17 ways to avoid regrets in your life
Hello everyone, and welcome back to my blog! In today’s article, we’ll be talking about things to avoid doing to avoid disappointments.
1. Living the life you want to live instead of the one that’s expected of you
This is one of the most soul-crushing regrets that feels like you’ve missed the only chance that you ever had. And, even though falling in this trap is much less frequent today than it was, say – 15 or 20 years ago, it still happens.
If you find yourself living the life that your parents, teachers or really – anyone – expects you to live, you probably deserve it. There is a clear distinction to make here, and it lies in understanding your personal goals. Naturally, we, as humans, want to be fulfilled. This fulfilment can take many shapes, from career and lifestyle choices to place of residence and marital status.
The people who care about you will generally want for you to lead a safe and secure life. This usually means that they expect you to make the same choices as they did, or take the chances that they’ve missed.
Most parents would gladly trade their child’s fulfilment for knowledge that you will be safe throughout your life. But don’t judge them too harshly – it is a very natural instinct. What most parents fail to realise is that living a different life from the one that you really want is a form of torture. If you go to work and spend your entire day doing something that you don’t enjoy (or even worse – hate), you’ll be miserable.
2.Not expressing what you truly feel
Don’t live a life of “what-ifs.”
Emotional fulfilment is very closely tied to our happiness. Your innate ability to understand how other people feel, to manage your own emotions and to be able to express them adequately is vital to your happiness. Sadly, it is also often suppressed by the boring, grey everyday reality that we seemingly live in. For many, it’s no more than a distant memory.
But, in reality, this is something that all of us can do! So what can you do if you’ve lost touch with your emotions? Well, the best thing you can do is not give up! For the most part, this is something that you can fix on your own, by – you guessed it – doing a bit of research.
3. Not standing up for yourself
A common mistake, even in our day and age, not standing up for yourself, can have a devastating impact on your entire life. Full-grown adults happily married and backed up by successful careers will often regret not standing up for what they believe in.
From now on, try to stand up for the things that you think matter and don’t obsess over what the times you didn’t do it in the past. It’s really is as simple as that.
4. Settling for less
Mediocrity will never lead to success. But most importantly, mediocrity will never lead to progress. Think about it for a second. If people settled for less, would we truly have any of the wonderful things that we enjoy today? If our ancient ancestors thought that mediocrity would suffice, would there be great works of philosophy, literature, or science?
Would we have computers or even electricity? If everyone were content to live in their own little mud shack, travelling among the stars would still be a thing of myth, something best left to the mythical heroes and their various gods.
5. Not expanding your comfort zone (within reason)
If you always shy away from everything outside of your comfort zone, you’ll have a hard time getting anywhere in life. We are hardwired by evolution to seek the comfort of familiar locations and experiences because we know that they’re safe.
But if you never dare to stretch your comfort zone, landing a good job, striking a lucrative deal, or even finding the right partner can be exceedingly difficult (if not outright impossible).
6. Not taking care of yourself
Investing in and taking care of yourself is crucial to your long-term happiness and wellbeing. This goes both for the physical and emotional aspects.
If you don’t take good care of your body and mind, you can quickly find yourself unable to do the things that you like doing and pursuing your interests. I’ve made a separate article on how to easily change your life for the better.
7. Not looking into investing
Having a lot of money is by no means required for happiness. As a matter of fact, obsessing over money is one of the most stressful things in life. And that’s precisely why I always advise people to consider investing. Being truly financially independent and not having to worry about “what-ifs” is one of the most liberating things that you’ll experience as an adult!
If you’re interested in investments but don’t know where to start, don’t worry – I’ve got just the thing for you! I’ve written a couple of articles focused on how to get started with investing, that you can check out here.
8. Not getting enough done
Not pushing hard enough to achieve the things that you want can often lead to sadness. People look back on their lives and accuse themselves of being too lazy, for wasting their time doing things that don’t matter. But, as with most things in life, we usually only learn to appreciate our time when we have very little of it left. But for you can avoid this. Simply by choosing to read this blog instead of watching some show on Netflix or browsing social media, you’ve already set foot on a different path. Reading is one of the best ways to expand your knowledge and learn new skills. As a matter of fact, I’m a huge fan of reading with the aim of improvement – given enough time (and desire to improve), you can learn just about any skill! There are countless books on every topic imaginable and the only thing stopping you from reading them is lack of enthusiasm.
“But what if I’m too busy to read-?” There’s no such thing as too busy to learn! If you really can’t set aside an hour per day for reading, try listening to audiobooks instead. I’ve got a huge Audible library that I listen to every day – during my morning routine while having breakfast and during my commute.
So, here’s my advice: take every opportunity to learn – both from books and from the mistakes of those around you. Make sure that you’re investing time in yourself and focus on the things that really matter.
9. Allowing your friendships to wither away
We all live very busy and highly stressful lives. This can often leave us with little to no spare time (or energy) for hobbies or socialising outside of work. You don’t call because you’re too tired, they don’t call because they’ve got a lot of projects going on, and, before you realise it, the good times that you once had with your friends are nothing but a pleasant memory.
Don’t let this happen to you! Simply by sending a couple of quick “Hey, how was your week” texts to your friends can keep your relationships going.
10. Letting past mistakes bother you
No matter how careful we are, we will always make mistakes. That’s just human nature. As is remembering what you did wrong every now and then – that is how we learn. But, if you allow your past mistakes to haunt you, you’re in for some problems.
Don’t obsess over past events – they are all behind you, and no matter how much you think about them, you can’t change what happened. Instead, focus on your plans for the future and your current goals.
11. Not travelling enough (or at all)
Travelling can teach you a lot of things that you can’t learn anywhere else. Sure, reading about distant places is fun and exciting, but it doesn’t even come close to experiencing them for yourself! I’m a huge fan of travelling, and I’ve advised my readers to take every chance they can to see the world.
Exposing yourself to new cultures, ideas and people can teach you more about life than any book or guide can ever hope to! I’ve made a few articles based on my recent trips, check them out by clicking here.
12. Not making time for your passions
I often tell people that if they want to succeed in business and be happy with their careers, they need to find and follow their passion. But here’s the thing – this also applies to personal success and happiness! We’ve all got our little hobbies, side-projects and other interests, utterly unrelated to our professional life. And, no matter how much of a workaholic you might be, you will still greatly benefit from some quality time off.
The harder you push yourself, the better your off-time needs to be. If you don’t set aside enough time for pursuing your hobbies and relaxing, you will quickly find yourself overwhelmed by stress and lose your productivity. And that’s just a recipe for disaster!
13. Putting your career before your family
Yes, successful people push themselves hard. Especially if you’re trying to start your own business, you’re going to have to stay up late and maybe put in some work during the weekend. But throughout all of this, you need to make sure that you don’t lose focus of what really matters. No matter how much money you make from your business, if it ends up ruining the relationship with your family, it wasn’t worth it.
At the end of the day, you’re not just doing this for yourself – you’re doing it for your family! The ultimate goal isn’t just to “make money”; it’s to achieve financial freedom so that you can live a happier life.
14. Worrying too much about what others think
Don’t get me wrong – your image is vital, especially in the business world. But some people spend way too much time worrying about what their peers will think of them. You’re living your life for yourself, not for them!
Learn to relax and do the things that you feel like doing without worrying about the opinions of others. Trust me – you will be much happier.
15. Not leading a meaningful life
As we get older, we start thinking about what we’ll leave behind. And no, I’m not just talking about money.
I’m talking about leaving a mark on the world. About the way, you’ve improved the world and the lives of those around you. Some, very few of us, are even able to leave a positive mark on the lives of those who come after them. And, if we look at the bigger picture, it is exactly thanks to the meaningful lives of those who came before us, that we get to enjoy the wonders of modern civilisation. Our society is built on the foundations, placed by the brilliant minds of the poets, philosophers and scientists that lived long before we were born.
Of course, we can’t all write sonnets or build spaceships. But each and every one of us should try to leave the world in slightly better shape than it was!
16. Not taking the environment into account
Trying to find ways to affect the world around you in a positive way? Here’s my suggestion – give eco-friendly living a shot!
Humanity has come a long way in a (relatively) short period of time. We’ve built great cities, travelled to all corners of the world and even began to explore the stars. But all of this progress has come at a high cost, and our planet is the one paying the bill. The oceans are filled with tonnes of plastic waste, the air is heavy with pollution, and the forests are shrinking at an alarming rate. If we want our children to have a world to call their own, we need to start taking responsibility for our actions!
If you’d like to learn more about the subject, you’ve come to the right place! On my blog, you can find a lot of articles focused on eco-friendliness and zero-waste living. But before you dive right in, I’ve got one last piece of advice for you.
17. Being impatient
Life is not a race. Stop rushing everywhere! If you’ve read any of my other articles, you probably know that I really like saying this, but believe me – I’ve got a good reason!
New things are always exciting, and it’s very easy to get carried away. But doing too much too quickly is the easiest way to get burnt out. If you want to achieve lasting results, you don’t want to take things slow. Change is good, but gradual change is better. Take things one step at a time to give your mind (and your loved ones) time to adjust to the changes.
Yes, you most certainly can change everything about yourself and your life overnight. But will you be able to stick with the changes? Are you sure that this will be the right lifestyle for you? What about your friends and family? So here’s my advice – don’t live your life like a race, live it like a marathon!
DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind that I am by no means an expert on the matter and that my knowledge on the subject is based entirely on my own research and experience.
As much as I love the concept of researching on my own, there are some fields where this approach can be very difficult, and human emotion is one of them. There are numerous articles and studies on these subjects, often presenting conflicting information. Because this is such a hot topic today, there are a lot of experts, professors, researchers and even self-taught writers, trying to present information based on the way they see things. Depending on what you read and who wrote it, you are going to come to very different conclusions. When trying to distil the truth here, I’d advise you to rely on your common sense and draw parallels to things that you’ve seen and experienced in life.
- Absolute Lifestyle Travel
- Audio books on Audible – use Audible to listen to the books, if you don’t have time to read.
- Tony Robbins – MONEY Master the Game
- Tony Robbins – Unshakeable: Your Financial Freedom
- Unshakeable: Your Guide to Financial Freedom
- Benjamin Graham – The Intelligent Investor
- David Chilton – The Wealthy Barber
- Robert Kiyosaki – Rich Dad Poor Dad