There’s a sad reality to many people’s lives. When they reach the end of their life, they look back at what they’ve done and find that there are things that they regret. Usually, these regrets are based on the things that they didn’t do, rather than the ones they did. Now, you could argue that regrets are part of the human condition. No matter what you do, you’re not going to feel completely fulfilled in all aspects of your life. However, even if that’s the case, there are still things you can do that can reduce the number that you have, or at least reduce their severity. Below, we take a look at more than a dozen useful pieces of advice which, if you incorporate them into your life, will help keep those soul-destroying regrets at bay.
Going Your Own Way
You’re presented with many options when it comes to how you spend your time. There is, if you like, a system in place that’s set up for you. You just need to accept the terms and conditions, and you’re away. This is the common way of doing things, such as getting a job, buying a house, raising a family, and so on. It’s an attractive offer, for sure, but if you have serious doubts about whether it’s right for you, then you’ll be better served by going your own way. Society’s regular way of doing things are there if you want them, but it is possible to do your own thing – and you’ll likely find it more rewarding.
Sometimes, the issue is that we’ve made a decision that turned out to be wrong. And instead of cutting our losses and moving on, we carry on with our choice, even when deep down we know that it’s not right for us. Examples of this could be starting a business, marrying the wrong person, or buying a house. If you’ve figured out that your life would improve if you did something different, then find the courage to cut your losses. You can always find a different job, or work with family law solicitors to reach an amicable divorce settlement. Whatever the decision is, remember that there are always ways to undo that decision and start again.
Assess Your Life
A little bit of self-analysis can go a long way. Sometimes life can feel like it’s just moving, moving, moving, and we’re too wrapped up in things to understand what’s happening. We could be living a life that we’ll later come to regret, and we wouldn’t even know it. That’s why it’s always good practice to periodically engage in a spot of self-analysis. During your moments of reflection, you’ll be able to identify the areas of your life that are good (and thus worth keeping) and which are not so good (and thus worth discarding). You’ll never be able to get a full picture of your life or what will come from it, but you can get glimpses, and some insight.
Health and Vitality
It is obvious, of course, that when people reach their later years, they want to have as many years as they can. If they’ve spent their life abusing their body, then they’ll question the wisdom of their decisions to drink to excess or smoke. However, it’s important to note that it’s not just the number of years that you have, but the quality of those years. The earlier you start taking care of your body, the better shape it’ll be in later in life. If you go to the gym, run, and practice yoga, then you’ll be active for longer than if you did not do those things.
Watering the Correct Seeds
No-one has all the answers as to what leads to a happy and satisfying life, but we make educated guesses. There are actions and ways of being that’ll lead to negative states of mind, which in turn will rob you of your happy moments. Then there are positive actions, which take you to the right places. In your life, it’s worthwhile figuring out what sides of you are going to take you on a positive path, and which might cause trouble. The sooner you say goodbye to the more damaging aspects of your life, the better you’ll feel. Much confidence and many positive changes can come from giving up on harmful things.
Losing the Fear
We talk about happiness and sadness a lot, but there’s another feeling that we should all be paying more attention to than we currently are: fear. It dominates so many people’s lives, yet is rarely spoken about! What might everyone decide to do if they could say goodbye to fear for good? It’s worthwhile figuring out a way to develop the courage that can overcome the fear in your life, because it’ll allow you to do so much more. When you look back at your life, you won’t have to say “I would have done those things if I hadn’t been so afraid,” but rather “I’m glad I developed the courage to do what I wanted in life.”
What Feels Right?
As you go through life, you’ll find that you’ve got a pretty compass as to what you should do. It’s called your instinct, or your gut, or your spirit, or whatever it is you call it. If something feels right, then it’s worth pursuing; and on the other hand, if you’re beginning to have doubts about something, then that’ll normally be a heads up that it’s time to move on. Of course, your gut should only function as your compass, not the road map – there might be something that “feels right” which is too complicated to become a reality. What I mean to say is that it should be a factor in your decision-making. Your body is usually pretty good at telling you what to do, if you know how to listen.
Your Crazy Idea
Everyone carries inside them a dream, some far-flung idea that they’d like to make a reality. However, most people’s dreams stay just that: a dream. Life will always put a lot of hurdles in between your present world and your big plans for the future, but that doesn’t that you should set them aside. If you take a few leaps into the unknown and are fully committed, you might just find that your “wildest dreams” weren’t as out there as you first thought. Even if it doesn’t come off, much satisfaction can be drawn from having attempted to make it a reality. Give it a shot.
Saying Yes To New Ideas
People have a million and one new experiences before a certain age, but then they settle into the “their life,” and then barely ever do anything that’s new! While there might be comfort in just doing what you know and like, it’s possible that comfort is overrated. So look at stepping out of your comfort zone, and giving new ideas, activities, and people a shot. It’ll always reward you, and when you’re older, you’ll be able to at least say that you had an open mind.
Give Back To Others
We live in a society that promotes individualism. It is not set up to encourage people to help others. But we are, like it or not, social creatures, and indeed studies have shown that helping other people is one of the most rewarding and mood-boosting activities that you can do. It would not be satisfying to look back on your life and realise that you only lived for yourself, and didn’t show as much compassion to others as you would have liked. So get involved with a charity that’s close to your heart (or at least interests), and do your bit to nudge the world in the right direction.
Forgive and Forget
It’s impossible to go through life completely free of problems and conflicts. They’re going to happen, and they’re going to suck. But there’s much to be said for forgiving and forgetting the conflicts that you have, especially those you have with your friends and family members. Unless it’s truly unforgivable, you’ll ultimately be glad of your decision to put what happened behind you. There’s a resolution for nearly all conflicts, but they do require some effort.
Appreciate the Good Moments
Sometimes, we don’t know how good we have it. We can take things for granted. But if we can’t enjoy the moments when everything is fine, what are we living for? Learn the art of appreciating the good moments. It’s not as hard as you think! Kurt Vonnegut suggests having the phrase “if this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is” near the front of your mind. Think of it when it might apply; you’ll find your life is filled with blessings.
Finally, remember to love as much as you can, including yourself. Life isn’t so serious, and your negative sides aren’t so bad either. Life will be much smoother if you go easy on yourself!
This is a collaborate post.