Coping: “Brain-Cleaning Week” on Remorse and Regret

I have decided to dub this week National Brain Cleaning Week.

And along the way I decided that we could actually turn this into a “two-fer.”

A two-fer, if you haven’t figured it, is when you do one thing, but it serves two purposes. Which, in this case is separate and distinct from one another.

The dual purpose of this morning is simple: How to get rid of remote and regret. That’s one.

T’other is to show you how my “Recipe Method of Learning” works.

Peoplenomics readers will see it at once, as this “Find the recipes in Life and skip the filler” has been an integral part of my thinking-style since I set to work on my BA and MBA at age 37.

Why so late for school? Well, frankly, I’d been making far too much money up until then (six figures) so anything that got between me and payday was a problem I’d get around to later.

Eventually, I found a way to challenge my undergrad electives and that cut thousands and 16 months off the BA.

Since my MBA was not full of puffery (*chair filling material to give tenure out like candy) I was able to nail the Masters in 19 months.

How? The art of Distillation of Process. And this morning, we’re going to open up you mental distillery of spirit, a bit.

STEP ONE: Define Tasks

The primary mission this morning is brain-cleaning.

Subtask: Toss regret and remorse under the bus to free up processor time in your head.

People waste a significant portion of brainpower working on problems from last week, last year, or 11th grade, and it’s a horrible thing to see.

As I put it in my Personal Policy Manual: Get all that nuisance crap that goes on in the background of your thinking from using up valuable processor clicks. Use brain for money and play.

Note to self: Decide whether to tell people that have gone down the same path as God (the Program in Chief if you insist on atheism) since we are busily creating our junion processors in our own image which presents an interesting “nested thought.” We’ll save this point for toast and coffee some other morning. So… back to point, then:

It is a fundamental Truth that the recipe to “rid ones self of remorse” and/or “ridding of regret” is out there on the web somewhere.

We have it on reasonable authority that there is little new under the Sun. We should be swimming in answers – and we are – and Google and Bing have made a business of it.

Sure, we could go read lots of books on point – and we could go way off into the weeds and get endless/useless degrees, too, but we’re smart enough around here to remember that the world [pays for practicum] and that generally [the world doesn’t pay much for theory]. There are exceptions (most of which are tenured or work at CERN, so let’s move on, shall we Skippy?)

Our {Task List} will look something like this:

1.Construct a search which will find processes to end regret and remorse.

2.Simplify and collate all of the process tasks into a single Master Process list. This is the “ingredients in the pantry.”

3.Sort the list and restate to avoid duplication. This is a really cool step, by the way, because this is where we see how various authors, teachers, philosos, and lawyers, and whoever, have sliced and diced their earlier process work for us. We just look for “Best of Class” and move on from there.

Since Step 3 was ingredients, this step is ingredient selection.

4.Then we compile into personally useful :code: (steps done by an human).

5. Then we :run the Code:

6.No code is error free (except that from the Program in Chief’s, at least until humans came along, but that’s a nit) but we can get “close enough.”

7.Take reasonable actions to resolve until regret and remorse are down in the noise floor where they belong. You want to be able to recall them (lessons of Life) but not so up-front that you dream about them and it occupies headspace uninvited.

8.End of lesson.

That’s all there is to it, step eight is a marker to remind us we have more coffee and the art of making money to get around to.

See how simple this is?

Here’s how it works in totally simplified form.

STEP TWO: Run Task List

We know what we’re going to do, so it’s Nike (just do it) time.

We can be through it in no time.

Remember our first task? Define our objective and look for existing recipes, right?

1.So we run the simple Google search “How to stop regret” and sure enough, recipes pop up all over the place.

See how easy the first part of the process is?

2.Our next process (from Part One) is to collate all of the lists.

You make a value judgment here. Depending on the importance of the output, you can spend more, or less, time on this part. If this is a major Life Changer, you might want to go 20 web sits deep (or more) in order to improve the statistical odds of including outlier steps that may be important.

3.However, since we’re lazy this morning, we will take two or three promising lists and compile those.

3 Ways to Stop Regretting Your Decisions – wikiHow and How to Overcome Serious Regrets: 14 Steps (with Pictures).

You will notice that both of these come from WikiHow so you could include other sites.

The article at 20 Ways to Let Go of Regrets – Tiny Buddha looks promising.

Remember to look for Site Article Titles that List Numbers.

We are process processors, yeah? Give me a list, not a book.

Your list might include the 3 steps from the first article, all 14 from the second, and all 20 from the third.

4. Edit so that you have a list with few (if any) duplicated steps.

5. You might end up with 12 steps or 10…remember, what you’re doing is becoming the Recipe Master. Take what you think will help and toss out all the fluff.

6. Now we “run the code” and see what happens.

If you are trying to get rid of all the regrets in your Life by lunch time, maybe the three item list will work.

If you have deep-seated regrets, you may wish to go look for additional steps since you may have deeper issues.

The nice thing about this approach is that when you have the recipe, even if you might want a professional coach to help you run it (a psychologist or psychiatrist) you will likely save a bundle of “chair time” since you already know what the issues and steps are.

Hint: Don’t necessarily tell hired help you know the playbooks, let them lead. It’s their dance you’ll be learning, having already stepped on your own feet and not being able to get it right without a “dance partner.” Or, talk to a loved one. Practice open.

7. Then review our work for major errors. Process face-time, phone calls, and so forth as they occur and you are comfortable.

What with me (and it’s a useful visual) it to imagine we are looking at a production line in a vegetable factory.We run the can sorting station for all these cans of vegetables that come through our lives.

Some cans are dealt with by throwing them out (I regularly remove people from my Life if we are not mutually benefitting). We don’t have to eat the “vegetable we don’t like.”

Other cans are veggies we like and keep even if the label is on a little crooked (forgive the can and move on). These are the people who are more good than bad, but we need to think about them, just the same.

Last, but not least, a surprising numbers of cans don’t have labels on them so you need to figure out what’s really inside them.

This includes People who need a phone call or face-time to sort things out. The unfinished business cans. Label is not on right.

In this step, you will find many cans aren’t just suspect, they’re actually filled with poison.

With work, you learn to look at these “bad cans” and laugh them into the trash heap because they only hurt themselves. Your jobs is to send them where they belong: The land fill for bad cans.

Oh, look, not even lunchtime yet.

The only point this morning is that I don’t have a lot of people I’m anxious to see headed for the landfill, but I hope when they get there, they’ll take the “down elevator.”

Well, with all this time left over, maybe I’ll sort a few more “cans of humans”I may want to run a few more of the “human vegetables” through the sorter.

I pay particular attention to the cans that did me wrong.

What these cans might not know about George is that he doesn’t get mad…even when wronged. I do, however get f*cking even.

And with no regrets and no remorse.

There… I feel positively great, don’t you?

Write when you get rich, or back from lunch.


Coping: “Brain-Cleaning Week” on Remorse and Regret — 12 Comments

  1. George,

    I don’t think I have ever disagreed with you more on ANY issue than I disagree with you on ” revenge and getting even”. Put these higher on your “Brain Cleaning” list than remorse and regret…….BECAUSE THEY WILL CAUSE REMORSE AND REGRET!!!

    I am well aware that anger FEELS more powerful than feeling like a victim. And I’m not saying don’t defend yourself if it comes down to it. However — harboring the feelings of “revenge and getting even” after an initial encounter will only keep you stuck emotionally. There are ways to bring your emotions to neutral and MOVE ON. If you don’t drop the issue you are not only ‘wasting precious processing power by running a buggy program in the background’, you unknowingly cloud your perceptions as you attempt to move forward, and subtly poison your future.

    I know this issue from the inside. I was raised by an emotionally unstable/borderline personality mother, and an avoidant/paranoid personality father. I have been trying to rid myself of their toxins my entire adult life (4+ decades).

    I can give you a LONG list of useful things to practice for “Brain Cleaning”. I’ve done a LOT of it.

    Here is the short list:


    Emotional Freedom Technique, aka Tapping

    In a nutshell:

    You tap with a few fingers on acupuncture meridian endpoints while feeling feelings and/or making statements that have strong emotional content for you.

    You can learn the basics and ‘get the hang’ of EFT in half an hour. With frequent practice on a multitude of topics, and exposure to the multitude of ‘tweaks’ from the masters of EFT, you can experience the rich magnificence of this simple technique.

    There is now a large volume of information on EFT on the web. You could learn it entirely for free from various sites and YouTube videos.

    For the sake of speed, and formula learning, I will recommend the work of a young man who has spent a decade working with the ‘giants of EFT’, and has trimmed it down to essentials: Nick Ortner.

    The best ‘revenge’ — is breaking the cycle of pain.

  2. You will never free yourself from regret as long as you live in a country where you cannot optimize your decisions.

    Underneath those decisions is a thin layer of anger for the powerless you feel, even subconsciously. That anger drives a low level of depression as you age.

    This is what drives Americans to so many coping mechanisms, chemicals, and even social media.

    You can become aware and whole in the USA culture, but it is really, really difficult to maintain it. One becomes an outsider to the culture, I’m not just talking 9/11 truther here, and most humans cannot tolerate this.

  3. Great Stuff! Thank you, George.

    May this go nationwide, and worldwide, with acceptance… And in a hurry…

  4. Personally, I’ve generally found that the “helping professions” don’t help. Yes, they might feel good and provide someone to whine to, but they don’t give the answers and recipes that you paid for. They also tend to be far too expensive.

    The hard problems(finding relationship comes to mind) don’t have functional recipes on the net. These things really do need to be understood and distilled down to the essentials. Life is too short for random walks in search of rare items and events.

  5. “What these cans might not know about George is that he doesn’t get mad…even when wronged. I do, however get f*cking even. And with no regrets and no remorse.”

    Oh, hell yes.

  6. I truly benefit from a concept espoused by you, “Is the info/situation actionable?” This saves enormous amounts of time and processor capacity. It also fits nicely with the Serenity Prayer. As for sorting cans, that is easy for me as I have so few. I only keep the best and ignore the others. We only have control over ourselves and our time. Since turning 70, I am much more diligent about what I do with both.

  7. Recipe to remove remorse and regret. This is from my “teaching files” and was very effective for both myself and my students. If done thoroughly, it can take up to 6 months to completely clear yourself of these negative emotions, although the process has only two steps and is very easy.


    First, the reason we tend to hold onto painful memories, cannily “gift wrapped” in negative emotions of regret, guilt, anger or remorse, is to remind ourselves not to repeat the actions that engendered them. We think this is the only way we can hold onto the wisdom we need to survive. There is another way to accomplish that goal.

    Bring to mind an uncomfortable or painful memory which causes you to experience regret or remorse, because you believe you were wrong or in anyway less than perfect. There generally is no doubt if the memory “qualifies” for forgiveness since it will be emotionally charged. Even a small cringe will do. These emotions will all be related to judgment or self-blame.

    At first you may need to actively seek an instance for which you hold some self-blame; however, once Spirit/Universe sees that you are serious about clearing the habit of self-judgment from your body, such memories will begin to arise spontaneously (sometimes one right after another in fast succession) going back even to your earliest childhood.

    Whether actively sought or arising spontaneously, once any uncomfortable/painful memory comes up in which you are still judging yourself as being “stupid,” “awkward,” “sinful,” or in any way “wrong,” immediately do these two simple, yet powerful steps:

    State with some emphasis – “I ask to keep the Wisdom derived from this experience and I demand my mind and body to release all feelings of guilt, grief, rage and self-judgment connected with it ~ NOW!”

    See or sense the negative emotions related to the memory rising out of your body, surrounded by a clear bubble that pops and disappears. [For some, it helps to snap your fingers at the moment the bubble pops to reinforce for the body that the release is effective.]

    Generally, it will only be necessary to do this self-forgiveness process once per memory; however, there are always some past experiences that contain many levels of self-blame. Therefore, if a repeat memory arises from an experience you previously cleared, simply repeat the process in the same way described above.

    Note that after beginning this process, there may be old memories that spontaneously come to mind that do not at first appear to be negatively charged with emotion or self-blame. However, if you become aware of such a memory from your past, it is still suggested that you do the exercise ~ you might find yourself surprised at what you learn.

    • Thank you Michelle. I’ll try your technique and I hope it will prove successful. :-)