Ah, yes, death. The one thing that all of mankind is faced with: knowing one’s own mortality will be at hand sooner or later. It is often said that time goes by quicker as you age, leaving those of us who are still with our youth the ability to live in the moment, ebbing and flowing through the ups and downs of life without a second thought.
When you find yourself on your deathbed, what will you hope to have accomplished? Will you be filled with triumph or regret? Will you be sated, having had your fill of life, or will you be restless and bitter, clinging to what was?
There is no better time than now to start making changes in your life if you are unhappy with its direction. Here are five regrets from people who have death looming above them:
I wish I wouldn’t have compared myself to others – Nothing leaves a person feeling unfulfilled and unhappy like comparing one’s life to someone else’s. This is a quick path to rumination and depression. Instead, reflect on how far you’ve come and how much you’ve grown as a person, even if it’s only little things.
I wish I’d taken action and dove in head first – The biggest secret to life might just be that “there is no right way.” A lot of us get hung up on wanting big things to happen immediately, like a dream job or building a life with a partner. You’ve got to focus on yourself, don’t be afraid to take chances, and things will come to you naturally as you progress in life. Don’t waste your time doing things you don’t want to do.
I wish I’d tuned the world out more – You’re always going to be surrounded by people who will try to tell you what you should or should not do, who you should or should not be, but you don’t have to let them. Don’t seek out validation from others–you answer to you and no one else.
I wish I didn’t wait to “start it tomorrow” – My ex-girlfriend used to always talk about things she wanted to do, but she never actually did them. It was one of the things I disliked most about her. Excuses don’t do anyone any good. If you want to do something, like learn guitar or ask a girl out, then take time out of your day to do it. Otherwise you’ll still be wanting to do them, fifty years down the road.
I wish I’d taken more chances – Fear of rejection and failure completely fades away when we’re staring our maker in the face. That job you didn’t apply for because you thought you weren’t qualified enough, that girl you never asked out, or that business you never started; all of these things will weigh on you. Fail and fail and fail, but learn from each failure.