We will all die one day. That makes us all equal in some ways. What makes us unequal though is that many of us will end our lives with too many regrets. To live our best lives we should live a life that has zero regrets. It will make us happier in the present and also when we look back later in life.
There are many common regrets from people on their deathbeds. Even though they’re common, people continue to make the same mistakes in life.
Here are 10 regrets that you should avoid if you want to live a better life.
#1 — I wish I’d taken more chances
This is a very common one. I bet many reading this already have these regrets. It’s often the man or woman we didn’t ask out on a date or a great job we didn’t apply for because we thought we weren’t worthy of it. Others skip business opportunities or chances to travel abroad.
If you get any of these opportunities, grab them with both hands. If you don’t, you’ll live with the regrets for the rest of your life.
#2 — I wish I’d taken better care of my body
Many people are on their deathbeds as a result of not taking care of their beds when they had a chance. Too many of us eat junk food and don’t take enough exercise. We may mean to but always find an excuse to put it off.
Eventually, we end up in bad health. That ruins the final years of our lives. If only we could turn the clock back. It’s never too late though. Start taking care of your body today. Not tomorrow or next week, month, or year. Today!
#3 — I wish I’d traveled more
This reminds me of some travel posters I saw many years ago. There were a series of posters that showed an old couple thinking about what could have been. Each poster showed a different stunning location, with a speech bubble along the lines of “Remember that time we almost visited New York City”.
The old couple in the posters looked worn out and beaten down. They regretted all those travel opportunities they didn’t take.
There are also those people that wait until retirement before planning to travel. Sadly, many are then unable to travel due to ill health or a lack of money. Don’t put off your travel plans.
#4 — I wish I’d worked less
No one on their deathbed wishes they’d spent more time at the office, yet millions of us do just that. I know we all have to make a living, but we should work to live, not live to work.
Many miss their children and grandchildren growing up because they’re too busy with work. Your family is far more important than your office. Don’t neglect them. Always leave work on time.
#5 — I wish I’d kept in touch with old friends
This is already one of my regrets. While I have kept in touch with many friends, I’ve lost touch with quite a few. I often wonder what they’re up to or what sort of life they’re living.
They were good friends. We just went our separate ways and forgot to stay in touch. I’d love to be able to call them up and meet for a chat over a coffee.
Please keep in touch with friends that are important to you.
#6 — I wish I hung out with a better crowd
This is another of my regrets. In my early 20s, I got in with the wrong crowd. It set me back quite a few years. If only I’d chosen my friends more wisely.
Luckily, I realized before it was too late and got my life back on track. I know many people that got in with the wrong crowd and stayed with them for their whole lives. Their lives were ruined because of it. They now have major regrets but think it’s too late to change.
It’s never too late to change.
#7 — I wish I hadn’t held grudges
It’s said that holding a grudge against someone is like drinking poison and hoping the other person gets sick. What really happens is that you’re the one that gets sick. The person you hold a grudge against is busy getting on with their lives. They probably don’t even know you’re still holding a grudge against them.
Holding a grudge is something that can easily eat away at you. On your deathbed, you just won’t care about the other person. But you will have spent your whole life poisoning yourself.
#8 — I wish I was more content with what I have
It’s great to want more from life and to strive toward getting better things. But at the same time, we also need to be happy with what we do have.
Too many people focus on what they don’t have and end up missing out on all the joys of what they do have.
Some people have an awesome family, a great job, and good health but focus on what else they need to add to make them happy. They forget about the good things they already have.
Start a gratitude journal and make a daily note of what you do have. This should help you feel more content with your lot.
#9 — I wish I’d told someone how much I loved them
Sometimes, someone close to us is taken away too early. We may then look back and realize that we didn’t tell them how much we loved them. It’s then too late. We’ll never have that chance again.
If you love someone, tell them. Don’t put it off or think you don’t need to because they should already know.
Don’t live with that regret. It can be heartbreaking.
#10 — I wish I hadn’t compared myself to others
If we compare ourselves to others that we perceive to have a better life, it can make us feel inadequate. It can lead to constant striving to each some ideal that may not even exist.
This is a recipe for unhappiness. When you look back on your life, you won’t care if your neighbor had a nice car or took more vacations than you. None of it will matter then and none of it should matter now.
Live your own life.