been there more, etc. Any pattern of thought can arise. There is an emotion feeding that chronic feedback if it recurs for you and is negative, and the emotion originates from and is about you, not them.
The desire to be better is natural, but the language of being better is not and instead dwarfs our potential. The desire to be better is not even a desire to be better. There is no better for you to be, not for anyone. The desire to be better is actually just a desire to grow and be whole.
It’s that old “I’m not good enough” program running. It is a bad virus propagated all around us by the advertising media as well. It is indeed. They feed on the regret circuit in the majority of peoples minds; Buy this or you will miss out on something. Buy this to be attractive. You can’t be attractive on your own. That’s the crux of it and it’s a raging lie.
The biggest regret that I imagined for myself was being the same person my whole life. No growth. Even to stay the same requires change. I myself believe strongly in the maxim “Be true to yourself”, and what that means is be true/balanced/centered, more of a statement of architecture than an fixity of nature. Build strong mind states, be strong materially.
Your thoughts are welcome. Be well friends.