What is the biggest regret of your life? More than 10,000 people have anonymously – and bravely – posted their own shocking answers to that question at www.SecretRegrets.com. Now, hundreds of the most jaw-dropping, heartbreaking and even inspirational confessions have been compiled into a fascinating new book.
The regrets featured in the book include everything from the expected to the unimaginable. The father who regrets not being able to help his drug-addicted son before he takes his life. The junior high student who regrets allowing her gym teacher to seduce her into an inappropriate relationship. The World Trade Center worker who regrets going to work on September 11, 2001. The wife who regrets having a retaliation affair after she learns of her husband’s infidelity. The guilt-ridden mother who regrets putting her career before spending time with her children. The student who witnesses a violent racist act – and regrets doing nothing to stop it.
After many of these Secret Regrets were posted, project creator Kevin Hansen began witnessing something overwhelmingly positive arising from the project. “As shocking and heartbreaking as some of the regrets were, I was amazed to see the outpouring of unconditional support, compassion and empathy that surfaced in the form of comments and feedback left for the original posters of the regrets. Complete strangers logged on and began reaching out to complete strangers – letting them know that no matter what they’ve done, or what they’ve been through – they are not alone.”
Tell us something about yourself.
I’ve always been passionate about helping people. I’ve spent most of my career in business consulting, helping connect business owners and managers to meaningful solutions that really make a difference. While earning my business degree from the University of Northern Iowa, I also studied psychology and human behavior. And now, I’ve discovered an amazing way to reach people struggling with the biggest regrets of their lives, and connect them with others who know what they’re going through.
I enjoy blogging and spending time with my wife, children, two cats and dog.
What inspired you to write this book?
A few years back, I was amazed at the kind of things people were revealing on the web. Blogs, chats and websites were popping up that featured confessions and secrets. And although a lot of these were very eye opening, there really weren’t any that zeroed in and focused specifically on remorse – or directed the hurting toward healing. You would see a lot of things like “I’m cheating on my spouse” but almost in a boastful or bragging way. And that kind of bothered me. So I decided to come up with website that focused specifically on regrets. A tool that gave people an outlet to acknowledge the ONE thing that they would change if they had a second chance – the BIGGEST regret of their life.
And what happened next was amazing. Complete strangers would leave comments of support, understanding and advice. Comments that let people know that they were not alone in what they were facing.
How did you choose the title?
The title was chosen because I felt it immediately spoke to people’s hearts. We all have thing we secretly regret, and wish we had a second chance to do things over.
What obstacles did you encounter in getting this book published? How did you overcome them?
Just finding the time to get it done. I worked on it almost every day for three years, about 30-60 minutes at a time. I stuck with it, and am thrilled to have seen it to completion
Did you learn anything from writing and publishing this book? What?
The project has taught me so much about people. It’s has taught me that behind every human face is a lifetime of experiences that has shaped them into the person they are at any given moment. We are all really doing the best we can, given everything that’s happened in the life we’ve lived. I’ve learned people are good. People are strong. People persevere. And if these people can make it through the worst life has thrown at them, then I can too. With every burden that’s been lifted from someone who has posted their secret regret, I literally feel a little bit of that too. It’s been a truly amazing experience.
Are you working on your next book? What can you tell us about it?
YES! Secret Regrets Volume 2 is in the works! Since the first book went to press, I’ve received so many more powerful regrets and follow-up stories to include in the next book.
What is the best advice you could give other writers about writing or publishing?
Just stick with it. Never give up. Find a way to break the overall project down into small, meaningful tasks. Prioritize them and do them in order. Don’t get overwhelmed by the enormity of the writing process. Just do it. Do it often. And it will all come together.
Who is the perfect reader for your book?
Many of the entries featured in the book are from people 16-34 years old. These individuals are at important points in their life and want to make sure they are making the right decisions. We do get a lot of people from 35 to 55 years old offering a different perspective for the younger readers to learn from as well.
Where can readers learn more about you and your book?
Complete book and ordering information is available at Amazon.com
Watch the video book trailer at http://tinyurl.com/SecretRegretsVideo
Become a Facebook fan at http://Facebook.com/SecretRegretsPage