If You Don’t Understand These 5 Things Early, You’ll Probably Lead a Regretful Life
The top five regrets a majority of people express as they approach the final stages of life are:
I wish I had been more loving to / spent more time with the people who matter the most.
I wish I had been a better spouse, parent, or child.
I wish I had spent less time working.
I wish I had invested more time in the things that make me happy and enjoyed life more.
I wish I had taken more risks.
Regrets are a normal
part of life for most people. But they don’t have to be. If you can
grasp and apply these five simple principles, you can greatly reduce the
time wasted being regretful over things that cannot be changed.
1. Change how you view your mistakes.
mishaps, and missteps are a big part of life. We are all aware of this,
yet no one likes to make them, and we certainly don’t want to own them.
However, mistakes are a necessary and critical part of the growth
process — there aren’t two ways about it. The truth of the matter is
this: no matter how horrible the mistake is, if you are still breathing,
you can recover, grow, and thrive in spite of it.
The only time a
mistake is truly detrimental is when reflection, introspection, and
self-analysis are not done as a follow up. Why did you choose this
particular course of action? Did you ignore the sage advice of others?
If so, why? Did you follow your gut? If not, why? Was your decision
driven by a character flaw (i.e. greed, selfishness, immaturity, lust or
lack of discipline)? If so, what are you going to do to correct this?
Learn to view your mistakes as incognito opportunities for growth and embrace them.
2. Live in the moment.
Most regrets stem from not being
present in the moment. We live in a world that moves forward at a
phenomenal pace. We barely have a hold of one thing before we are
reaching for what’s next. Learn how to slow down and be fully attentive
to what is happening in the now. If you are in college, enjoy your time
in college. Give yourself fully to the experience. Enjoy the campus,
your dorm, and dorm mates. Learn how to simplify your life and narrow
your focus to one thing at a time. You can have it all — just not all at
Living in the moment should, of course, be done
responsibly. This is in no way a license to abandon planning for your
future, neglecting to save for retirement, and wandering aimlessly
through life without goals. Goals are a very important part of your
success, but enjoying the journey is a vital part of living.
3. Focus on who versus what.
you value who you are over what you do, what you do will have a much
bigger impact and be more meaningful in the end. Being loving, kind,
considerate, hard-working, and honest will make whatever you are doing a
success. Your actions, more often than not, are a reflection of who you
are internally and will flow naturally with very little thought. Good
people do good things and have very few regrets.
4. Spend your time wisely.
person on earth has been given a measure of time. You can’t buy, earn,
or manufacture more time. When it is your time to go, you will go —
period. This fact alone makes time the most precious commodity on earth.
Live your life intentionally and seek to invest your time doing things
that matter, bring you joy, and positively impact your environment.
time with people who matter. Not spending enough time cultivating
significant relationships is one of the biggest regrets expressed by
most people. Learn from them.
5. Live intentionally.
is a big difference between living and existing. Those who live take
risks, make tons of mistakes, experience excruciating hurts and pains in
their lives and fail often, but they have very few regrets. One of the
greatest gifts we have in life is the ability to choose. You can’t
control or choose everything that happens to you, but you can choose how
you respond to what happens. Your attitude, outlook on life, the
decision to love or hate, forgive and let go, to fight or to live
peacefully are all under your control. You dictate the overall tone and
tenor of your life.
Throw caution to the wind and choose to live on and with purpose. You won’t regret it.