Edith Piaf was born into considerable disadvantage in Paris in 1915. Her rough early life continued with her living on the streets of Paris and singing for money, until her powerful voice was discovered while she was still in her teens. Nicknamed ‘The Little Sparrow’ due to her waif-like appearance and 4’8″ stature, she would eventually become one of France’s most-loved popular singers. Her story is told in the motion picture ‘La Vie en Rose’ starring Marion Cotillard. Edith Piaf recorded her famous love song ‘Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien’ at the age of 45. You can listen to it here. If it sounds familiar, you might have heard it in the score of the 2010 Christopher Nolan film ‘Inception’.
Here are three ways to be able to like Edith Piaf say “Non, je ne regrette rien. No, I have no regrets”:
1. Choose Love Over Fear
Every day we are faced with new opportunities and decisions. Should I go back to school? Should I take a second job? Should I stay in my current relationship? Should I start building my home? Most decisions will have elements of love and fear. Choosing fear is the option that will most often take us down the path of regret. Choosing love, however, is liberating. When making decisions, be honest with yourself about the things you want and love. Choose love over fear, to be able to pursue your dreams with passion.
2. Take Action Now
Figuring things out can be difficult enough. Acting on a decision can be even more challenging. Forcing yourself to take action on the decision you’ve made will be far more rewarding than doing nothing. Choosing to do nothing will mean choosing not to face your fears. Inertia rides shotgun with fear. The regrets experienced from mistakes made after following your passion are fleeting, while regrets that result from inaction and from missed opportunities can last a lifetime. Mark Twain once said, “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” Stop being paralyzed by fear and take action now.
3. Move On
“Do not waste one moment in regret, for to think feelingly of the mistakes of the past is to re-infect yourself.” – Neville Goddard. There will always be times when we make mistakes in judgement or act in ways that do not make us proud. We stump our toes, and sometimes, we fall flat on our faces, with what feels like the whole world watching. It is key to then recognize our errors, take responsibility for them and move on. When you do the best you can, and you know your heart was in the right place, then there is no reason to dwell on the mistake. Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and keep following your heart.