If you were to die now, what would you say would be the one thing you wished you did?
Well, If you are reading this, congratulations, you still have oxygenated blood being pumped from your heart. meaning you still have a chance to do all you would have loved to do.
And if you have thought long and hard, and still find it hard to come up with an answer, let me help you better put things in perspective.
Here are 6 things you will regret not doing in life.
#1 Making time out for the people you love
Sometimes we take for granted the circle of loved ones we have around us. We are tempted to believe that they would always be there, but that is far from the truth.
Tomorrow is not promised and as much as we all hope to live a long good healthy life, I am sorry to be a downer, but the reality is that we are all in transit, and the end comes at different times for us.
It may not even be something as extreme as death causing a separation. There are families, friends etc who have become estranged to each other because they were not there when they were most needed.
Some allow jobs and careers which are good in themselves, but should not be a replacement for social connections to take up all of their time.
Do not take for granted the people who always show up for you. One day, you may discover just too late that they do not have the time anymore and then you realize the sacrifices they made to show up.
Replying to a message or answering a call may not look like a big deal, but it is.
Make time out for the important people in your life.
My personal favorite. The feeling I get anytime I pack my bags (well, not so much the packing part) and board a plane is amazing. I just feel so free, and at those moments I feel there is nothing limiting me.
The only thing limiting me is the fact that I happen to hold a passport of a country considered ‘at risk”, I have to work twice as hard to get a visa to anywhere I love to travel to and then the fees are crazy.
Aside from the experience you get from seeing the way other people live, and more of God’s big world, you also learn how to interact socially and communicate more with people, which is a much needed skill in life.
Other benefits of travelling include, increased confidence, creating memories that would stick with you for a lifetime and if you are anything like me, you would have a thousand pictures to add to your archives.
Imagine being old and showing your grand-kids, photos of yourself in the prime of your youth and reminiscing warmly about the good old days. Don’t you just love that?
#3 Enjoying the little moments and living in the present
Sometimes, we are so preoccupied by how we want the future to be, where we want to be in the next 5 – 10 years. We are so obsessed about the destination, we fail to stop and enjoy the ride.
For instance, when you have a family of your own, there are things you would not be able to just do without putting them in consideration. I stayed over recently at a friend with a beautiful baby who thankfully slept for long hours.
But she as the mum was always conscious of not making noise so she does not wake the baby. At night, at every slightest sound, she would have to wake up and check up on the baby.
There I became more grateful for the privilege to sleep without disturbance, even though the little human causing the disturbance is very adorable.
Our phones have also taken over and further alienated us from living in the present. You get into any public space and find we all have our eyes glued to the screens of our phones.
#4 Voicing out how you feel
Have you ever come out of situation and wished you said what you actually felt? There are different reasons you may not voice out how you really do feel about a situation. It could be because voicing out seems to be putting your emotions in the hands of another.
Sometimes, it is wise to be silent but there are more times when you really do need to talk. On the positive side, tell people how important they are to you, tell them how they make you really feel.
On the negative side, vent out your frustrations, speak up for yourself when the need calls for it, it is great to keep the peace, but there is no peace for you, when you have a lot of bottled up resentment.
#5 Taking risks
So many times we do not go outside our comfort zones or we shy away away from taking risks because we are scared of failure or rejection. We spend so much time worrying about consequences. What if? What if Not?
It is worthy to note that indeed taking a risk requires a great deal of courage, and you have to come terms that it may not end up the way you desire, but what you do, is learn through the process.
Risk also increases your chances at success. A German study states that people who enjoyed taking risk felt more content with their lives.
Going through life saying I wish I had is not the best. The embarrassment you feel or you think you will feel, may be nothing compared to if you actually do get what you want. So take that risk, it might just work out.
I do not say you say you should empty all your life savings today and put it all in that investment without doing due diligence. Just don’t say ‘safe’ all the time.
Our whole existence in life is a risk at best. Who is to say that when you wake up out of bed every morning, that you would see that night? Who is to say that when you walk out of your apartment, that you would get back safely home? Yet, you do not sit down at home, but you go out and do what you need to do.
#6 Not Letting other people standards dictate how you live your life
Yeah, we do not exist in a world of our own, but lets face it, no matter what you do, there would always be people for or against you.
Living your life continuously based on the expectations of others is too big a burden to bear. Constantly allowing people dictate your choices would drain you.
Society has a million expectations and those expectations will never end and will keep on changing.
When things do not go according to expectations, not matter how unreasonable they may have been, it leads to resentment. Either on your part or on the part of others.
Its a two edged sword, when you allow others dictate how you feel, you also would feel the need to dictate to others how they should live their lives.
Understand that you cannot control the way people think about you. At best do what is right and live people to their expectations.
Thinking of living a life without regrets, these are just a few things you may need to do. At the end of the day, this verse in the song, ‘I lived’ by One republic sums it best.
I, I did it all,
I, I did it all,
I owned every second that this world could give,
I saw so many places, the things that I did,
yeah with every broken bone, I swear I lived.
Teach us to use wisely all the time we have. Psalm 90 v 12 (CEV)