Failure is temporal, regret is permanent. Would you rather try and fail or never try and deal with the regret for the rest of your life? Thinking about the things you wish you had done on your dying bed is an unpleasant way to leave this world. Most people play it safe and go through life without taking risks, trying new things or daring to pursue their dreams. According to a 2011 study by Morrison and Roese, 270 Americans were asked to report a significant life regret. The most common regrets reported were in romance (19.3%), family (16.9%), education (14.0%), career (13.8%), finance (9.9%), and parenting (9.0%). You only live once, so why not go all out and see what happens. The cemetery is the richest place in the world because there lie ideas that weren’t acted on, books that weren’t written, businesses that weren’t started, inventions that didn’t see the light of day and much more. We hope these 10 biggest regrets in life will put things in perspective and encourage you to dare to do what you’ve not dared to do all this while.
1. Goals not accomplished
We all have goals and dreams. Things that we really desire to pursue; things that keeps the fire burning in our hearts. Sadly, most people don’t dare to even start. Other start and give up along the way. It could be starting a business, playing the piano, travelling the world, becoming a counsellor and the list goes on. Life is difficult for sure and you will always meet obstacles on the way to your goals. The greater the obstacle, the more the glory in overcoming it. Pursue your dreams now that you’re still young and strong. Don’t wait until you’re old and grey. It’s a simple choice: Would you rather try and fail or regret??
2. Not Reconciling with loved ones
Maybe you were hurt by a family member or an old friend in the past and since then you’ve held a grudge against this person. Unforgiveness doesn’t hurt them, it only hurts you. It keeps you from being at peace. Most people regret the time wasted in hating someone; can you imagine what your relationship could’ve become if you made amends with this person. The things you could have shared that you didn’t share. You don’t necessarily have to maintain relationships with everyone, but you can make amends and truly let go of any resentment. Is there someone you need to make amends with? Do that immediately.
3. Stressing over little things in life
Worrying and complaining are big issues. Most elderly people regret about all the time they spent worrying about someone not putting up the toilet seat, forgetting to take out the trash, having a bad hair cut, getting mad at someone for not putting a thing back in place, we all know these little things we complain about. If you meet the toilet seat up, it takes just a second for you to put it down. It doesn’t have to be a big deal all the time. In letting these small things go, you will be able to appreciate the truly important things in life. Worry is a big time waster, so if you have to worry, let it be about something truly important.
4. Words that weren’t said
“Looking back, I have this to regret…that too often when I loved, I did not say so.” - David Grayson
How many times have you heard someone regret about things that they wish they said to a loved on who is no more?? We often live life with the fear of saying certain things to certain people: We find it hard to say how we truly feel. We’re scared of making ourselves vulnerable in expressing them. Sometimes it may just be that it feels awkward to say it. Common examples are: “I love you”, “I miss you”, “I’m sorry”, “I’m scared of…” and more. You never know what will happen tomorrow. You probably say to yourself: “He knows that I love him, I really don’t need to say it right”. Well, you do, and it will mean so much to the person, trust me. Guess what, you’ll get to receive those words too from them. Isn’t that amazing! You only have today to express how you truly feel to your loved ones. Show appreciation for them. If you hurt the person, apologize. Make the best of the time you have with them.
5. Working too much at the expense of your relationships
Do you have 16-hour work days? Do you keep working hard at your job hoping to climb the corporate ladder and get a big check? Yes, you may eventually become an executive earning a huge salary but at what cost? If you spend most of your time at work, what happens to your family? Yes you have to provide for your family but that isn’t enough. You need to be present to build strong bonds with your wife and kids. There are so many parents who end up being strangers to their children just because they were absent during the early stages of their lives. Life is about relationships. You should prioritize relationships with family. Of course you need to work, but work shouldn’t take up all your time. Set clear boundaries. Let work remain in the office, and when you get home, it’s family time. Don’t let your boss steal away your precious family time.
6. Worry a lot about what others think
What will people think about my outfit? My hair? My shoes? What will they say if I try this? What will people think about me?... These are some of the things that go on in our minds. We all deal with self-consciousness and it takes it takes self-esteem and self-confidence to get rid of such thoughts. Guess what… No one has your time! No one truly cares about you except God. Maybe your family and your close friends do, to an extent but they too have their own lives. People have their own issues to deal with. No one cares whether your outfit is a little old or that your shoes are muddy when you’re walking. The irony is that you worry about what others think of you when they too are worrying about what others think about them. Stop worry about what others think. It doesn’t matter what people say about you, what matters is what you believe and say about yourself.
7. Taking Life too Seriously
Do you ever take time to just chill? Do you take everything so seriously that you never relax or smile? Yes it’s true that you should pursue your goals. It’s true that there are important things in life but sometimes you also just need to put them aside and have fun. You can’t control everything. Things will go wrong at some point and how you react to them matters. You can whine about it for days or you can also just laugh about it and continue the hustle. It’s your choice. Ask yourself, “What is the worst thing that could happen?”. You’ll realize that most of the things you consider to be “the end of the world” are really not. You can’t control what happens to you, but you can control how you respond to it. Lighten up!
8. Giving up on your passion
What is that thing that you’ve always loved doing? Are you still doing it? What brings your joy? With the pressure of society these days of keeping a full-time job and taking care of family, it becomes more and more difficult to do those things that we love. It shouldn’t be that way. You can have a job and still do what you love on the side. You may say that: “I don’t have a choice” or “I really don’t have time”. In saying that you’re just convincing yourself of the choice you’ve already made. You always have a choice and you can choose to allocate time to pursue your passion.
9. Not Listening to your gut
Following your intuition is often expressed as following your gut; trusting your gut. Sometime we tend to listen to others when they don’t know any better. Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. There are times when you just have to trust your instincts when making a move. People tend to regret listening to others when they could have trusted their instincts. Am I saying, you shouldn’t seek for advice? You should certainly, but from someone trustworthy with knowledge and experience related to what you want to accomplish. In the end, the choice is yours. Would you rather follow your instincts and get it wrong or take someone else’s advice and get it wrong?
10. Not living a life true to yourself but what others expect of you
Most people live life trying to please others. This is mostly the case with parent’s expectations of us. They want you to pursue so and so career, marry from so and so tribe, go to so and so school, and you know most of these things. Friends and acquaintances want you to be a certain way. The world of social media also won’t let you be who you are. Young people these days are under a lot of pressure to conform to unreasonable standards. People live fake lives on social media; trying to please the world, trying to be who they aren’t. How many people get in depression just because of this??
Deep down you don’t really want to be that way or to do those things, but you give in to the pressure and go through life being someone else. Only to reach your golden years and wonder why you spent all this time trying to please other people. You really can’t please everyone. What about your dreams, or the person you truly want to marry? You can’t spend all your time and your little resources to keep up with popular trends; to be slaying… To what end?? Is that a life to live?? You can’t let someone else choose your spouse because you will be the one in that marriage for life. Again, listen to sound advice but the choice should be yours. The ONLY person you should please is God. The Bible puts it well in Col 3:23-24:
"Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving."
We hope you were inspired by these points to sit up and start living your best life while it’s still time. Are there any other common regrets that we’ve not mentioned? Please do let us know in the comments. We would love to hear from you and our community will benefit a lot from your insights. Don’t forget to SUBSCRIBE to our blog for more enriching content like this. We’ve selected more inspiring articles for you to enjoy next. Thank you for reading and until next time, BESTech remains your BEST bet.