1. We all seem to have life regrets. Hindsight allows us to look back in time and judge what we did or did not do. When we feel our personal history should be different, we want to change it. Unfortunately, this rear- view mirror memory is not always helpful.
2. No life is perfect. There are no perfect peo- ple. Everyone makes mistakes. Everyone has failures. Let these realities be the guidelines for assessing the events of your life.
3. Hindsight can be torturous. We see things from afar with a different perspective. When we are too close to a situation, it is difficult to see it the way we will with the passage of time. When it happens, we are interacting with it as well as looking at it. Later we can look at it better and think about it differently.
4. Every life event occurs in a specific context, which plays a big role in what we do. Unfor- tunately, we often forget the context when looking with hindsight. We tend to look at our behavioral choices as separate from the mitigating circumstances that were present at the time. No life event occurs in a vacuum. The set- ting, our past and immediate demands contribute to our reactions.
5. Relationship experiences, parenting travails, workplace circumstances and financial choices are among the life situations that give rise to memories that we later assess. These are among the most complex happen- ings in life. That we might think about them differently after a while is not surprising. And when the memories are emotionally charged, they continue to incubate in our minds and we form new ideas about them. Now we are in a position to do a “woulda, coulda, shoulda” on ourselves. But it most likely will not be helpful.
6. When there seems to be an objective metric by which to judge an early choice, we might be accurate in saying, “I should have done better.” Financial choices might work this way; also, perhaps some workplace behav- iors, as well. But for most situations, there
is no metric. And for those we face under pressure and perhaps for the first time, most likely at the moment we did the best we could.