Time passes more quickly than we ever imagined. Blink and you are out of high school at your first job. Blink again and you are waving at your grandchildren in the park. People in their twilight years who have shared their regrets have always started their sentences with “I wish I had”. THIS is your time; you need to live while you’re alive. These are a few ways you can do that.
1. Work backward so you can move forward.
Reverse engineer the life you’ve always wanted. Start with what you want to achieve or accomplish, then work out the steps and sequence of events that would likely bring them about. Then, start at the beginning and move towards your goals.
2. When you look back at your life, you will have more regrets about not doing things, and fewer regrets about having taken chances.
If you accept and take the opportunities that can bring you closer to attaining your goals, the worst that can really happen is failing and having to modify your approach or your assumptions. If you let them pass you by, you are guaranteeing yourself failure.
3. Do things that make you happy.
Life is a series of challenges peppered with simple joys. Commit yourself to self-care. Give yourself permission (within reason) to make great memories and to work towards your own contentment. If you aren’t sure what makes you happy, take the time to figure out what it might be.
4. Open yourself to experiences rather than acquisitions.
That saying about the winner being the one with the most toys is absolutely false. Things aren’t memories. They won’t be what you will relive in your mind; your experiences will be. Invest in those experiences while you are able to have them. To that end, remember to live in the here and now. Allow yourself to feel and make the most of this moment. Your memories of events shouldn’t be the first time you live them.
5. Appreciate your loved ones.
Holding grudges out of pride or waiting for them to make the first move towards reconciliation only works if you are guaranteed the one thing you can’t control: time. We all know someone who wasn’t able to repair a relationship before it was too late. It is a nagging guilt that never truly lets up. Why go through it?
6. Follow your dreams.
We often hear people say that, to the point that it sometimes feels like lip service. The thing is, if you feel that you were put on this earth to do something, you will have no better ally – or enemy – than yourself. If it’s your dream, it’s yours to fulfill. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. Complacency won’t quiet that desire in your heart. If you abandon your dream, it will be you who suffers – nobody else.
No one said life would be easy; if they did, they were lying. Success is hollow if it’s given to you on a silver platter. It isn’t a goal if you aren’t required to work for it; it would just be an eventuality, and there is no triumph in that. Overcoming the temptation to quit – now that is where fulfillment lies.
If anything, the saying should be that the winner is the one with the least regrets. That is entirely within your power.