LIVING A LIFE OF NO REGRET
Nobody who ever gave his best regretted it. -George Halas
Interesting things happen when one finds them self in a position that requires them to stop everything they are accustomed to doing and instead, lie in bed for weeks at a time.
This is exactly what happened to me a few months ago. Fine one minute and within the next, found I could no longer stand up, I simply had no strength to. For those of you who know me well, you can just imagine this, right? Wrong!
I was at the gym one morning, things were going well, when I suddenly felt I could stand no more. I literally sunk to the ground. I stopped what I was doing and made my way to the door as soon as I felt I could, went home, fell on the couch and was out for a few hours. When I woke, I still could not stand for longer than thirty seconds to one minute.
I spent the next four days in bed, until I could get in to see a doc. Many tests were ran, my ultra normally low blood pressure that’s usually around 90 over 52 was 140 over 85, things just seemed to go haywire. Many tests were run, and I was told it would be another 9-14 days before the results came back.
Long story short: I had a staph infection of the sinuses and had no idea, as I did not have any symptoms other than congested sinuses. This particular strain of staph hits the adrenals when left unattended. This is why standing and energy went to a standstill. I spent a month in bed. It has been a process ‘coming back’, as the staph was gone quickly, but the adrenals took a hard hit. It’s a day by day process.
Why am I sharing this with you? Because I had a lot of time to think while lying in that bed day after day. I thought a lot about life itself, my part in it, the people in my life, the responsibilities, the dreams, the commitments. Thoughts ran deeper and deeper, day by day. Folks, this is where true communication takes place. Where you heart literally speaks out, your mind is coming up with all kinds of powerful ideas, and knowledge seems to fill every fiber of your being......
I believe everything in each of our lives happens for a reason. We can either choose to initiate actions that take us farther down the path, or wait to be acted upon because we didn’t take the initiative to take action ourselves.
I had probably been putting something off, which I most certainly had. My sinuses were congested for eight months straight and each week I would say to myself, “Jill, you need to get your sinuses taken care of this week.” Week after week passed and before I knew it, eight months went by. I had been warned, and I simply felt I was just ‘too busy’, to stop and do something about it. Well, a month in bed certainly stopped things, didn’t it? The choice is our’s, it always is.
While lying there one day I thought of my parents, both my mother and father turned 79 years old during the time I was in bed. My thoughts turned to them and what life was like for them as this juncture in time. I wondered if they had any regrets at this point in their lives. I would ask them, I thought.
The next few days, I thought about my own list of regrets I had accumulated thus far in my life, and I noticed the things I regretted were generally the things I had failed to take the initiative on, when necessary. I didn’t necessarily regret it immediately but it sure starting sticking out over time, as a regret in the long-run.
This was the “Jill, get your sinuses taken care of”, that I ignored week after week and failed to take action on in a reasonable amount of time. For you, it may be the noise your car is making each time you drive, or a child that needs more time with you, a deadline on a project you keep putting off, that change of diet you keep talking about, the co-worker you need to make amends with, the vacation you keep talking about taking, or any other number of things. Listen. Take action. Not just any action, take thought out, calculated action.
The good thing is, I am alive and so long as I am, I can change what needs to be changed now in my life to prevent my regret list from growing. You can do the same thing. Live life fully each day. Live life consciously each day. Truly, be in the moment.
Take a long enough piece of ‘time’, and reflect folks. It pays in ways only those who take time to do it will understand. As Les Brown says, “You can’t see the picture when you’re in the frame.” And so it is.
When we live each day in a hustle, it’s fine, it’s when the days turn to weeks and weeks to months, and months to years, that much course correction that needed tending to months or years ago, has now become something of a nightmare to deal with, or it dealt it’s way right past us unbeknownst to the one.
Like the old saying:
“There are those who know what is happening.... Those who wonder what is happening.... And those who wonder what the hell just happened....?”
Those who know what is happening are those who are prioritizing, know when to say yes and no, have a plan, take daily action on their plan, are flexible, roll with their mistakes and learn from them, and schedule time away for them self if they have to.
Those who wonder what is happening are generally those who are not willing to stop until they have to.
Those that wonder, “What the hell just happened?” are those who allow life to act upon them instead of taking the initiative.
What do you regret? What can you do about it by taking action today? Be it a new mind- set, a new goal, friendship, ending thereof, career, etc....
With this, I compiled several lists of what people at the end of their years, regret. There is wisdom in listening to the words of the elderly, especially when they still have their wits about them. Talk to your grandparents. Talk to your parents.
I saved my favorite list for last, a list written by people who are dying. Their words flow freely. You will notice there are several on each list that show up on every list, I would really pay attention to these. Live a life of no regret, one day at a time.
10. I wish I had traveled more. 11. I wish I had trusted my gut rather than listening to everyone else. 12. I wish I’d taken better care of myself
13. I wish I’d taken more risks. 14. I wish I’d had more time. 15. I wish I hadn’t worried so much. 16. I wish I’d appreciated ___ more. 17. I wish I’d spent more time with my family. 18. I wish I hadn’t taken myself so seriously. 19. I wish I’d done more for other people. 20. I wish I could have felt happier.
Working so much at the expense of family and friendships.
Standing up to bullies in school and in life.
Stayed in touch with some good friends from my childhood and youth.
Turned off my phone more/Left my phone at home.
Breaking up with my true love/Getting dumped by them.
Worrying about what others thought about me so much.
Not having enough confidence in myself.
Living the life that my parents wanted me to live instead of the one I wanted to.
Applying for that "dream job" I always wanted.
10. Been happier more. Not taken life so seriously. 11. Gone on more trips with the family/friends. 12. Letting my marriage break down. 13. Taught my kids to do stuff more. 14. Burying the hatchet with a family member or old friend. 15. Trusting that voice in the back of my head more. 16. Not asking that girl/boy out. 17. Getting involved with the wrong group of friends when I was younger. 18. Not getting that degree (high school or college). 19. Choosing the practical job over the one I really wanted.
I wish I’d cared less about what other people think. I wish I had accomplished more. wish I had told __ how I truly felt. wish I had stood up for myself more.
wish I had followed my passion in life.
wish our last conversation hadn’t been an argument.
wish I had let my children grow up to be who they wanted to be. wish I had lived more in the moment. wish I had worked less.
20. Spending more time with the kids. 21. Not taking care of my health when I had the chance. 22. Not having the courage to get up and talk at a funeral or important event. 23. Not visiting a dying friend before he died. 24. Learning another language. 25. Being a better father or mother.
1. I wish I had spent more time with the people I love. I had worried less. 2. I wish had forgiven more. 3. I wish I had stood up for myself. 4. I wish I had lived my own life. 5. I wish I had been more honest. 6. I wish I had worked less. 7. I wish I had cared less about what other people think. 8. I wish I had lived up to my full potential. 9. I wish I had been braver. 10. I wish I had faced my fears. 11. I wish I'd stopped chasing the wrong things. 12. I wish I'd lived more in the moment.
1. Not traveling when you had the chance. Traveling gets harder as you get older, as more people depend on your presence, day-to-day and it ends up becoming more expensive to bring more people with you. 2. Staying in a bad relationship. It may feel hard to get out of a bad relationship, but it’s not worse than staying in it and wasting everyone’s time.
3. Forgoing sunscreen. It may not seem like much, but sun damage adds up over the years, causing wrinkles and discoloration. 4. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians. You never truly know when your favorite band might break up, so seize the day.
5. Being afraid to do things. Fear can paralyze us, but we can't let it. 6. Failing to make physical fitness a priority. As you get older you'll realize how important it is to take care of your body.
7. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles. Define yourself, don't let society do it. 8. Not quitting a terrible job. You may need to pay rent or provide for a family, but you can't force yourself to be miserable every day. 9. Not trying harder in school. Grades are important, but what's more important is learning how to apply yourself and be dedicated.
10. Not realizing how beautiful you are. There are many definitions of beauty and you shouldn't think you're unworthy of someone's attention. 11. Being afraid to say "I love you." Loving another person is a precious gift, even if that same love wasn't returned.
12. Not listening to your parents' advice. They have a lot more experience than you'll want to give them credit for. 13. Spending your youth being self-absorbed. There is more to the world than just you and eventually you'll realize that.
14. Caring too much about what other people think. When you're older, you'll realize that the opinions of others don't factor into your true happiness. 15. Supporting the dreams of others over your own. Being nice is one thing, but sacrificing your happiness isn't worth it.
16. Not moving fast enough. Don't hesitate to make decisions, you'll end up regretting wasting time. 17. Holding grudges, especially against those you love. Choose to let go of your pain, instead of dwelling on it.
18. Not standing up for yourself. Just because others may disagree with you, it doesn't mean you have to abandon your principals. 19. Not volunteering enough. There are countless reasons to help other people, especially when they are needy.
20. Neglecting your teeth. Flossing and brushing may seem annoying, but it's much better to take care of your teeth while you're young instead of losing them later. 21. Missing the chance to talk to your grandparents before they die. They hold a lot of knowledge and they will only be around for a little while.
22. Working too much. You're going to miss the good parts of life, or be too stressed to enjoy them, if you do. 23. Not learning how to cook one good meal. It'll add to your family and friend get togethers more than you can ever imagine.
24. Not stopping to appreciate the moment. Quit texting or taking pictures and realize what you are doing when you are doing it. 25. Failing to finish what you start. Every day is an opportunity that shouldn't be squandered.
26. Never mastering one awesome party trick. This seems silly, but just think of how many amazing memories you can create. 27. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations. If your family or country thinks you should do something for a career, you're not forced to. Never.
28. Refusing to let friendships run their course. Sometimes people drift apart. Forcing that connection could do more damage than good. 29. Not playing with your children enough. Kids are joyful and innocent. You should be choosing to fill your life with this joy, not avoiding it.
30. Never taking a big risk (especially in love). Taking a bigger risk can pay off more than taking a smaller one. 31. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network. It may seem like schmoozing, but it'll help your career in the long run.
32. Worrying too much. Worrying, especially about things that haven't happened yet, is useless. Getting caught up in needless drama. Drama can be addictive, but there is no point. Don't get off on how bad your day is.
33. Not spending enough time with loved ones. We are all on this earth for a limited amount of time, don't take that for granted. 34. Never performing in front of others. This may not be your true calling, but trying it at least once is an important life experience.
35. Not being grateful sooner. Learn to say thanks and learn to mean it. So many parts of your life will improve if you do.
Have a wonderful week!
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