Living without regretting or missing out

Lisa Goudy
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Lisa Goudy

If any of us had the ability to glimpse the future, we’d know what regrets we’d have and avoid having them.

None of us have that ability. The future is unknown.

We do not know what lies ahead of us and we do not know what regrets we’ll have when we’re about to die.

But there is a way to help us understand now to live our lives to the fullest. I am no expert. I’m so young it’s impossible for me to be one.

One of my Facebook friends my age shared a link to an article on called, “37 Regrets That You Should Always Avoid.” With my curiosity piqued, I read the entire list. It was worth my time.

“Everyone goes through life experiencing enough mistakes and resulting damage that, by the time they are old enough, they have regrets.

“They say hindsight is 20/20 and when you look back at your life you will know what moments you should have changed,” said the article right at the top of the page. “However, we want to help you out. Forget hindsight. We’ve compiled a list of the 37 things you must not do or else you will definitely regret them at the end of your life.”

The No. 1 item on the list was “not travelling when you had the chance.” It said travelling gets harder with age, and as expenses pile up.

Do it now, while you still can. I have been incredibly fortunate in that regard. I have seen many places, but I want to see more. And I want others to be able to travel too.

Of course, being young, finances and time off are the biggest restrictions to travelling. So be patient. Wait, but not too long. Your time will come.

Other things to avoid mentioned on the list included not learning another language, staying in a bad relationship, forgetting sunscreen, missing a chance to see a favourite band, failing to maintain physical fitness, not quitting a terrible job, not trying hard in school and being afraid to say the words “I love you.”

It also mentioned that people should avoid spending their youth being self-absorbed, not listening to your parents’ advice, caring too much what others think, not standing up for yourself and working too much.

Those aren’t nearly all of them. It’s a comprehensive list everyone should read and take into account. One of the other regrets listed is being afraid to do things. It said, “Fear can paralyze us, but we can’t let it.”

We can’t miss out on chances like the few I’ve mentioned here and the others filling up the list. We don’t get a second shot at our time here on Earth. This is it.

So don’t waste time not doing things that will make you happy. Don’t waste time not doing things out of fear or other factors.

Don’t waste your time and never put off telling a loved one how you really feel until it’s too late.

To be truly happy, we need to live in the moment and cast our worries away. Yes, past reflection is important, as are future planning and thought, but we are not truly happy if we are bogged down by worry all of the time of what has not, and may not, come to pass.

It’s increasingly difficult to appreciate your surroundings and the people who matter in a society obsessed with Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and smartphones.

They say pictures tell a thousand words and it’s true. Yet it or anything else can’t replace a person. We can’t let it control our lives. We need to be in control and we need to live the best possible life we can.

Ideally, we will all die without any regrets. That is not realistic. What is realistic is changing our ways of doing things to appreciate what we have while we still have it.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.


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