115 Regret Quotes To Help You Forget (And Move Forward)

By Maxime Lagacé

Maxime is the founder of WisdomQuotes. He has been collecting quotes since 2004. His goal? To help you develop a calm and peaceful mind. Learn more about him on his about page.

Here are 115 of the most inspiring regret quotes I could find. The goal? To give you the push you need to forget and have a fulfilling day (and life). Enjoy!

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Have more fear of regret than failure. Thibaut

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The pain of inaction stings longer than the pain of incorrect action. James Clear

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Having regrets when you gave everything is wasted time. Maxime Lagacé

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Never regret anything that made you smile. Mark Twain

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We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment. Jim Rohn


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One day of effort is one day of bliss; One day of sloth is a hundred years of regret. Awa Kenzô

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The greatest freedoms are freedom from regret, freedom from fear, freedom from anxiety, and freedom from sorrow. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Let us prepare our minds as if we’d come to the very end of life. Let us postpone nothing. Seneca

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It is better to sleep on things beforehand than lie awake about them afterwards. Baltasar Gracián

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Avoid things the best version of yourself will regret. Shane Parrish


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You should never regret anything in life. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. Victoria Holt

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A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams. Yiddish proverb

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I’d rather regret the things I’ve done than regret the things I haven’t done. Lucille Ball

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If you aren’t in the moment, you are either looking forward to uncertainty, or back to pain and regret. Jim Carrey

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Take risks. You can’t find meaning by playing it safe. Maxime Lagacé


The Best Regret Quotes

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regret quotes discipline weighs ounces tons jim rohn wisdom man

Discipline weighs ounces and regret weighs tons. Jim Rohn

Regret is scarier than change. Mel Robbins

The greatest fault in life is that it is always unfinished, that something is being postponed. Seneca

Failure hurts but passes quickly. Regret hurts forever. Shane Parrish

When it comes to regrets, it’s the dreams we didn’t go after that haunt us — the business we didn’t start, the book we didn’t write, the love we let slip away. When pursuing your dreams you won’t remember the bruises and failures, only the person you become. Shane Parrish

The pain of trying and failing is intense and over rather quickly. The pain of failing to try, on the other hand, is less intense but never really goes away. Shane Parrish

There are two ways to achieve calm: one is to never do what you regret, the other to never regret what you do. August Strindberg

I don’t want to be 80-years-old and in a quiet moment of reflection, thinking back over my life, and cataloging a bunch of major regrets. Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

regret quotes avoiding more important life satisfaction increasing accomplishments shane parrish wisdom

Avoiding regret is more important to life satisfaction than increasing accomplishments. Shane Parrish

Look to your own means, leave everything that isn’t yours alone. Make use of what material advantages you have, don’t regret the ones you were not allowed. Epictetus

Life is simple: Make choices and don’t look back. Sung Kang

Your higher self never looks back. Everything valuable is in the now. Andy Wang


Regret feels a 1000x worse than failure. Preethi Kasireddy

Remorse for what is done is useless. Philo

The great tragedy of the average man is that he goes to his grave with his music still in him. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Of all the words of mice and men, the saddest are, “It might have been.” Kurt Vonnegut

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Regret is a form of punishment itself. Nouman Ali Khan

The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits. Theodore Roosevelt

When one door closes another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us. Alexander Graham Bell

Unfortunately, the clock is ticking, the hours are going by. The past increases, the future recedes. Possibilities decreasing, regrets mounting. Haruki Murakami

Judging is easy. Executing is hard. That’s why the majority have regrets. Maxime Lagacé

Fear not for the future, weep not for the past. Percy Bysshe Shelley

Part 2. Regret Quotes That Are…

The Most Famous Regret Quotes

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Searching for a famous regret quote? Check out those by Jim Rohn, Thich Nhat Hanh, Seneca, etc.
regret quotes have often regretted speech never silence publilius syrus wisdom man nature walk

I have often regretted my speech, but never my silence. Publilius Syrus

True repentance is to cease from sin. Ambrose

Looking back over a life of hard work… my only regret is that I didn’t work even harder. Henry Louis Mencken

There are no regrets in life, just lessons. Jennifer Aniston

Make it a rule of life never to regret and never to look back. Regret is an appalling waste of energy; you can’t build on it; it’s only for wallowing in. Katherine Mansfield

The great source of calamity lies in regret or anticipation: he, therefore, is most wise who thinks of the present alone, regardless of the past or the future. Oliver Goldsmith

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Regret is useless in life. It’s in the past. All we have is now. Marlon Brando

My only regret in life is that I did not drink more wine. Ernest Hemingway

Make the most of your regrets… To regret deeply is to live afresh. Henry David Thoreau

If you marry, you will regret it; if you do not marry, you will also regret it. Søren Kierkegaard

What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. George Saunders

I don’t believe in regrets. Regrets just keep you chained to the past. You gotta make peace with the past. There’s no reason to regret it. You’ve done it, just make peace with it. Bob Dylan

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It’s better to bet on this life than on the next. Albert Camus

I knew that if I failed I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying. Jeff Bezos (Amazon)

Dead people receive more flowers than the living ones because regret is stronger than gratitude. Anne Frank

Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted. Marilyn Monroe

Don’t think about what you’ve left behind. Paulo Coelho (The Alchemist, Amazon book)

Regret is something you’ve got to just live with, you can’t drink it away. You can’t run away from it. You can’t trick yourself out of it. You’ve just got to own it. Anthony Bourdain

Never look back in regret – move on to the next thing. Richard Branson

Related: 70 People Ages 5-75 Answer: What’s Your Biggest Regret? (5-minute YouTube video)

Inspirational Regret Quotes

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regret quotes minimize maximize opportunities maxime lagace wisdom van road nature

Minimize regrets. Maximize opportunities. Maxime Lagacé

You get one life. Do it all. Don’t leave anything in reserve. Shane Parrish

Live fast, fight hard, no regrets! John Cena

Advice my dad just gave me: “Do your best and be at peace with it.” A good reminder for us all, I think. James Clear

In a world where death is the hunter, my friend, there is no time for regrets or doubts. There is only time for decisions. Carlos Castaneda

My old high school football coach used to say … If you give it everything you have and you fail you’ll have one night of bad sleep but if you don’t give it everything you have and you fail you will think about how you should have for the rest of your life. Shane Parrish

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It’s better to start something and risk looking like an idiot than sit there and accomplish nothing. Shane Parrish

The less energy we waste regretting the past or worrying about the future, the more energy we will have for what’s in front of us. Ryan Holiday (Stillness is the Key, Amazon book)

Try today or regret tomorrow. Maxime Lagacé

Your greatest regret at the end of your life will be the lions you didn’t chase. You will look back longingly on risks not taken, opportunities not seized, and dreams not pursued. Stop running away from what scares you most and start chasing the God-ordained opportunities that cross your path. Mark Batterson

But who can say what’s best? That’s why you need to grab whatever chance you have of happiness where you find it, and not worry about other people too much. My experience tells me that we get no more than two or three such chances in a life time, and if we let them go, we regret it for the rest of our lives. Haruki Murakami (Norwegian Wood, Amazon book)

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If you don’t take risks you’ll never know. If you don’t know you’ll have regrets. Maxime Lagacé

I believe that what we regret most are our failures of courage, whether it’s the courage to be kinder, to show up, to say how we feel, to set boundaries, to be good to ourselves. For that reason, regret can be the birthplace of empathy. Brené Brown

To give up yourself without regret is the greatest charity. Bodhidharma

My religion is to live and die without regret. Milarepa

At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets. Steve Maraboli

Bravery is the solution to regret. Robin S. Sharma


Deep Regret Quotes

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regret quotes doesnt come from failure giving up mel robbins wisdom hike mountain

Regret doesn’t come from failure. It comes from giving up. Mel Robbins

My guilt is an ocean for me to drown in. Nicola Yoon

Overthinking is the problem. Taking action is the solution. Maxime Lagacé

Regret, is usually a waste of time. As is gloating. Pierce Brosnan

The past makes you wanna die out of regret and future makes you depressed out of anxiety. So by elimination, the present is likely the happiest time. Hachiman Hikigaya

Regret for time wasted can become a power for good in the time that remains, if we will only stop the waste and the idle, useless regretting. Arthur Brisbane

Don’t be on your deathbed someday, having squandered your one chance at life, full of regret because you pursued little distractions instead of big dreams. Derek Sivers

You can always find a “good reason” to put off what needs to be done. Time will turn excuses into regrets. @TheStoicEmperor

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One of the greatest regrets in life is being what others would want you to be, rather than being yourself. Shannon L. Alder

The most regretful people on earth are those who felt the call to creative work, who felt their own creative power restive and uprising, and gave to it neither power nor time. Mary Oliver

The fear of becoming old is born of the recognition that one is not living now the life that one wishes. Susan Sontag

It takes a certain lack of imagination to have an entirely clean conscience. Alain de Botton

Only one infinite deception is possible: self-deception. Søren Kierkegaard

Ah, it’s my longing for whom I might have been that distracts and torments me! Fernando Pessoa

Until we have finally accepted the fact that there is nothing we can do to change the past, our feelings of regret and remorse and bitterness will prevent us from designing a better future with the opportunity that is before us today. Jim Rohn

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The only regret I will have in dying is if it is not for love. Gabriel García Márquez

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. Harriet Beecher Stowe

Why didn’t I learn to treat everything like it was the last time. My greatest regret was how much I believed in the future. Jonathan Safran Foer

If I’m sincere today, what does it matter if I regret it tomforrow? José Saramago

Making a big life change is pretty scary. But know what’s even scarier? Regret. Zig Ziglar

Regret is such a pointless emotion, don’t you agree? Cassandra Clare

Do more things you’ll never regret. Maxime Lagacé

Related: The 25 Biggest Regrets In Life. What Are Yours? (forbes.com)

Wise Regret Quotes

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regret quotes wiser you get more absorbed moment fools live future wise now maxime lagace wisdom nature

The wiser you get the more absorbed you are in the moment. Fools live in the future. The wise live now. Maxime Lagacé

Regret is worse than embarrassment. What exists beats what doesn’t. Thibaut

When the fear of being a fool is stronger than the hope of being a genius, the status quo thrives. Thibaut

The quickest way to stop dwelling on the past is to see that it isn’t there. There are only challenges to be met now. Thibaut

Past is a fiction. You can’t go back. All that remains is a hazy interpretation of a hazy memory. It’s not helpful. Naval Ravikant

When you give it your all and it doesn’t work out, you are broken for a while but it passes because you have no regrets. You gave it everything you had. Shane Parrish

Avoiding doing something that could fail ensures you never do anything great. Shane Parrish

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The mistakes I’ve made are dead to me. But I can’t take back the things I never did. Jonathan Safran Foer

Time is one of the most under-appreciated models we all encounter, and yet it’s the most ubiquitous. When employed correctly, time becomes an amplifier. When spent without consideration, it becomes a persistent source of regret. Shane Parrish

The correlation between confidence and future regret is incredibly high. Morgan Housel

If you accomplish something good with hard work, the labor passes quickly, but the good endures; if you do something shameful in pursuit of pleasure, the pleasure passes quickly, but the shame endures. Musonius Rufus

Guilt, regret, resentment, grievances, sadness, bitterness, and all forms of nonforgiveness are caused by too much past, and not enough presence. Eckhart Tolle

Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable. Sydney J. Harris

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It’s not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it. Seneca

My dad used to say that living with regrets was like driving a car that only moved in reverse. Jodi Picoult

Death may be close at hand; death may be far off. Transcend death with no-thought, no-idea. Do what you need to do, with no regret. Awa Kenzô

Essentialism means living life without regrets. Greg McKeown

Maybe all one can do is hope to end up with the right regrets. Arthur Miller

Fear less. Try more. Maxime Lagacé

Part 3. Conclusion

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It is not the things we do in life that we regret on our death bed. It is the things we do not. Randy Pausch (Related: The Last Lecture, cmu.edu)

On your deathbed, you won’t wish you had more twitter followers, an extra zero in your bank account, or were the President. Instead, you’ll be thinking about the people that mattered and whether you were there for them. It’s not too late. Change the path, change the outcome. Shane Parrish

Further Readings

Hope you enjoyed these inspiring regret quotes. If you did, please share them with a friend today!

Do you have regrets? What’s your favorite regret quote? And remember: words can transform your life, if you find the right ones.

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Author Bio

maxime lagace

Maxime Lagacé started collecting quotes in 2004 after he lost his girlfriend in a car accident.

In search of meaning, he dived in the self-improvement world, psychology and trail running.

Books, blogs, quotes and nature became his guide.

He started journaling, reflecting, writing his thoughts, feelings and quotes.

His goal was to understand his pain, his depression, his fears, his lack of motivation and inspiration.

He finished his software engineering degree in 2007 at the École de Technologie Supérieure de Montréal.

A few years later, he started his first website to share his love of quotes.

Maxime is a father of two, husband, and INFJ.

Other notable interests of Maxime are health (mental and physical), meditation, bananas, SEO, human potential, and education.

You can find him on X, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube.

Last update

March 6, 2022

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