What do you regret most in life? I asked quite a few folks that question recently. Why? Because we have a choice: we can learn from other people’s mistakes or make them ourselves. The answers I received were enlightening. How many of these regrets would land on your list?
The 34 Biggest Regrets in Life (A Nonscientific Survey)
- Rushing through life. Some people are always on the run. They’re so busy being busy that they fail to make the time to enjoy life. (Learn more)
- Moving the finish line. Some folks place artificial demands on themselves that undermine their happiness. They think greater wealth leads to happiness, so they work harder and harder just to cross a finish line that keeps moving. (Learn more)
- Keeping bad company. Some people let themselves get dragged down by toxic people who lack a moral compass. (Does this regret sound familiar?)
- Lacking goals. Some folks take life as it comes, and then seem surprised to see where life has taken them.
- Speaking before thinking. Some people say or text things without thinking and then wish they could take back their words.
- Taking things for granted. Some folks take things for granted and lose them as a result. (Learn more)
- Fearing change. Some people are so afraid of leaving their comfort zone that they let opportunities pass them by.
- Failing to say no. Some folks want to please others so much that they fail to satisfy their own needs. (Learn more)
- Failing to see the downside. Some people rarely consider the downside of an opportunity. They never think the worst will happen –– until it does.
- Being the life of the party. Some folks don’t realize the damage they can cause themselves by reckless personal behavior.
- Covering for the misdeeds of others. Some people conceal the misdeeds of others and become linked to their wrongdoings.
- Following the crowd. Some folks think others know better…and they follow them right off a cliff.
- Worshipping possessions. Some people view belongings, rather than relationships, as the standard by which success is measured.
- Becoming overly dependent. Some folks become so dependent on others that they lose confidence in themselves and are stripped of their dignity.
- Compromising their integrity. Some people sell their soul to the highest bidder, and live with that choice for the rest of their life. (Learn more)
- Putting off problems. Some folks put off problems when they’re small, only to see them snowball out of control down the road.
- Failing to make hard choices. Some people treat everything as a priority –– which means nothing is a priority. As a result, important things don’t get the attention they deserve.
- Letting success go to their head. Some folks think a comfortable lead can’t be lost. So they get sloppy and lose as a result. (Learn more)
- Failing to accept personal responsibility. Some people blame the world for their misfortune and are unwilling to make the effort to achieve success. (Learn more)
- Being blinded by jealousy. Some folks are so obsessed with envy that they let resentment consume them.
- Living with fear and anxiety. Some people spend every waking moment worrying about what might happen. The truth is, it rarely does.
- Building walls around themselves. Some folks are so afraid of getting hurt that they keep relationships at a distance.
- Being distrustful. Some people are so afraid of getting burned that they treat everyone around them as a suspect.
- Failing to forgive. Some folks are so consumed by vengeance that they get swallowed up by their anger and can’t let it go. (Learn more)
- Talking a good game. Some people have big dreams, but rarely act on them. (Does this regret sound familiar?)
- Acting like a control freak. Some folks try to do everything themselves and then wonder why they’re always stressed out. (Learn more)
- Believing they’re Peter Pan. Some people don’t want to grow up, (Then they try to make up for lost time after seeing everyone else in the passing lane.)
- Losing the trust of others. Some folks violate the trust of friends and colleagues and then want things to be the same as they used to be.
- Letting themselves down. Some people have incredible ability, but fail to do what it takes to live up to their true potential.
- Winning at all costs. Some folks try to get the upper hand in relationships and seem surprised when that behavior is reciprocated.
- Creating self-imposed pressure. Some people create unrealistic goals and artificial deadlines for themselves, which leads to anxiety and stress.
- Choosing the shortcut. Some folks take the easy route only to learn that it’s filled with potholes. The truth is, there are simply no shortcuts in the long term. (Learn more)
- Trying to change others. Some people try to convert others to their way of thinking. The fact is, people change only when change is their choice.
- Not speaking out against injustice. Some folks sit silently and wait for others to do the heavy lifting –– that is, if anyone does.
You Have the Choice to Do Things Differently
We spend so much time running that we don’t take time to determine whether our behavior makes any sense. BUT, what if our behavior is leading us down the wrong path? (Practice doesn’t make perfect if you’re doing it wrong.) The fact is, if our behavior’s leading us astray, we’re compounding our mistakes. And if we don’t correct our course, regrets are born. So what would you do differently if you had the choice? The truth is, you have that choice. As Jackie Joyner-Kersee, the retired American track and field athlete, said, “It’s better to look ahead and prepare, than to look back and regret.”
What Do You Regret?
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