Regrets: nobody wants them and yet everyone has them. Whether you made a poor decision, said yes when you should have said no, said no when you should have said yes, or just said nothing at all, it is easy to look back and think ‘shoulda woulda coulda’.
Whilst there is little point on dwelling too long on the past, after all what’s done is done, it is interesting to note that people who have reached the end or are nearing the end of their life very often have similar regrets about life. What this shows us is that the things that really mean something and are important are common to all people, and that we can try to do our best to not repeat the mistakes of those gone before us. Here are some of the most common regrets people have before they are about to die.
1. Working Too Much
Nobody gets to the end of their life and thinks ‘I wish I’d spent more time in the office’ and yet so many people choose to work an unhealthy amount of hours, including evenings and sometimes weekends, just to prove something to their boss or to get to the top of a corporate ladder and make lots of money. Remember that life is for living, and money is no good to you if you have no time to spend it.
2. Not Spending Enough Time With Family
Another problem with spending too much time in the office is that you don’t get to see the most important people in your life nearly often enough, which is why not staying in touch with family is one of the biggest regrets people have. We take it for granted that our parents and siblings will be there forever but life can get in the way and separate people as does death. Whilst you still have your family around you, make the most of it and try to see them as much as possible, even if only through Skype.
3. Not Following Their Passion
When a person reaches the end of their life, they often look back wistfully at the paths which they never chose either because someone told them not to, they didn’t believe in themselves enough, or because they chose a steadier, more secure direction. If you find yourself stuck somewhere because of a pay check or because you are trying to please someone else, now is the time to look inwards and decide what it is you truly want to do and then pursue it recklessly. You don’t want to be on your deathbed, wishing that you could go back in time and fulfil all of the dreams you never got around to. Do it now.
4. Caring About What Others Thought Of Them
How many times have you worried about something you’ve said or done because you thought someone was judging you or thinking bad of you? It’s an all too common problem, we think too much about what other people think about us and it can affect the way we live our lives to the point where it stops us being who we truly are. As a person enters their twilight years and looks back on life, they realise how silly it was to ever care about another person’s opinion of them.
“You would worry less about what people think of you if you knew how little they did.”
When it comes to regrets, there is no way of avoiding them altogether, they are part and parcel of life. It is normal to have aspects of your life that you would love to change, or things that you would love to do if you had more time, so don’t get too caught up in trying to live your life perfectly but rather try to live it authentically. Be true to who you are, have confidence in your actions and decisions, and more than anything don’t be afraid to take risks and go for something. You only ever truly regret the things you don’t do, everything else is just a part of the story.