Sam Neill is likely best known for his lead role in the 1993 Steven Spielberg classic movie, Jurassic Park. He reprised the role in Jurassic Park III and in an upcoming sequel in2022.
Regret is actually an important emotion – frankly, there are times when we need a painful stimulus to avoid repeating serious mistakes. At the same time, regret can also haunt us for years without, seemingly, resolution. The worst regrets are those we think we could have done as opposed to what we did do. Studies show clearly that inaction haunts us the most. When taking action leaves a person with regret, he/she can frequently do something about it. However, often no action leaves us in a position where we cannot fix the problem. So guilt and shame (hot emotions) often push us to remedy a situation – and reduce regret. But those known as cold emotions (sadness or disappointment) can often be ignored. These so-called “cold emotions” do not burn like “hot” emotions. So they have a bigger chance to fester. Regret based on inaction is referred to as the Disposition Effect. For instance, when dealing with a failing team member, we hold on tight to a losing situation because we are hoping thing swill improve. It postpones the regret of hiring the person in the first place but does not solve a larger regret of waiting too long when the individual becomes a much bigger problem. We also have regret around a concept called Sunk Cost Bias. For instance, we keep going with a project even though we know the project is not likely going to succeed. Once again, we do not let go because we are concerned about the immediate regret more than that which comes later. People also slide into the status quo mostly to avoid regret. What they do not necessarily understand is that hanging onto the status quo can make us more miserable in the long term – all because they wanted to avoid the uncomfortable but temporary feeling of regret. Regret becomes toxic when we do not use its lessons to move forward or choose to keep suffering from it as we continually hold on to the past. There are options to deal with regret. Consider practice gratitude. Gratitude willkeep you in the present and not stuck in the past.
Even Sam Neill has had regrets, including turning down a role in Priscilla: Queen of the Desert and, interestingly enough, actually auditioning for the role of James Bond. The one he claims bothers him the most is the one he turned down. Of course, a regret of inaction!