WE ARE ALWAYS IN A POSITION TO MAKE CHOICES AND NOT ALWAYS PLEASANT. And over the years we will live moments when – thinking about what it was – we will feel a certain regret. Or we will admit that we would have liked you to have made other choices. To have lived differently.

Because in the end life is a long line of choices. Either we took them, or others did it for us. It matters not only how well I took them, but whether I took them. If it was our choice or we did it because we had no idea what to do and we had to choose.

Here are 10 choices we will regret in 20 years and how to get over them. There are things that we are used to ignoring and that over the years accumulate as negative habits.

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1. You weren’t what you wanted to be, you didn’t say what you wanted to say and you didn’t do what you wanted to do

As children, we live every moment exactly as we want it to be. When we want to say yes, we say yes. When we don’t like something, we refuse. Which is why my son doesn’t go out of his way to go to bed, to sit at the table, to play with toys… when he can choose the computer.

He tells me yes to what he wants, not to what he doesn’t want. Everything is simple.

If you are a parent or have the opportunity to watch a child grow up, you will see that he is doing exactly what he wants to do. Say what he wants to say. And that is exactly what he wants to be… to the despair of the parents, including the undersigned.

As the years go by, this habit attenuates – at least partially – under the pressure of the environment. Schoolmates, teachers, friends, what he sees on TV and obviously his parents have expectations from him. And then she starts to give up on him and stop being what she really wants.

That in itself is not a bad thing. If he is encouraged to continue to maintain his right to his own opinion, the adult he will become will live strongly believing in the normality of him being what he wants to be. Even when he is different from those around him. If not, then he will gradually give in to the pressure or influence of the surrounding environment, giving up on himself.

In this way he will become something he does not want to be, to say something he does not want to say and to do things he does not believe in. Over the years he will become one of the major regrets that will accompany him, although ironically he can change everything at any time if he gives up appearances and is willing to shake the boat a little (see next points).

For this it has 2 basic variants:

  • Sudden change – today he decides to change, facing the probable opposition of those around him. Harder in the first phase, but if he resists and goes beyond the initial period, things will settle into a new balance, chosen by him.
  • Gradual change – step by step. A little today, a little tomorrow and so on. Kaizen approach, continuous improvement. It only works if it is persistent and maintains the direction of change, refusing to give it up to please others.

Either way, persistence in action can make you say over the years that you were what you wanted to be, you did what you wanted to do, and you said what you wanted to say.

2. You were not the leader of your own journey

Our whole life is a journey between birth and the moment of leaving for another world. What we get, the results, are important. But more important is the journey on the roads that open before us, without excluding the need for results.

And every journey has its leader. In your journey, you can be the leader yourself or you can entrust the management of your journey to other people.

People tend to look for leaders to follow. Which isn’t necessarily bad. In some situations it’s better that way, and things work better that way. But what is important is to never forget that we can only be the leader of our own journey. Nobody else. No one.

Because if we give up being that, we will live someone else’s journey. And no matter how well-intentioned that person may be, he cannot tell us what our journey should be like.

Always live so that only the leader of your life is you. Nobody else!

3. You have chosen to keep false appearances just so as not to shake the boat

And to avoid responsibility for one’s own deeds.

As much as we want things to go well in the end, sometimes it won’t happen. And sometimes we will get into real problems, complicated situations. And we will make compromises to avoid confronting their own choices, taking responsibility for them.

As a result, we end up accepting small compromises that help us keep up appearances and make everything look pink. Small trade-offs multiply over time and get bigger and bigger.

We manage to keep up appearances, but at a cost. Which gradually becomes bigger than if we had taken responsibility for past elections and ended them, changing the game.

In the end, the intention not to shake the boat will bring us more disappointments than benefits. In the long run, it is more practical to give up as many false appearances as possible, to live less to impress others (the facade) and as much as possible in accordance with personal principles.

4. You kept in your life things and people that no longer fit there

A quote from the Buddha says:

In the end, only 3 things matter: how much you loved, how beautiful you lived and how gracefully you parted from what you were not destined for.

In 20 years, one of the things you will regret is that you clung to keeping things and people in your life that no longer had a place there.

I wrote more in the article with the warning signs that you are surrounded by negative people about how you realize that you are surrounded by inappropriate people and what you can do if you are in such a situation.

Everything that exists in our lives has its place there. Sometimes they are meant to stay for the rest of our lives, and other times there comes a time when they are destined to leave our lives. By forcibly taking something that no longer has its place, we only cling to something that doesn’t work. Sooner or later he will leave anyway.

What we can choose is how gracefully we will part with that thing or person. How we will accept to leave us and let him go.

5. You were content with not being able to face the obstacles

The true “measure” of a man’s life can be obtained only by “lack of measure,” wanting “without measure,” daring “without measure,” loving “without measure.”

Octavian Paler

It doesn’t take much to be happy. In fact, it is said that the best things in life are free. On the other hand, this is not a reason to refuse out of convenience when you can have more. Or the fear of fighting.

Not always “thank you less” comes from the desire to lead a simple life. We do not always refuse to fight because we are peaceful. It’s often a matter of convenience – that is, laziness – hidden under words that sound pleasant. Or the fear of fighting. Or the fact that the fridge is full and we can avoid fighting… today.

Which may be OK, as long as we don’t lie to ourselves and at least tell ourselves the real explanation.

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Not being content with a little can be one of the best choices when we prefer the freedom of choice (bundled with the related responsibilities). Because it forces us to fight for more, to find solutions to problems and does not allow us to indulge in the situation we are in.

Conrad Hilton says of a certain stage in his life in which he began to indulge in his condition:

I had begun to indulge in my condition and know nothing else that can destroy a business faster than this


6. You didn’t saved any money

Another major regret over the years is that you have not put anything aside, especially from the perspective of the moments when you will need money.
Over time I have written quite a bit about financial education. There are Romanian sites that abound in such useful information and a lot of good financial education books. No matter what your current situation is, if you start today, you can accumulate enough in 20 years – both to have a reserve and to start something on your own.

I remember the case of a woman from the States who lived her whole life modestly washing clothes, so that at the end of her life she would donate a colossal sum to a nearby university. I miss her name now, but when asked how she got all that money (she earned little), she said that for 30 years she always put something aside, and the money multiplied… interest to interest.

7. You have been envious of the success of others

And you took care of gossip rather than doing something to overcome that success.

When you are particularly concerned about the success of others and you are used to finding explanations such as

  • he was lucky because before the crisis, everyone was successful at the time
  • he was always supported by his wife
  • his parents helped him with money
  • moved to the States as a young man

or else, well, you direct your mental focus on making excuses for him, when you could very well direct it toward finding actions that will take you at least to that level.

It is possible that in some cases you are right and that person had an “incorrect” advantage that you do not have. But the healthiest thing you can do is not to waste your time gossiping, envious of someone else’s success, but to say “Well done to him for succeeding” and to ask yourself what I could do to succeed even more. a lot?”.

You don’t want your neighbor’s goat to die, but think about how you can have a more beautiful house. Or car, career, life – whatever you want. Modesty will not help you at all when you have bills to pay. Willingness to work harder than those around you will help!

8. You did not agree to act when you were unsure of the outcome

Usually what we do does not guarantee that we will succeed. Nature itself offers no guarantee of anything. It is rather a notion invented by people and whose usefulness they question. When we have guarantees we are not motivated to evolve. When the guarantee does not exist we can learn everything there is to learn from the experience we go through.

I’m reading Thomas Edison’s biography now. Edison was a man who got into countless situations from which he had no idea how to proceed. Even the history of the invention of the light bulb is a story of how it acted without knowing the end result. Or if something comes out.

Many times you make a plan, set the steps for action, follow the steps + correct on the go. And that’s enough. There are situations when – if you have gained enough experience – you know what and how it will follow. But there will always be a dose of insecurity. There will always be times when you take a risk.

And in those moments you will have to act and not hide from the fear of not succeeding. Edison did that. Even if – less known – it is true that he also had a series of resounding failures because of this, the sum of his successes far exceeded all failures.

9. You have not faced your fears

No matter how much courage we have, there will be times when we will feel the fear to act. Maybe hidden in the form of anxiety, a feeling that keeps us waiting. In the end, we all go through such moments, even if we don’t like to admit it.

Being afraid to do something is not a problem. There is nothing wrong with that and you are certainly not alone. But you don’t have to listen out of fear. You can act even in those moments, despite how you feel.

Feel the fear and do it anyway, says Susan Jeffers in her book “Accept Your Fear, But Don’t Be Inhibited by It.”

Because if you give in to fear over the years, you will regret that in those moments you hid and waited for him to leave, you waited for the problems to disappear.

Unfortunately, problems do not usually go away on their own unless someone takes care of them. When you’re not busy (after all it’s your problem), someone will take over their load:

  • life partner if you are not interested in contributing financially to the home,
  • parents who support you if you just want to go to clubs,
  • colleagues if you do your job carelessly, children if…
  • you find such cases on your own.

What I mean is that – whether you like it or not – when you don’t face your fear, you end up burdening someone else with your problems. And here it is no longer just about cowardice, but cynicism. Put behind others what you have to solve. And in the end, he’ll come back to you anyway. Plus you will irreparably affect the relationship with people who really cared about you and were really your friends.

The next time you don’t solve your problems, think about loading someone else with them. And that in the end they will return to you, ten. What’s worse? To face your fear today (you will not get rid of it anyway) or not to do it now and return to you with broken relationships?

Go for the first option, and after doing it a few times you will discover that it is easier than you thought. The first step is the hardest.

10. You were not honest with yourself

As a continuation of what we talked about earlier about preserving appearances and the facade, the truth is that we all have moments when we prefer to save appearances. And no matter how much we like it, we probably will. As long as it’s not this rule, it’s OK.

But there is something else:

  • What do you say to yourself when you do this?
  • What do you say to yourself when you do something for the facade, to save appearances?
  • What you tell others is one. What you tell yourself is much more important. That’s because you can lie to others, but not yourself. You know the truth very well and you can’t tell your own story. And you shouldn’t do it. No matter what you do to yourself, you have to be honest and always tell yourself the truth. It’s a matter of respect for yourself.

Maybe you’ll make choices you’re not really proud of, but at least admit the truth to yourself and don’t fool yourself. You will never be able to do it and you will always remain in a state of inner conflict based on the fact that you serve yourself explanations on the one hand and the truth – which you know well – on the other hand.

And when you look in the mirror, no matter how good your explanations, you will know the only truth that matters to you.

As a result, always be honest with yourself and tell yourself the truth. Admit yourself when you were wrong, admit when you have a limitation or a defect. Better to admit in front of the mirror that you do have some limitations at this point in your life, even if you know you want to be different. It is the first step of change.

Otherwise you will feel guilty, you will feel inferior, whether you want to admit it or not. It will be a state that will always exist within you, even hidden behind the thick layer of explanations.

If you want to lie to others, it’s your choice. Be careful never to lie to yourself – always be honest with yourself! When you look in the mirror you can always say “it’s my choice and I take it!”.

Now it’s your turn!

What advice did you notice reading the article? What is the regret you don’t want to have in 20 years?

I hope you found this article helpful. If so, please like and share it! If you feel it, you can leave a comment, otherwise you can contact me!

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