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Five Ways To Lead A Regret-Free Life
Living in the present is the best way to get the most enjoyment and peace in life. Still, too many of us spend those precious moments worrying about the future or regretting what has happened in the past. Regret is ultimately pointless, as you can’t go back in time and change the past. The key to getting the most out of life is to let go of regret for good. Cross these five things off your bucket list to kick-start your journey towards a life free of regrets.
See Your Failures for What They Are
Every time you think you’re failing, you’re really learning and improving. In the end, each failure is just a stepping stone that leads you closer to success. Once you learn this, you can start to look back on all of those “wrong turns” and “mistakes” and stop seeing them as such. You won’t regret them anymore, because who could regret an action that led you closer to your goals? Each “failure” you’ve experienced made you who you are today. Embrace them.
Travel to a Far Off Place
Some of us are born with the need to wander. It’s inside our bones. But even if you’re ideal vacation is one spent relaxing closer to home, everyone should give themselves the opportunity for an exciting trip to a far off place at least once in life. It doesn’t matter how far or how long. Just go for as long and as far as your sense of adventure and cash flow can carry you. The important thing is to feed that sense of adventure and wonder with the world and to learn things along the way.
Traveling isn’t just good for the spirit, it can actually make you a better person. Reading about other cultures and traditions or seeing them displayed on TV or in movies is one thing. But nothing compares to experiencing them in person. Travel can change you for the better. ’It can make you a more open and understanding person. So whether you’ve always dreamed of relaxing on the sand on one of the Greek Isles or camping for a week in Yellowstone National Park, get on the road. You won’t regret it.
Be Who You Are
Don’t go through life pretending to be someone you aren’t. As the famously witty writer Oscar Wilde once said: “Be yourself, everybody else is taken.” One of the most valuable lessons you can learn in life is how to stop worrying about what other people think of you. Who you are inside is what matters. If you’re constantly worrying about what image you’re projecting to others the world will never see who you really are. You might lose sight of it too.
Always being yourself doesn’t mean you should never try to improve or that you should act in mean and hurtful ways under the excuse that this is “just who you are.” There are times in life when you know you’ve messed up, that you haven’t put your best foot forward. At those times its okay to self-evaluate and to expect better from yourself. Learn to stay true to your ideals and values, self-cultivate honestly and compassion, and you will have far less regrets.
Be Open to Love
We didn’t need a song to teach us that “love hurts”, but thousands of them have been written anyway. Because it can, and very often it does. But that doesn’t mean falling in love should be avoided. In fact, not opening up to falling in love is something that many people have said was their biggest regret in life. Does it mean you should worry if you haven’t fallen in love yet? Not at all. Love is quite often a game of chance. Some of us find it easily and often. For others it’s rarer, though just a rewarding.
However, falling in love isn’t the only way to open up and let love into your life. Love comes from doing what you love, following your dreams, forming deep and lasting friendships, and nurturing relationships with family. Finally, it is self-love that is perhaps the most important type of love to nurture if you want to live a life free of regrets. Loving yourself will lead you to make the right choices, and to forgive yourself for making the “wrong” ones.
Continue to Take Chances
Playing it safe through life might mean you avoid some losses. But it’s a sure-fire way to build up regrets. Putting yourself outside your comfort zone is a means to self-growth. It helps you build confidence and takes you closer to fulfilling your dreams. Sure, being vulnerable to hurt, or failure, or rejection isn’t easy. But it is also the only way that you will ever be able to pursue those things in life that are most worthwhile. Success doesn’t often come without some risk, and very often the greatest rewards require the greatest risks.
Some people talk as if there is an expiration date on risk-taking. As if it’s okay to take chances when you’re young, but as you get older you have to always play it safe. In reality, life will always involve a level of risk that is completely outside of your control. But if you try so hard to control what you can that you avoid taking any risks at all, you are setting yourself up for a future filled with regrets over missed opportunities.
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