How many of us, if given the opportunity to go back in time and change a decision, would jump up and go do it right now? I'm guessing quite a few, as regret is a staple of the human condition. It's something that I believe is especially prevalent nowadays, with the instant transfer of information brought on by the internet and cell phones. You can type out a message and send it -- with little thought to the repercussions -- in less than thirty seconds. You can buy anything online at 3 A.M. after a couple too many beers, and when it arrives question why you spent money on it (My personal weakness is cool, nerdy T-shirts. Why does buzzed Wyatt keep buying T-shirts? I have too many already, I don't need anymore.).
My point is, we all regret the occasional decision. We try too hard, say something that comes off harsh, forget about important events, you name it. I don't think regret is a bad thing. It means we learned. Through these negative experiences, we can grow and do better next time. More often than not, I even end up with some pretty kick-ass stories, most of them involving my good friend, Josh, and a Thursday night at Mulligan's in East-town. That's where I believe the real value is. A perfect life with no bad decisions doesn't make for a very good story. It was from this line of thought that I created the philosophy, "Bad decisions make great stories."
The actual value of the phrase comes from believing that some of the best stories you will tell about your life come in moments that are unplanned. It may not always be the easiest or safest option, but I purposefully push myself towards new and foreign things. I find the experience gained is crucial to developing your character, and many facets of your personality. How you react to problems and stimuli -- it’s all part of making you a better person. Someday I’ll choose the safe option, because someday I’ll have kids, a house, and a career, but for now, reckless behavior is an essential part of who I am, and I think it's awesome. I use the word reckless loosely, because that's how some people see it. I don't truly believe reckless is the right word, however. I see it more as pushing forward and chasing my own personal story. In all honesty, I don't just want it to be a good story. I want it to be incredible, and maybe sometimes a little dangerous, because I love living as much as I can.
From the many poor decisions I’ve made, I have so many stories to tell, and also probably a few I can’t tell here. I would even argue that I don't believe in regret to the extent that I wouldn't change the past if I could. I am exactly where I am because of the decisions I’ve made. I could not ask to be a different person, and I fully appreciate the lessons I’ve learned through bad decisions. Give it a chance, make some bad decisions, and tell some stories.
Oh, and seriously, pro-tip: Turn your phone on airplane mode if you're drinking so you can't use Amazon at 3 A.M. It's a real wallet-saver!
Secondary pro-tip/Disclaimer: Don't do anything stupid. I am not in any way saying to go rob a bank or anything like that. In fact, let's try to keep the bad decisions to non-felonious activities, everyone.