Youth is wasted on the young, they say. What we take this to mean is that more-experienced people often look back at past mistakes and think they could have been easily avoided. Of course, while you should definitely listen to your elders, lessons tend to really only stick in humans when we experience — not hear about — gains or losses caused by our decisions. That is us acquiring the experience we will later use to judge our dumb younger selves.
One student was possibly wondering about his old decisions when he asked Rickson Gracie, "Looking back on your life of jiu-jitsu with the knowledge you have now, what is something you would have done differently?" The master answered:
"Nothing, man. Even my mistakes have a great deal of appreciation. Because no matter what you do right or wrong, what matters is: once you get the experience of doing something wrong, what are you gonna do with that? Are you gonna repeat the mistake, or are you gonna grow from that? So my mistakes, my bad fights, my panic attacks, whatever I have through my own journey, gives me the knowledge of, 'I have to fix that, because that's not taking me nowhere.'
"So I pretty much develop myself in every day I train, in every competition I did, all the sharing of techniques I did with friends. So, it's just a progressive way to get better in life, in which the setbacks are just to push you with a little more happiness and motivation to the future. So, for me, my life was a blessing, even in the bad days."