I had hoped that my time in D.C. working on the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) would go unnoticed while I took time off to teach in Korea. Google is my enemy, however, and my co-workers had a decent idea of who I am before I even stepped off the plane.
While mistakes aren't a huge issue in my life, I actually spend and waste a lot of time worrying about making mistakes, and also find myself being unnecessarily critical of those around me when they make mistakes (both overtly and covertly).
It's healthy and wise to examine choices and decisions you've made so far, and studying those that conjure up a twinge of regret offers the greatest opportunity for guiding your future and avoiding "midlife angst."
Because of what's called the actor/observer difference, it's easy for Alan Greenspan to look back over his 19 years at the Fed and see all the factors that played a role in screwing things up, and harder for him to see his own role in it.
No one remembers the Buddha as someone who made a lot of mistakes; they only remember his incredible kindness and wisdom. If we learn from the mistakes we make today, then we, too, will be remembered in the same light.