I took my cod liver yellow jelly capsule in one and one my black multivitamin jelly capsule in another hand and said to my son, ‘If you take the yellow capsule, you will suddenly be 20 years older, richer and fulfilled. But if you take the black capsule, you’ll become a baby again and you get to live your life all over again. Think carefully before you choose”. Can you guess what his choice was? Yes, you guessed right.
As children, we couldn’t wait to be adults and lead our lives and be independent of our parents. We counted each month as fractions to our next age. Ironic, most adults do the exact opposite of this perhaps out of agitation of not being who we said we would be or for fear of the ambiguous life still ahead of us. Even worse is the feeling of reaching that old age and you find your bucket list is still as full as you imagined it.
If you were to ask aged people what their biggest regret is, you’ll likely find answers in these categories:
- I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself.
This is likely to be the most common regret. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people go to their rest knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made when they didn’t have the courage to do otherwise.
- I wish I didn’t work so hard.
With the high pressured lifestyle we live now, both men and women might fall into this category as opposed to only men. The tendencies of missing out on spending time family and friends is high talk less of missing out on companionship. Simplify your lifestyle to make conscious choices along the way and by creating more space in your life, you become happier.
- I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for an ordinary life and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many people develop illnesses relating to bitterness and resentment they carried as a result of reserving too much emotions.
- I wish that I had let myself be happier.
As adults, we have certain unconventional things we want to do but out of fear of what people will say or think, we hold back for the sake of being perceived as a responsible adult. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflow into our emotions, as well as our physical lives.
- I wish I cared less about what others think.
This is easier said than done but when you’re old and grey, you’d wish you didn’t pay so much attention to pleasing other people and just throw cautions to the wind and really live for you. Again, why care so much about the opinions of others? Keep in mind that most people probably don’t think about you as much as you’d like to think, so stop worrying so much. Other people have so much going on that they probably don’t fixate on how you live or the decisions you make. Live in your truth, and don’t worry yourself with what others think.
- I wish I took better care of myself.
If you don’t have your health, you have nothing, so make sure to look after yourself. Your body will treat you only as good as you treat it in your youthful days so why not take that extra caution and pay more attention to yourself. After all, when you’re old and grey, someone else will be taking care of you because you let yourself be dependent again just like a child.
Life is full of choices, uncertain choices too. We can never know what might have been if we had chosen differently. No life will ever be completely clear of opportunity for regret. Failed relationships, missed opportunities, poor judgment calls. Some choices seem easy at the time and later turn out to have been poorly informed. Others may be difficult from the beginning but some regrets are more fundamental to human beings.
So this is to remind you, encourage you, it’s just one life to live. You won’t get a second chance except you’re a miracle waiting to happen. So before you fall into the category of people only wishing they had done this or that while they had the energy and time, get up and do something about that wish or that fear or that dream.