When you are young, you always think you have plenty of time to do what you want to do; to mark things off your list of things to do; to make amends with people you had arguments with; to go back to school, get that dream job and live the life you’ve dreamed. But, time is fleeting, as they say, and before you know it, you’re at the end of your life. I’m not saying this to make you depressed or anxious about growing old. I’m saying this so that you WAKE UP and avoid these 10 most common regrets that people have at the end of their lives.
1. I wish I’d cared less about what other people think
People tend to care way too much about what other people think about them. The fact is, most of the time, those people you’re concerned about aren’t even thinking about you at all. And, even if they are, why should it matter to you what they think? Are you hurting yourself or someone else by what you’re doing? Are you committing any crimes? Are you happy with your life? It’s only when you realize how little other people are really thinking about you that you realize how much time and energy you wasted worrying about this.
2. I wish I had stood up for myself more.
Sometimes, it’s too easy to think that if you go all out to please everyone you’ll be liked more or your partner won’t run off with anyone else. We’re taught to be nice and to not hurt other people’s feelings but not at the expense of our own happiness.
3. I wish I had followed my passions
It’s so easy to be seduced by a stable salary, a solid routine and a comfortable life, but at what expense? Don’t become a doctor/lawyer/nurse/therapist just because it’s what your family or friends expect of you. Doing something you love to do is deeply, emotionally satisfying. Remember, if you love your work, you’ll never work a day in your life!
4. I wish our last conversation hadn’t been an argument.
Life is short, and you never really know when the last time you speak to someone you love will be. The last thing you ever say to someone will be what you remember the most after they’re gone. Always remember this and never end a conversation with a loved one with a harsh word, argument, or criticism.
5. I wish I had lived more in the moment.
Watching children grow up makes you realize how short-lived and precious time really is. As we age, many of us live less and less in the present. We’re always busy working, doing chores, talking on the phone, texting, surfing the internet or playing video games. Put down all of the devices; leave work and chores to tomorrow; and enjoy this moment in time to its fullest.
6. I wish I had worked less
Speaking of work, always remember that your children will only be young once. YOU will only be young once. Wake up and realize that financial success or career accomplishment doesn’t necessarily equal a happy, fulfilled life.
7. I wish I had trusted my instincts
Making your own decisions and feeling confident in the decisions you make gives us fulfillment and joy from life. Going against your gut only breeds resentment and bitterness and makes you unhappy.
8. I wish I hadn’t worried so much
Problems are bound to come up during your life. It happens to us all. But, spending your time worrying and fretting won’t help matters. Rather than worrying about it, do what you can to solve the problem. If it’s not possible to solve it, then there is no point in worrying. It won’t help and can lead to illness, and will definitely lead to unhappiness.
9. I wish I’d taken better care of myself
Having health problems always make you wonder that if you’d eaten healthier, exercised more, worked less and been less stressed, would you be in the poor health you are today? I don’t have to tell you that research has shown that eating healthy, exercising more, and staying away from bad habits like smoking and drinking too much will keep you healthier. But, I just did, anyway. If you haven’t been born with a debilitating health condition, YOU hold the key to staying healthy, longer.
10. I wish I’d appreciated (fill in the blank) more
The consequences of taking people for granted are always difficult to deal with later in life. The saying “You don’t know what you have until it’s gone” is one of the most truthful statements ever made. Whether it’s your spouse, friend, family member, child, your health or simply your youth, appreciate every single one no matter how trivial it may be. When singer Warren Zevon, was asked after his diagnosis of terminal cancer at age 55 what advice he could give to people, his simple answer was, “Enjoy every sandwich.”