The Youthful Mistake Elizabeth Gilbert Will Always Regret (VIDEO)

02/17/2015 10:47 am ET | Updated Feb 17, 2015

Elizabeth Gilbert has shared her lessons in love in such books as Eat Pray Love and Committed, but, if she had her way, she wouldn't be such an expert on the subject.

During an interview for "Super Soul Sunday," the author revealed the relationship-related regret that dates back to her youth. When Oprah asked what advice Gilbert would have for her younger self, Gilbert said she never would have listened to someone wiser in her younger days -- but if she had, there's one piece of advice she wishes she would have heeded.

"If I were to have listened... I would have said, 'Avoid romantic entanglements in your youth and focus on yourself,'" she says.

When she was younger, Gilbert admits to spending far too much time focused on relationships -- time that she now believes could have been spent much more productively.

"My God, Oprah, the amount of hours of time I spent with boys and men... I could speak fluent Mandarin now, in the amount of hours that I spent in my adolescence with boyfriends!" she quips.

Though she can joke about her past, Gilbert is quite serious about how this behavior remains a major regret of hers today.

"I would say that's the biggest regret of my life," she says. "I'm not going to beat myself up over it because it is what it is, and I'm here and it's great; it made me who I am. But I wish that I had spent those youthful years just feeding this mind."

"Super Soul Sunday" airs Sundays at 11 a.m. ET on OWN. You can also join the worldwide simulcast on Oprah.com/supersoulsunday or Facebook.com/supersoulsunday.

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