“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”
– Mercedes Lackey
At first, I thought that fear is the worst feeling that we could experience. There were times when thinking about fear made me want to stay in my comfort zone forever. I am afraid of failing, of not being successful, of being laughed at, and of all the possible mistakes that I will make if I will go after my dream/s.
So, I decided to live comfortably and quietly as possible.
But then, I got to meet someone whom, now, I admire and I adore so much. His name is Gary Vaynerchuk. He is a successful entrepreneur who I look up to. It’s not only because he is a successful entrepreneur, but how willing he is to share ‘facts’ on creating a happy life.
In one of Gary Vee’s clip, he said that we should volunteer in retirement homes and talk to people in their 80s or 90s. He said that most of these people are in pain because regret haunts them.
That’s when it dawned on me that I don’t want to end up like them. I don’t want to die with nothing but regret and memories that would not let me sleep.
WHY REGRET IS SCARIER THAN FEAR
Because regret lingers. It haunts us. The feeling of not being able to do something we wanted to do. The feeling of not saying ‘ I love you’ enough and not being able to make time to what really matters. (E.g., family, friends, health, passion, etc.)
Most of the time, we can do still do something about fear. Because fear usually arises when we are scared of doing something in the future. With regret, however, we only regret things that already happened. We don’t regret BEFORE ‘doing or not doing’ we only regret AFTER ‘doing or not doing’.
We can only feel regret at the end when it’s already over when we can’t change what had happened.
And the worst thing about it?
Regret is usually a product of our own choice.
IMAGINING YOUR FUTURE SELF
When I’m scared of something like trying something new or putting my work out there, I put myself in the shoe of those people in the retirement homes.
Am I willing to spend the last days of my life thinking about what ifs? Am I willing to die with too many regrets?
This might be too much for other people but this can happen. It could be you years from now.
I share this idea to make you realize how important it is to do what you think you needed to do and what you wanted to do.
HOW TO LIVE WITH LESS REGRET
I know that it might be impossible to live a life with no regret because right now, I already regret some things that I did not do in the past. Things that I wish I did when I was younger, things that I wish I did when my loved ones were still alive. I can’t do anything about those anymore but I need to remind myself the lessons that I learned and move on.
What I know now is that I still have the time to change the way I live and do my best to reduce my what if’s in the future. So now, I’ll do my best and I will:
- Forgive people who caused me pain so that I can live freely and happily.
- Follow my passion or curiosity.
- Stop living my life based on other people’s opinion.
- Live today, not tomorrow.
- Take chances.
- Do something new.
- Spend more time with the people I love.
- Compliment people more often.
- Practice self-love.
- Practice honesty.
- Be kind. (This is so hard, but I’m trying)
- Live my life less seriously.
- Keep creating anything no matter how ugly (or good) will it be.
- Do my best but be very accepting of the result (whether good or bad)
- Reflect on my actions and learn to admit my mistakes.
- Travel and listen to other people’s story.
- Read more books.
You and I still got time.
We can still do something with our life. We might not be able to live a perfect life nor a life that we imagine, sometimes it’s just the way it is, but at least we tried. At least we did not give up.