If a time machine is available, are you willing to give up everything you have just for one trip? Back to the past and undo a single thing you did, do something differently.
Lifestyle marketers today tell us to be confident in what we do and not regret a single decision. That was the best option at that time. But living a life with no ‘what-ifs’ is impossible. There were decisions we made that were so subtle we didn’t even know we had options before doing something. There were actions we did without really thinking it could reach far and have a big effect on our future.
Here are some of the most common regrets people have and a few tips on how you might avoid them.
Leaving words left unsaid
This is most often experienced by those suddenly left by loved ones. The grief is more intense when death occurs after a previous conflict or misunderstanding. This regret is the most common and difficult to avoid because of our pride. We don’t want to admit we were wrong. Or we don’t want to be the first to ask to talk when we are wronged. The effect of this behavior, however, is greatly on us. We are the ones who bottle in the intense emotion, affecting our psychological condition.
The only way to avoid experiencing this regret is to face conflicts head-on. We argue because we want to clear misunderstandings, not escalate them. Talk, or even shout it out. But as much as possible don’t leave things unresolved for too long. Non-violent communication recommends that you don’t just express your anger. You tell the person the reason why you’re angry and what you think should’ve been done. The other person might reason out why he or she did it. You have to listen.
Neglect of health
The most valuable asset that we often take for granted is our health. Regrets come when we are already facing health complications.
Rest is not productive so it’s not valued. Many hustle-loving youngsters say that sleep is for the weak. Thus, they would prefer to spend as much of their waking hours doing something. But sleep and rest are necessary to regenerate important cells in our body.
The same goes for nutrition. We eat food, mindless of what our body needs. We go on crash diets just to look good for a short time. We consume toxins that we neutralize with more toxins. Coffee, for example, is presumed to help drunken people sober up. Unfortunately, this is not the case. Coffee as a stimulant only covers up the effects of alcohol, which is a depressant. The combination could be dangerous especially when consumed repeatedly.
What you can do is, of course, take care of your body. Get a regular checkup. Go to a diagnostic clinic immediately if you are feeling something is not right so that a health problem can be arrested. The best course of action, of course, is to lead a healthy lifestyle. Know what nutrients you need and be conscious of what you consume. Exercise to keep your body primed.
Chasing after the wrong things for fear of failure
A study showed that people regret more about not doing things for fear of failure compared to doing things and failing. It goes to show that many people are already afraid of failure even before they start on something they want. These people end up doing something else, have a mediocre goal that they think they could easily achieve. It is no wonder then that many who seem successful in their lives are not happy with where they are.
What can you do to avoid this? Do not be afraid to try. It doesn’t mean you go on a thoughtless mission. If you want something that bad, plan and prepare for it. Then do something about it.
Another barrier to doing what we want is usually because we want to conform to what people expect us to do. When we give value too much to other people’s opinions, we are limited in our actions. Yes, we do have social norms to follow, but it should not be to the extent that we are already chained and boxed to the ideals set for us by society, by our families.
These are just some common regrets people have. There are so many more. Often these regrets stem from not having self-knowledge. When we rely too much on external pressures and pretenses, we end up making decisions that are not in line with what we want, what we are. The simplest way to have the least regrets in life is to be honest to your self. So when you make a decision, you are conscious that it is what you want and you will wholeheartedly take responsibility for it.