It’s a crazy thing that we spend so much of our lives going after things that, at the end of our lives, will not really matter.
Just think of all the things we do in our daily lives, which may include:
- Working in a job or career we are not passionate about.
- Choosing to work long hours instead of being with those who matter most.
- Spending time watching meaningless television shows or wasting time on social media.
- Hanging on to resentments or grudges against those who may have hurt us.
- Avoiding saying what we really want to say to someone important.
Most of us have regrets in life, some which we’re easily able to let go of, while others may have had a major impact on our lives. While we cannot go back and change the past, we can make better choices now so that we don’t have regrets later in life.
One major change I made in my life was leaving a career that I was not passionate about and starting a whole new career that was more appealing and aligned with what I really wanted to do in life. I just knew that if I continued with my previous career, which was comfortable and financially rewarding, I would end up having major regrets for not being courageous enough to follow my true calling in life. I am pleased to say that I have no regrets for making that decision.
While there are many lessons we can learn about not having regrets in life, here are 10 things I believe are valuable to know if we don’t want to die with regrets.
- Appreciate the people who have come into your life. It has been said that on average, we will have connections with around 250 people during the course of our lives. Most of them will come and go, and only a select few remain with us until the end. For those that have come into our lives, they all have taught us something we needed to learn. Even though things may have not ended well, we should still appreciate them for coming into our lives.
- Heal as many disagreements with others. We’ve all had experiences which caused us pain or suffering, and most of them would have been caused by other people. Rather than hold onto past hurts and wounds, it will serve us more to forgive, let go and heal as many, if not all, of those wounds. Hanging onto old wounds only hurt us in the long term.
- Follow your deepest desires and precious dreams. We all have dreams and things we want to do or experience in life. Most people die with their dreams still within them, which can be a major regret for them. As mythologist Joseph Campbell famously said, “Follow your bliss.”
- Share your true emotions with those who matter most. We only have a few relationships in life that mean the world to us. For most of us, it’s our families and the personal relationships we have. When we do create those close relationships, we must be willing to be vulnerable and be our true selves. Saying what those special people mean to us is something we should constantly tell them.
- Take new risks in life. Our greatest joys often come when we are bold and challenge ourselves to do or create new things in our lives. While it can result in many failures, when we persist and come out the other side, the satisfaction we feel will make all the struggles worthwhile. The more risks we take, the greater the potential rewards.
- Make a difference in your unique way. At the end of our lives, we will question whether we did anything meaningful and worthwhile. For some of us, it may mean being the best parent we could have been. For others, it may mean sharing our knowledge, wisdom or expertise with others and inspiring them to also make their difference. Making a difference doesn’t necessarily have to be something that changes the world but it can change someone’s world.
- Travel to other countries. When we visit other countries, not only do we get to have new experiences, we will really appreciate the life we do have. Learning about new cultures and traditions can broaden our perspective on what life is really about and may even inspire us to make changes to our lives. Getting out of our normal environment is a powerful way to learn new things about ourselves, others and the world.
- Never settle for a life that is not our heart’s desire. Deep down, we know what we want in life although it may take a level of honestly and self-reflection to identify what we want. Once we have an image of what we desire in life, often there will be a gap between where we are and where we want to be. Instead of letting our fears and insecurities run our lives, we must be willing to overcome them and live the life we want. We should always be grateful for the life we have but never settle or just be satisfied with what we have accomplished so far.
- Do the best you can at all times. Only we will know at the end of our lives whether we did the best we could to live a great life. For most people, they will find it challenging to admit that they could have done better and created a better life for themselves. Doing the best we can often comes from having greater clarity, courage, confidence and the willingness to continue to raise our standards in life.
- Nothing lasts forever. Everything will come to an end because our time on Earth is limited. Knowing that, it is our responsibility to give life everything we’ve got and experience it fully. Only then, will we get to the end and truly know that we have lived a magical life and fulfilled our purpose in this lifetime.
If we don’t want to die with any regrets, it will require us to be completely honest with ourselves and assess each area of our life against what we’d like it to be. It will require us to make tough decisions and better choices so that when we get to the end, we will be able to say that we lived life on our terms and always did the best we could.
Question: What could be another thing to remember if we don’t want to die with any regrets?
You can leave a comment by clicking here.