The life we live is the legacy we leave behind. Everyday counts for something, and every relationship has meaning. No one wants to live in mediocrity, with their dreams and aspirations deteriorating behind the façade of a day to day rat race. At the end of life, many people express regrets, wishing for a second chance to get it right. In reality, there is no second chance; we have to get it right the first time. These are the top ten regrets most likely to change the course of someone’s life.
Never Resolving a Conflict
The number one regret a person can have is not resolving a conflict. Countless funerals are full of regretful friends and family that never got the chance to right a wrong. Bitterness can sour a lifetime of memories, wedging itself in between relationships and people that love each other. Don’t let anger last a lifetime.
Not Spending Enough Family Time
For many people sending their kids off to college, or watching them get married can conjure thoughts of times growing up as a young family. Often work can come in the way of family time, resulting in distance between husbands, wives and children. Inserting a family day into a weekly schedule and making time for family vacations each year can prevent a person from having such a strong regret.
Not Landing a Dream Job
Going to college for years and getting a degree leads a person to begin seeking work in the field of their dreams. However, often employers are not hiring in limited fields, leaving post grads to find work in other occupations. What starts out as temporary can become permanent, with salaries and benefits luring employees into a lifelong commitment to a single company. While the money may be great, a job can feel like a rut if it isn’t the job you longed for.
Not Saving Enough Money
For many people in their twenties or thirties, retirement seems like a distant future, not an impending reality. They may choose to defer retirement savings into other purchases for immediate gratification. This can turn into a disaster during the golden years, when money can often be tight. This is an easy regret to avoid by setting up automated investments into an IRA throughout the working years.
Not Having Children
Children are often viewed as distractions or inconveniences, getting in the way of careers and personal goals. Though it may seem like a good idea to not have kids, the choice can leave a person very lonely as they begin to age. It is a natural human desire to wish to leave a heritage with descendents, so be careful in choosing to put off having children.
Never Taking up a Sport or Hobby
Countless little boys spend their youth community sports, dreaming of one day playing for a professional league. Though not everyone has what it takes to be a professional, there are other ways to incorporate a passion for sports or other hobbies such as learning to play an instrument, or taking on a second language.
Never Telling Someone You Love Them
There is nothing like going to the grave, remembering “the one that got away.” Sometimes it can be hard to express true feelings for someone if the outcome could mean rejection. However, holding it all inside will leave heart aching for closure. It is better to share your heart with a loved one, rather than miss out on a chance at happiness.
Growing up, most people dream of visiting an exotic island, backpacking through Europe, experiencing the Great Wall of China, or finding love in the city of Paris. Travel is a healthy ambition that creates memories to last a lifetime. Failing to travel to a dream destination can leave a lifetime of regrets. Don’t let financial circumstances or life events keep you from visiting the places that you love.
Never Getting a Degree
A small percentage of people successfully graduate high school, go to college, and acquire the degree that they set out for. Life circumstances can get in the way, with some students quitting college to get married, have children or go to work, never returning to school. For people who take pride in education and intelligence, having a degree is proof of their capabilities and accomplishment. It is never too late to go back to school and get the degree you always wanted.
Never Buying the dream home
Everyone has an idea of the perfect home in the perfect location. Maybe it’s a luxurious Manhattan apartment full of chic and modern furnishings. Or perhaps it’s a three story beach house overlooking the Pacific with a mountainous backdrop and scenic views. Settling for a suburban track home may be less than the expectations of an average American. One of the biggest regrets a person can have is not raising a family in the dream location they once desired.