As leaders at work and home we are faced with choices, decisions and options all day, everyday. Life is what happens in between decisions. We choose to go left or right, we decide to jump or step down and we opt in or out of opportunities. After we make our choices life offers very few do-over’s. How do we live a life free from regret? Let’s learn from the decisions of others. Here are 8 things you’ll regret forever. Let’s talk about it.
1. Making work more important than family & friends
Everyone has things they have to do and deadlines to do them. How do you find the balance between being the “go-to” person at work and the mother/father/friend you want to be at home? How often do you say; “My family will understand. My friends will get it. I’ll make it up to them, someday.” The key is to find the balance between doing what you love and being with the people you love. It takes both.
2. Holding back how you really felt
We’re told “Be strong, Try to fit in, Just let it go, It’s not a big deal.” And my personal favorite – Don’t draw attention to yourself.” Instead of fighting so hard to stuff the real you – Be You. Put who you are and how you feel on the table and finally live. You’re the only one who can show the world what you can do?
3. Being slow to forgive
Unresolved anger, resentment and bitterness destroys relationships. In every situation there is an opportunity for reconciliation if both (or more) parties are willing to understand instead of being understood. The time spend in unforgiveness is a coffin for the relationship and a prison for you. Neither are places you want to be.
4. Caring too much about what others think
What other people think can become a weight around our necks. From poor choices to lapses in judgement; making decisions based on what others think sets us up for failure and disappointment. Remember that others opinions are just that – opinions.
5. Taking care of your health when you had the chance
Often we don’t think of our health until there’s a problem with our health. When you allow your “one day I will” list to include your health you put all of your other dreams at risk. Without your health, everything else stops. Don’t wait for a major issue to enact the change you know you need. Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live in.
6. Not going for that “dream job”
Maybe it was something you’ve thought about since you were a kid. Maybe you discovered a passion but never pursued it. Is there a dream job you never applied for? Life has a way of convincing us to follow the safety of a paycheck instead of the risk of significance. You may fail but you may also succeed. The only guaranteed failure is never to try.
7. Not talking to your parents while you can
Many who can talk to our parents on a regular basis, don’t. Limiting a healthy connection removes the opportunity to hear advice from the person who has known you longer than anyone else. Long after you physically move out don’t neglect the emotional home that is available.
8. Not taking enough chances
We have moments all day, every day but sometimes those moments become opportunities. Leonard Ravenhill said, “The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity.” Did you take the promotion you were offered? Did you say yes to that spontaneous road trip, or chance to travel? Life is about trusting yourself, taking chances, winning, losing, learning, and realizing that every step is worth your while – but you’ve got to be willing to take each step.