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We can regret a decision that we take because things didn't end up as we had hoped. Or, we can regret a decision that we didn't take because, looking back, we can see that taking that decision would have been the better option.

Though these are presented as one or the other, they are exactly the same. 

Whether we choose to go one way or another, choose to act or just stay put, we are making a decision. It might feel like taking the path that branches off is a decision and that staying on the path that we are is akin to autopilot. 

But, they are both decisions that we take.

To branch off or to stay the course. And if we branch off, which of the branches to take.

Whatever choice we make, we do it with certain expectations. We might branch off because we see it as more lucrative, or because we see the path we're on as a dead end. 

Or we might stay the course because we think the branching path is unsafe or risky, or that it is less rewarding to the path we're on. 

But, as time plays out, we get a sense of how reality matches up to the expectations that we had when we made the decision.

When there is a mismatch is when the feeling of regret arises.

"I wish I hadn't sold all my bitcoin in 2013!" Regret. 

We all have hundreds of things to feel regretful about. 

Yet, what matters is that we look forward to what's ahead of us and not to what's behind us with regret. 

As the stoics know, what's in the past is sunk. The best they can do for us is to help us learn from them if we look back on experiences dispassionately and objectively. But to attach emotion to that, especially regret, is only taking us downhill.

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