In life you’ll always find that it seems to be the things you don’t do that you regret. What do I mean by this? Well, think about all of the chances you’ve had in your life. All the times when you’ve had an opportunity. Think about, for example, your last holiday..
You may have had a nice all inclusive resort, and there were probably opportunities to do some things you wouldn’t usually be able to do. Things like unique excursions which you wouldn’t find anywhere else. Did you do those things? If you did, well done. If not, you probably find yourself looking back and wishing you did.
It’s always this way because in life we have a short period of time with which to fill with experiences and memories. If we don’t take the opportunity when it’s there, or we decline certain things, when we look back on it we say things like: ‘I wish I’d given that a go’ OR the classic line: ‘What if?’.
Don’t be left wondering ‘what if’ in 50 years
Fast forward 50 years time.
Your health will not be what it is today.
Regardless of what age you are when you’re reading this, you will not be in as good a physical shape as you are right now, today. So when you look back on your life in 50 years time, what will you say to yourself? Will you find yourself regretting not doing things?
When you really think about it, it’s not all that often that you look back and wish you didn’t do something. There are obvious exceptions to this statement, such as:
- Stupid or not ‘well thought out’ tattoos
- Things like Murder, Rape etc..
- Doing something very stupid like climbing without a rope
These things are clearly things that you’d regret or wish you didn’t do. But I’m not talking about these types of things. I’m talking about things like asking that girl you like out on a date. Things like taking the chance to go on an outing with your family, or going for a walk with an old friend. The little things.
They matter the most. Whenever you’re faced with a situation where you have an opportunity to do something or more importantly, to experience something new, you should always accept it and seize the chance. There are clearly some exceptions to this, such as dangerous drug use, or doing things which put you at serious risk, but for the safe things and the experiences which will enrich your life, say yes.
The 3 second rule
This is a difficult thing to explain, but I’ll do my best.
Imagine if you will, a time or a situation where you’re in the moment, you’re aware of yourself and you know what you want to do. I’ll use a basic example to illustrate my point, and we’ll go from there. The example is this..
You’re facing a person you really like in a social situation. You have liked this person for some time and you think you could ‘be with’ this person. You are talking and for some reason you get the urge to say something. You may have experienced this.. You know what you want to say, and they’re looking right at you, but ‘something’ stops you saying it.
Something just holds your tonge and stops you. It’s hard to explain exactly what this thing is, but it’s something which stops you from taking advantage of the situation. This is the time where you should try and override it and do what you planned to do. There is a good little trick to sue in this type of situation, called the 3 second rule.
If you think of saying or doing something, you have to either say or do it within 3 seconds, or not do it at all. This helps you to be faster and more expressive with your conversation and actions. It allows you to focus and be in the moment, to the point where you’re acting and talking in a ‘flow’ meaning you are expressing yourself and doing the things you want to.
It’s the things you don’t do that you regret..
To sum up, the most important message to take away from this post is that when you want to do something in your life, do it.
You’re the only person who will come to regret it if you don’t do it. There are so many people who regret things they didn’t do. Sure some things you do you’ll regret, they’ll be bad choices but the worst type of regret is for the things you didn’t do.
It’s because when you do something, even if it’s a bad choice, you know what happens. You know what happens when you walk down that road in your life and you can proudly say ‘I did it’.
You can say that you tried it and you know what happens. If it’s a bad decision, you can learn from it. But there’s one thing you can never learn from, and it will haunt you forever..
And that my friends, is the things you wanted to do, but didn’t. You’ll notice these regrets a lot more because you’ll always be left wondering ‘What would have happened if I did talk to that girl/boy’ or ‘What would my life be like if I did try and start my own business’.. You’ll always be curious and sometimes you’ll be too late.
An example in my own life is rock climbing. It’s a passion I have and plan to pursue a lot in the near future. I’m fairly young and I plan to do as much of it as I can before my health gets to the point where I can’t. (Years away yet but still..).
I don’t want to be sitting there in my rocking chair in 50 years time wishing that I’d taken it seriously, because at the end of the day, It’s my passion. I love it!
So go out and do the things you want to do! The worst type of regret is for the things you didn’t do. Don’t be left wondering why, but instead live a life full of YOUR choices so that you can look back and say ‘That was a pretty crazy ride’ rather than ‘I wonder what would it be like to actually have lived’.