You’ll seldom experience regret for anything that you’ve done. It is what you haven’t done that will torment you. The message, therefore, is clear. Do it! Develop an appreciation for the present moment. Seize every second of your life and savor it. Value your present moments. Using them up in any self-defeating ways means you’ve lost them forever.
—Wayne Dyer (1940–2015) American Self-Help Author
To regret one’s own experiences is to arrest one’s own development. To deny one’s own experiences is to put a lie into the lips of one’s life. It is no less than a denial of the soul.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it.
A great source of calamity lies in regret and anticipation; therefore a person is wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or future.
—Oliver Goldsmith (1730–74) Irish Novelist, Playwright, Poet
Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.
—Sydney Smith (1771–1845) English Clergyman, Essayist, Wit
Today I bent the truth to be kind, and I have no regret, for I am far surer of what is kind than I am of what is true.
Regrets are the natural property of gray hairs.
—Charles Dickens (1812–70) English Novelist
One regret dear world, that I am determined not to have when I am lying on my deathbed is that I did not kiss you enough.
—Hafez (1325–89) Persian Poet, Mystic
Failure is never as scary as regret.
The only causes of regret are laziness, outbursts of temper, hurting others, prejudice, jealousy, and envy.
—Germaine Greer (b.1939) Australia Academic, Journalist, Scholar, Writer
Regrets are idle; yet history is one long regret. Everything might have turned out so differently.
—Charles Dudley Warner (1829–1900) American Essayist, Novelist
I see it all perfectly; there are two possible situations—one can either do this or that. My honest opinion and my friendly advice is this: do it or do not do it—you will regret both.
—Soren Kierkegaard (1813–55) Danish Philosopher, Theologian
For the majority of us, the past is a regret, the future an experiment.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
A mistake is not a failure, but evidence that someone tried to do something.
I have many regrets, and I’m sure everyone does. The stupid things you do, you regret if you have any sense, and if you don’t regret them, maybe you’re stupid.
—Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003) American Actor, TV Personality
Perform good deeds; you will not regret them.
The best of prophets of the future is the past.
—Lord Byron (George Gordon Byron) (1788–1824) English Romantic Poet
Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.
—Charles Dickens (1812–70) English Novelist
When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
—Helen Keller (1880–1968) American Author
They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.
—Benjamin Franklin (1706–90) American Political Leader, Inventor, Diplomat
The first half of life is spent in longing for the second, the second half in regretting the first.
Hindsight is always 20/20.
—Billy Wilder (1906–2002) American Filmmaker
Regret is an odd emotion because it comes only upon reflection. Regret lacks immediacy, and so its power seldom influences events when it could do some good.
—Edward William O’Rourke (1917–99) American Roman Catholic Bishop
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden.
My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
—George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans) (1819–80) English Novelist
The person whose doors I enter with most pleasure, and quit with most regret, never did me the smallest favor.
—William Hazlitt (1778–1830) English Essayist
Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.
—John Wayne (1907–79) American Actor, Director, Producer
The worst thing one can do is not to try, to be aware of what one wants and not give in to it, to spend years in silent hurt wondering if something could have materialized – never knowing.
—Jim Rohn (1930–2009) American Entrepreneur, Author, Motivational Speaker
The only thing I regret about my past is the length of it. If I had to live my life again, I’d make the same mistakes, only sooner.
—Tallulah Bankhead (1902–68) American Actress
We should regret our mistakes and learn from them, but never carry them forward into the future with us.
—Lucy Maud Montgomery (1874–1942) Canadian Novelist
Speak when you are angry and you will make the best speech you will ever regret.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist