Regret Nothing …
Before we grow old we should all think about what we want to do with our lives. Ask yourself this question often, because time flies by faster than most of us realize.
How would you feel if you found yourself growing old, or perhaps dying, and not having lived up to your dreams? Do you want to accomplish the things you really want to do with your life or do you want to take things as they come and never really think about the end?
Most of us know the things we would like to do, but many of us simply don’t get around to making a list and really concentrating on accomplishing each item from that list. I came across a blog post called “The Buried Life”, by Bronnie Ware, that was all about this.
Bronnie went into detail about things that people regret at the end of their lives. In an old folks home, they were asked to highlight the things that they would have done differently or that they regretted from their lives.
Regret in an old folks home …
The article included the following regrets from those who were asked:
Regret #1: “I wish I would have had the courage to live true to myself and not what other expected of me.”
This one goes without saying for most people. Many people make decisions based on what other people will think or how they will react. As a result we never really stay true to ourselves and our most important goals and tasks. We find ourselves caught up in how our family or friends will view us if we attempt to do what we want.
Of all regrets stated this was the most common of all. When people are near death they often look back and see how many of their dreams were left unfulfilled. People need to live with the choices they have made and the dreams they have forfeited.
While you have the time, honor your dreams. Make a valiant effort to accomplish each and everyone one of them. It’s a great idea to prioritize in order to ensure that your dreams are accomplished.
List the dreams you want to come true the most, and work on making those dreams a reality first. Many people feel that their dreams are simply not all going to be accomplished in this life time and this is the precise attitude I hope to disrupt. You can accomplish all of your dreams!
The secret is remembering what they are in the midst of distraction. We are all distracted from our dreams because they may be hard to obtain or because they involve other people to play a roll. If you really want to do something make it a priority and don’t allow yourself to become absent minded of them.
Regret #2: “I wish I didn’t work so hard.”
This one I have been driving home for some time now. We should work smarter, and not harder. Many of us work very hard for little money. In the end we realize that our time is so much more valuable than the money we so often receive for it.
So many people have exchanged their precious time for their paychecks. In doing so they often miss important moments in their child’s youth. They forfeit intimate moments with their partners and ultimately they don’t tend to their relationships as much as they hoped.
Making money becomes the priority over living the way we really want to live. Of the people surveyed for the article mostly men held regrets like this one.
Many of the women were not the breadwinners of their family, and thus had more time with the kids and more time to think about their relationship with their spouse and how to make it flourish. Although women were less likely to state this regret there were many women who expressed regret in terms of how they spent their time working so hard.
In dealing with this regret it is important to realize that we made choices along the way. Perhaps we didn’t really need all the income we worked for and we could have spent more time tending to things that are far more important.
Take a look at your schedule right now and try to make time for your children, and your partner if you have them. Creating more opportunity for those relationships to flourish will help you avoid this common regret when you are older.
Regret #3: “I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.”
Many of us do not deal with our emotions in a healthy manner. Often times our truest feelings are not heard, in order to save face, or keep the peace. This often results in resentments that can tear us apart on the inside. Whenever we contain our emotions, and do not speak of how we really feel, we are often left with feelings of resentment for the people involved.
Resentments are never worthy of our time. Although we can never control how people will react to our emotions it is important that we let them be heard. Letting out our truest emotions on a matter is almost always worth our while. It will either result in a better understanding of each other, or it may result in a relationship being cut from our lives.
Either way we end up on top because if the relationship causes us resentment on regular basis it is likely not healthy for us.
Regret #4: “ I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.”
We all come to moments in our lives where we miss our friends and regret not calling, or staying in touch as much as we should have. This was a common regret for the old folks surveyed.
Everyone misses their friends, especially when they are growing old and reaching their end. They think about how they should have acted differently, stayed in touch, or reached out all of those times they had though of doing so. Don’t wait to feel this regret.
Schedule time for your friends now and stay in touch often. Whenever you feel you should call, do it!
We often find ourselves making excuses to not stay in touch. Perhaps it has been a while and we feel awkward about calling out of the blue. Or maybe we are super busy with work and make the excuse that we are too tired or can’t find the time. Nonetheless we should make the call and get in touch. Your friends are important, and staying in touch will allow you to avoid regret.
Regret #5: “I wish I had let myself be happier.”
Think about this one for a second. It’s true we can “let” ourselves be happier. The secret often lies in a positive attitude and a detachment from material things that supposedly bring us happiness.
Fear and materialism often prevent us from experiencing true happiness. Many people do not realize that happiness is a decision we can make. We can choose to be happy. We can welcome the opportunity to be silly or playful. We can make the choice to look past the things that bring us down and concentrate on the plethora of things we have to be happy about.
No matter who you are, no matter what the situation, it is important to look at the things we have right now to be happy about.
Regret leads to unhappiness …
Many of us however are not as happy as we could be. Again this is often due to regrets or failure in achieving our goals and our plan for ourselves. Tied into the rest of the regrets this one can often be solved by tending to the other regrets.
The less we regret, the happier we will be. We can concentrate on reasons to be unhappy, or we can open the floodgate for those things that should make us happy.
Take a look at regrets one through five. Do any of them ring true for you already? If so please leave a comment about your regret and how you have come to deal with it.