I don’t know why, but ever since I was young I was always concerned that in my old age I would have regrets and, as a result of this fear, I don’t like to waste time at all. Fear may not be the healthiest driver, but it has been positive in so many ways, as it has motivated me to love exceptionally, have many adventures, take risks and appreciate so much, so much of the time. So here are my personal five tips on how to live without regrets.
1. Choose Love: You really do have a choice when you wake up in the morning, regardless of your external circumstances. You can choose to begin the day on a positive note and be bright eyed and bushy tailed, or you can choose to be fearful, negative and closed. One of the ways in which you can begin the day positively is to decide to love those around you for who they are. Family, friends, work associates, strangers. Don’t judge them for their choices, which may be very different to yours. Let them be themselves, rather than who you want them to be. It takes all sorts of personalities for the world to go round and they don’t have to be like you. If you are in conflict with anyone throughout your day, try to find a way to quickly and easily come to an agreement, let go and move on. Life is too short to waste time being at odds with anyone.
2. Be here, Now! And in the moment as much as you can. You are where you are. Right now you’re reading this article. Be aware of your breath as you read, How does the rest of your body feel? Are you gritting your teeth or are your shoulders tense? See what you’re seeing fully and completely, which are the words on this page now. Hear through both ears the sounds that are going on around you. Whether it is your internal voice reading this, your breath or music in the background. Just become present as much of the time as possible, as the moment is really all there is.
3. Take Risks: Write down a list of 5 things that you want to do, but have been too scared to do up until now. It could be to learn to swim, to take horse-riding lessons, or take up the piano. Then chose one of those activities and decide to do it this year. Dare to be a beginner at something, regardless of what others might think or what you look like doing it. It is your life and at the end you only have to answer to yourself. So take some risks and go for it, so you can live your life without regrets.
4. Making a Difference. Imagine that it’s the end of your life and you’re looking back. What is it that you could be or do more of? Could you spend more time with your family? Perhaps you could show or tell them that you love them more? Can you be more giving to your friends? Could you be involved in philanthropic activities? Can you make more of a difference than you are making now, with the resources you have? If its money you have a lot of, can you be more generous with it? If it’s a talent, can you give it for free at times? Imagine you were to pass in to the next life tomorrow, what mark would you like to leave?
5. Be Patient: Understand that life is about cycles and patience is a quality that we are all here to learn. You cant plant a seed and tug at it to help it grow. It grows in its own time, not yours. The planets move at their own pace and the seasons change in their own time. Let new relationships develop naturally over time and when it comes to your work don’t expect everything to happen in a day, a week or a year. Imagine looking back at the end of your life at your body of work through your lifetime. Its the big picture that matters. It is so easy to be caught up in the minutia of each day or week, which can be very stressful. So chill out, be patient and keep putting one foot in front of the other. That’s how you learn to live without regrets.