Regrets You Don’t Want
By: Conrad Braxton
Ten years from now probably seems like a long way off. But on some level, I suspect you know that if you want to create a positive future, you need to start laying the groundwork today.
It all begins by evaluating your behavior. The idea is to identify things that you may be unintentionally doing to sabotage your chances at success. To help guide you on the right path, I’ve outlined 7 common behaviors many people engage in that they later come to regret.
As you read through these, make note of the ones that resonate most. Afterwards, begin creating a plan for change so that in ten years from now, these behaviors won’t be the source of deep regret.
1. Following another person’s dreams
One of the biggest regrets people talk about is feeling like they aren’t living an authentic life. This happens when we pursue the hopes and dreams of others instead of our own.
Whatever you want to do with your life, remember that it is your life. Never waste one minute of time forcing yourself to do something because that’s what is “expected”. Doing so is a recipe for certain long term regret.
2. Living your life online
In this age of non-stop social media, it’s easy to spend hours at a time online. But don’t you find the whole experience a bit empty?
Rather than watch other people live their lives on the digital landscape, why not actively take part in your own life and get moving. Go for a walk. Breath some fresh air. Discover something new about yourself and your environment.
3. Spending too much time working
All of us need to work in order to live. When the balance is right, jobs can give us a sense of purpose and meaning, allowing us to channel unique skills that provide fulfillment.
But when imbalance exists, work can become a chore that zaps us of energy and stokes feelings of resentment. And so the question you should ask now is: Am I working to live or living to work?
4. Staying in toxic relationships
Just like physical inactivity, toxic relationships can chip away at your health. These kinds of soul sucking situations can happen with anyone – including friends, coworkers and family members.
The way of knowing if you are in a toxic relationship is by assessing how you feel when you are with someone.
For example: Do you feel validated and loved or do you used up and empty? If it’s the latter, what would it be like to cut that negative relationship lose from your life once and for all?
5. Not saying I love you
One of the most difficult regrets a person can have is realizing they didn’t say I love you to someone close. This is particularly true when they die.
Today is the day you need to say I love you. This can be accomplished through different means. Buy your mom a plant and attach a hand written note. Run an errand for your dad without his having to ask. Make a special meal for your partner just because.
The idea is to use this moment to demonstrate your love in an unmistakable way. Remember, there’s no guarantee they’ll be here tomorrow.
6. Not making your health a priority
Your body is an amazing machine. Treat it right and it will carry you dutifully for years to come. Mistreat it and it will become a source of lifelong problems.
Too many of us only recognize the importance of health when it begins to fails us. When this happens, deep regret sets in over things we should have done to prevent illness. What are you doing today to care for your body? Are you taking the necessary steps to feed it right, exercise it and provide it rest?
7. Not having an emergency fund
Things happen in life that are financially unexpected. While we may not know what they are, we can be prepared. Having money put aside for an extended illness, a job loss, “car troubles” or some other random event will help to reduce your levels of stress when difficulty strikes.
Having an emergency fund is just that – an emergency source of money that you can go to when the unexpected happens. It’s not something you tap into to pay for new clothes, dinner with friends, etc. Think of it as a sacred thing that you only touch in dire situations. How much do you have in your emergency fund right now?