James Allen’s book “As a man thinketh” was written more than a century ago and could well be called the first ever self help book. His own story is one of struggles and finally overcoming them to lead a peaceful and simple life. Surely he conquered doubt and fears to retire from what could be called regular money making pursuits to chase his dream of writing and making a living out of it.
When I first saw this topic, I wondered what made Conrad combine these two words. They normally do not go together. It then occurred to me that perhaps Conrad is using ‘Regrets’ in the present tense to describe ‘Doubts’ of the past! If that is so, it is a brilliant thought process and I salute him. Simply stated it would mean that one regrets not having overcome doubts to do some things in the past, which now in retrospect appear foolish. In this sense, I think that I am as human as the next and yes, I regret not having done some things. On the other hand, I have no regrets whatsoever for the things that I have done and if I were to live my life all over again, I would do precisely the same things again. I would also do some of the things the outcome of which I doubted to be of benefit to me.
I am at an age where the past has become an archive to dig into at need rather than something to regret. I am also old enough and secure enough to have doubts only about inconsequential things, like my serious doubts about our political and bureaucratic leadership to take mankind to where it can be taken. What doubts about my own life could I possibly have now? What use will it be to have doubts about someone else’s present or future, say like my son’s? So, I rest content with the thought: “For life in general, there is but one decree; youth is a blunder, manhood a struggle, old age a regret” – Benjamin Disraeli. Another great thinker, the likes of who, I regret not seeing more of in today’s world. I interpret the ‘regret’ that he talks about here as being one of reaching old age!
I am however not that old that I have lost my ability to dream. I still dream about doing many things including dancing in the rain in London with Ursula! I have no doubts that I will do it as soon as it becomes possible. I do not regret not being able to do it now!
“A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams.” – Yiddish Proverb.
I have learnt to like or at least accept what I attract rather than attract what I like. That enables me to live now without doubts and regrets leaving both to others to handle to the best of their ability. They can chase their dreams and spend a lot of money on all the books, tapes, videos, blogs etc that sell “The Secret” and the “Law of Attraction.” I shall watch the fun and chuckle.
Now for all those sixty plus readers of my blog, here is something that each of us would like to sing and for those younger, you have some catching up to do.