How would you feel if you discovered that you were chasing the wrong priorities — but the realization came too late for you to make any meaningful changes? That doesn’t have to happen. If you asked seniors to describe their biggest regrets, their answers would be surprisingly similar. Here’s what I learned from my non-scientific survey.
The Top 20 Regrets in Life
- “I spent so much time trying to please others that I neglected my own needs.”
- “When I was forced to choose between work and family, I chose work.”
- “I did some pretty ugly things to get ahead, and my conscience never let me forget them.”
- “I hung around the wrong people. And I became more like them, every day.”
- “I placed so much value on possessions that I failed to see that memories matter most.”
- “I never forgave him, and the anger consumed me.”
- “I spent so much time comparing myself to what others had that I never fully appreciated my blessings.”
- “I wanted to be accepted so much that I compromised my principles.”
- “I lost touch with people I really cared about.”
- “I took life so seriously that I rarely let my hair down.”
- “I was so afraid of failing that I passed up some wonderful opportunities.”
- “I spent so much time doing have-tos that I rarely had time for my want-tos.”
- “I refused to let go of disappointments and permit myself to move on.”
- “I wish I said, ‘I love you.’ Now that she’s gone, I’ll never have the chance.”
- “I worried so much about tomorrow that I failed to enjoy my todays.”
- “I had such big dreams, but never took steps to pursue them.”
- “I thought everyone knew better — and learned the hard way that they don’t.”
- “I spent so much time pretending to be someone else that I lost sight of who I am.”
- “I put myself down so much that I became my own worst enemy.”
- “I spent so much time believing I had no chance that I convinced myself not to try.”
There’s no reason to be saddled with regret one day. Know what matters most to you and be unwilling to compromise those priorities at any price. Don’t be the person who says, “I didn’t take the time to clarify my priorities and now it’s too late to do anything about it.” Do you have regrets?
Make your priorities a priority or you may live to regret it.
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