Four thousand dollars. That’s a lot of money for an odd-shaped piece of wood. And yet there I was, about to buy it. I could feel myself about to pull the trigger. The first time I picked up that guitar, I knew it was coming home with me. And I wasn’t too happy about it. But I had a feeling it wasn’t about the guitar. It was bigger than that. It was about a life mistake. Or rather, avoiding one.
Still, the damn piece of wood was four thousand dollars. And I didn’t even know how to play it. I know better than to question my intuition on these things, but I wish fate left me some room to reason with myself. I had to know why. Or at least be able to trick myself with a guess. Before I sold my kidney to pay for it.
I laid the guitar on my lap, elbow resting on its wider-than-usual belly. It was one of the few guitars that felt comfortable to play even with my abnormally wide shoulders. As I stroked its gentle curves, its perfect little details, I reminisced about what brought me to that store to find that guitar. A different set of gentle curves. A different set of perfect little details. There’s only one thing that drives a trading bot engineer to drop everything all of a sudden and set out to write music: A very special girl.
A few weeks prior, I met the sweetest girl in the world. And from the beginning, something told me I was going to write music for her. Something told me I had to. Which was absurd. Since I have the musical skill of a giraffe. I’m a super technical guy. Don’t know the first thing about music. Nevertheless, I found myself on a stool every morning, guitar in hand. Experimenting. Pushing through. Making music.
But the whole thing was a massive risk. I didn’t know how much this girls would like anything I made. I didn’t even know if she’d care. In fact, back then, we weren’t even talking a whole lot, yet. But something told me the songs about her in my head were important. Even if not for her, for me to see something. Something about myself. So I took the leap. In the same week, I got myself a guitar and an upright piano. Best part is, I knew how to play neither.
But who cares? Because fast forward a few weeks, and it all worked out. My hours of daily practice and relentless songwriting have started to bear fruit. I’m pushing on seven songs now, and I’ve shown several of them to the person they’re meant for. And she really likes them. Mission accomplished.
But this story isn’t about a guitar. Or music. It isn’t even about a very special girl. It’s about regret. I’m starting to realize that if I never did this, if I never jumped head first into music to write songs for a girl I just met, a stranger I barely knew, I’d regret it forever. I’d always be wondering, “What if I’d written her all those songs, like I wanted to?” And I couldn’t live with that. So I made my move. And I did it fast. Now, who knows where this will lead.
Hence I believe the one thing you should avoid at all costs is regret. As long as you actively eliminate opportunities for regret, life sorts itself out.