Eliminating the “could haves”

June 30, 2010

It slipped, it fell, it broke.

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Image by LexnGer via Flickr

A lifetime of memories in one little container. Gone in a second.

You could have been more careful handling it.

You could have wiped your hands clean instead of picking it up right after you did the dishes.

You could have reacted a little faster.

You could have saved it.

But you didn’t.


He came and went, but you weren’t looking.

You could have waited a little longer.

You could have checked your text messages.

You could have called him.

But you didn’t.


You could share these memories with everyone if only you had the SD card for your camera.

You could’ve planned ahead.

You could have created a checklist.

You could have double-checked before leaving that you had everything.

You could have bundled it all together the night before.

But you didn’t.


Simple things in life that you didn’t — don’t — do.

Small regrets about what would could have been.

Little tiny moments of time when you missed the boat.

Then there are those bigger regrets — missed job opportunities, untimely financial investments, loss of good health, someone you could have spent more time with before they died…

All of us have regrets.

We surround ourselves with big and little “could haves” without recognizing that not everything is in our control.

loneliness2 Eliminating the could havesWe think we could have done such and such, but if we really could have, we would have!

We blame ourselves and wallow in self-pity — but what good does that do?

Instead, if we go about our days a little more consciously — aware of our actions and their consequences; if we slow the pace at which we flitter through life — giving full attention to one thing at a time; if we pause long enough to focus on the things that matter and those which, in the big picture, don’t, we’d be able to minimize the chances of leading a life full of regrets.

Yes, we are going to make mistakes inadvertently but instead of wallowing in regret, we should focus on moving forward; using those mistakes as launching pads, lessons learned, future mistakes avoided.

Regrets only make us bitter and sad.

We lose the present in the past.

So, take charge of your here and now…control what you can. Let go of what you can’t.

And move on.

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dp seal trans 16x16 Eliminating the could havesCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2010 Mansi Bhatia

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10 Responses to Eliminating the “could haves”

  1. Shachi ThakkarNo Gravatar on June 30, 2010 at 2:39 am

    Great post…echo your thoughts!

    • MansiNo Gravatar on July 6, 2010 at 9:54 am

      Thanks, Shachi.

  2. Vikram KarveNo Gravatar on June 30, 2010 at 4:09 am

    very meaningful and motivating article

    • MansiNo Gravatar on July 6, 2010 at 9:53 am

      Thanks, Vikram.

  3. Katie GatesNo Gravatar on June 30, 2010 at 7:32 am

    Well put! It’s often about lessons. If you don’t learn the first time, and change your actions accordingly, some other potentially regrettable moment will rear its challenging head to try to teach you that lesson again.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on July 6, 2010 at 9:52 am

      Yep. Life has a way of doing that. And wise is the person who recognizes those teachable moments and makes amends.

  4. PurbaNo Gravatar on June 30, 2010 at 1:19 pm

    Ahh the could-have, should-have nagging guilt. Would life have been better with well orchestrated moves. Not really! It’s the so called mistakes which throw us out of our comfort zone and make us what we are.

    Good post.

    • MansiNo Gravatar on July 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks, Purba.

  5. BillNo Gravatar on June 30, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    I wrote a blog on regrets a while back & you’re right they steal your life away. Living in the past will destroy your future but mostly it will play havoc with the present. You can’t be fully present in this moment if you’re worried about what you should have done before.

    I don’t have regrets, I try to learn from everything I’ve done…including my mistakes & I move forward living in this moment & enjoying it.

    Thanks again for your thoughts.



    • MansiNo Gravatar on July 6, 2010 at 4:51 pm

      Thanks, Bill. I had read that blog post and it certainly provided some fodder for mine.


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