Regret is poison. It’s literally about the worst thing you can have because it will eat you alive. I spend a lot of time thinking about how to avoid being 80 years old and having regrets. By that age, there isn’t much you can do about it.
In my current situation, being mid 30’s and financially sound, life can be molded almost to my choosing. Which also means I can screw it up fairly easily too by making foolish decisions. No pressure right? Fortunately I have an awesome wife that keeps me on the straight and narrow.
Want to know how to not have regrets?
1. Spend as much time as you can with family
I can guarantee that you will never have regrets about spending too much time with your loved ones. It will usually be the opposite of that to tell you the truth. I am lucky enough to have both of my parents to be alive and well. But I also feel worried that I’m not spending enough time with them. I know one day they will be gone and I will kick myself for not being around as much as I should.
On the flip side, I do feel that I am maximizing my time at home with my wife and child. It’s not that we are going on adventures every day or weekend, but just being home with them feels great. I know that some guys would rather be out and about a couple nights a week with buddies but that just isn’t me. Been there done that. Oh, and tell your family that you love them. Do it every day.
2. Do work that you enjoy
If you can find something that you like to do and get paid decently for it, you are winning at life. It’s so important since we spend way too many hours out of our lives working. I’m not going to regurgitate the “find your passion” line but instead just find something that you enjoy. Life is too short to spend 40 hours a week doing something you despise.
I don’t particularly enjoy my job. I’m working on that. But it does allow me to work from home which I do enjoy very much. I get to skip out and all of the office BS like meetings, gossip, etc. Nope, don’t miss that stuff at all. So there is good and bad with it, just like most jobs.
We live in a beautiful world. I realize not everyone enjoys travel but I sure do and I hope to do even more of it soon. There are tons of places that I want to see in our awesome country. So many natural wonders to experience with our son. I remember as a young child vacationing with my parents. Countless unforgettable memories such as The Grand Canyon, Alaska, Carlsbad Caverns, Niagara Falls, just to name a few.
Since I am blessed with great parents who cared enough about me to share these experiences, I will make sure to do the same with my family. No regrets for spending money on memories that will last a lifetime.
4. Take some chances to avoid regrets
Sometimes a person has to take chances in life to make improvements. And this is coming from a pretty conservative dude. Recently we moved to a different city so that Mrs. DS could take a new job. This definitely added a bit more excitement to life than I was expecting at the time but it worked out very well. She loves her “new” job and is way happier than before.
Putting yourself in an advantageous financial position will make risk a little easier to swallow. We had saved up quite a bit over the years before we decided to take a chance like this. Packing up while living month to month would not exactly be advisable.
5. Help those in need
A former coworker of mine recently retired from our place of employment. Whenever I happen to bump into him and ask what he’s been up to, he always talks about him and his wife volunteering their time to the Salvation Army or Goodwill. I find that so refreshing. He could be playing golf or reading books but instead he’s choosing to help people in need.
I hope to do more of this as the years go by. Probably when we retire, just like my old coworker. It keeps a person active in the community and it’s just a good humanitarian act to do. After all, it really is more fun to give than to receive.
Question for the readers- What things do you think are important to avoid a life of regrets?