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7 Common Things People Regret at the End of Their Lives

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no regrets

We all have seen people grow old and we know it very well that one day, our time will come too. No one wants to live their lives with regrets at the end. If you do not want to have regrets when you grow old, you should do the best you can when you are young and capable.

Studies have shown that there are a couple of things dying people regret that they did not do when they have the opportunity and when they have the time.

Here are 7 things you can do in life so that you will never regret at the end:

1. Pursue your dreams and accomplish more goals

One of the main reasons people regret when they get old is that they did not go for what they want in life. Everyone has a dream, but not everyone will do something about their dreams. Do you have a dream?

If you do, commit yourself, follow your dreams and pursue them. Set more goals and go all in or all out. You do not have to hold yourself to play safe. So never get regret that you did not go for your dreams or what you want in life. If you want to travel the world, plan and do it. If you want to start a business, create a plan and do it.

 

2. Spend more time with people you care about

Another most common regret when people grow old is that they feel they never spend enough time with people they care about. We are human beings and humans tend to be emotional. We care for other people and we just cannot live alone by ourselves.

If you love someone, tell them. You do not have to wait until it’s too late. Do you have friends that you appreciate? Then say thank you to them and tell them how much you care. And when you care more about those around you, they will return the favor and care more about you.

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” –John F. Kennedy

3. Express yourself more

Transparency is very important in your relationship, whether it is with your soulmate or with your family members. You should tell them upfront how you feel.

Holding up anger or resentment is not going to do you any good. Anger and resentment can deteriorate your health. Of course, I’m not asking you to pick a fight with people by telling how much you hate them.

However, you should confront your feelings and express them in a more constructive and a positive way. A couple cannot grow their relationship if they hide their feelings from each other. Please understand that this does not only happen to couples, it can happen in every relationship you experience, be it with your colleagues or with your boss.

 

4. Learn and explore more

This is very obvious; to live a fulfilling life without regrets, you must learn and explore more while you can. Do you ever have the urge to learn something new such as a foreign language or how to play guitar? If you have, you should go ahead and explore more. Learn the new skills and try to discover yourself with something new.

It is the moment you experienced in life that counts, not physical items. So do more of things that you love. Discover your passions and follow them. Never wait until you are old only to think that you should have done this or you should have done that. It will be too late by then.

 

5. Take care of your finances

This is one area where most people fail to excel in life. Most people never learn how to take care of their finances; as a result, they live in poverty after they retired. Do not let this happen to you. If you do not want to be broke when you are old, learn to manage your finances right now.

Save consistent each month or save a portion of the income that you receive. Stop spending on items that you don’t really need. No one wants to live in mediocrity and broke when they get old, right? Thus, learn to handle your money now.

 

6. Choose to be happy

Do you know that happiness is a choice? You can choose to be happy or you can choose to feel sad right at this moment. It is simple, you just need to direct your thoughts and emotions. Think about something happy and you will feel happy. On the other hand, when you think about something sad, you will feel depressed almost instantly.

Life is short, you should experience more joy and thrill every day. Every minute you spend thinking about how bad things can be or how depressing your life is, you are wasting the moments you can be happy.

“The purpose of our lives is to be happy.” – Dalai Lama

7. Live to the fullest and never waste time

Bruce Lee once said, “If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made of”. Stop living in regrets and start making every minute count. When you play, enjoy it to the fullest. When you work, work your best and create a masterpiece out of your work. And when you live, live to the fullest so that you will never regret at the end.

Yesterday was history, tomorrow is a mystery, and today is a gift that is why we call it the “present”. So enjoy every moment you can have right now, live today as your last day and make yourself alive again.

Decide today that you are going to live your life with passion. Pursue your dreams, spend more time with people you love, express yourself and explore more, manage your finances, be happy and enjoy every moment you have right now.

What would you add to this list so that you don’t have regrets at the end? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!

Want to discover the secrets to unleashing your potential and live a great and successful life? Follow Shawn Lim on his blog, StunningMotivation.com. You can download his guidebook, Active Goal Setting and make your dreams a reality. You can also follow him on Facebook.

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Dawn Davis

    Jan 20, 2017 at 10:01 am

    Thank you for this reminder! It truly is a choice to be ? and I am making that choice everyday! I embrace positivity and repel negativity more and more! So, I don’t even waste time reading things that don’t inspire or inform me?

  2. Sarah Crouch

    Dec 23, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    My mum passed away very recently and I clicked on this link on twitter to see whether there was anything that I thought she regretted. This is a risky game. If I found something I thought that she regressed, how would that have helped me?

    Luckily, my mum possessed a strength and a positivity that I only see in limited people. Luckily I knew that. She overcame some of the most challenging events and a long term illness and still loved and lived more whole heartedly than most. What I honestly believe is that she made the choice to do so, and when you make that choice, nothing can stop you. Good luck everyone. I have been blessed to be close to someone so divine, but I want you all to know that living life to the full and passing over with no regrets is possible to absolutely everyone. I’m learning with you all x

  3. Dustin Vans

    Jul 27, 2016 at 7:17 pm

    You should never dwell on negativity for along period of time,it will only take that time it took to get over away from being happy and enjoying life or achievements.
    (Life Is Good )

  4. Jeannine Carroll

    Jul 26, 2016 at 11:23 am

    Shawn, thank you for this list to get us thinking. My faith is important to me but I find myself constantly working to promote my book or to get more done. Now, I’ve decided to ask myself this question, “Will what I’m doing be important in heaven?” This helps me to focus on what’s really important to me.

  5. Chris

    Jul 26, 2016 at 5:10 am

    Nice article Shawn.

    I have to say “Choose To Be Happy” is the point that I resonate with most. I have been in situations before where I have been down and I was laying the blame on other people. I now realise that it was my choice to be happy. You make your own life, we should choose to fill it with positive thoughts, the rest will follow.

    • Shawn Lim

      Jul 26, 2016 at 7:48 am

      Yea, fill your life with happiness and positive thoughts.
      The clock will tick anyway, so if we’re going to live, we might just live happily. And be bold. 🙂

  6. Shawn Lim

    Jul 23, 2016 at 2:40 pm

    Hi Kim, yes you are right, to go forward and further, we have to forget and forgive. 🙂

  7. Kim Hellyar

    Jul 23, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Say your sorry to people you know you have wronged or hurt. This helps them move on without wondering why and was it them.

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What Les Misérables Taught Me About Our Values

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Why Do We Have An Unconscious Bias and How Can We Manage It?

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When I hear someone using my name once in a while throughout the conversation we are having, I cannot stop myself thinking “this person must have read Dale Carnegie’s books or must have been influenced by someone who read them…” Have you just recalled a similar moment and it felt nice?

As Dale Carnegie famously said, “Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and the most important sound in any language”. Why did Dale Carnegie highlight the importance of an individual’s name to that person in his “How to Win Friends and Influence People” book published in 1936?

Each and every one of us wants to feel special and unique. I guess he recommends using the person’s name in the conversation because that is one of the easiest ways to grab that person’s attention so that we can enhance the chances of getting our point across. However, I am more interested in this from the other side; hearing our names directly addresses our individuality, our need or desire to feel special and unique.  

Let’s park this one for now and we will come back. 

Categorization is essential to our survival

There is countless scientific research telling us about how our brains recognize similarities and put things into categories, which has been crucial to our survival in evolution and still helps us with a lot of things from learning new things to coping with the continuous influx of massive amounts of information through our senses. 

The continuous influx of information is mostly handled by our subconscious mind rather than conscious. It is estimated that our brains receive about 11 million bits of information every second through our senses, of which only 40-50 bits can be processed by our conscious mind. We process more information than we are aware of. The magic here is the subconscious mind.

An example is when you are at a very loud party where you hear a lot of words flying around without you recognizing each one of them, then suddenly, you immediately catch it when you hear your name. Your subconscious had been processing all of those words, without your awareness, but informed your conscious mind when your name was out there because it was relevant to you.

In order to most effectively process this much information and inform the conscious mind with only the relevant ones, our subconscious employs categorization as one of its strategies.

When our ancestors encountered some deadly predators in the African savanna, their subconscious prompted their conscious mind to immediately fight or flight by categorizing the information gathered through their senses into “predator / life threat / take action”. Most probably we are not descendants of the ones that were frozen rather than fighting or flighting! 

Although it is a completely different situation, the same strategy applied in remembering lists. Let’s look at the below two lists.

  1. lion, eagle, shark, leopard, hawk, whale, panther, falcon and dolphin 
  2. lion, leopard, panther, eagle, hawk, falcon, shark, whale and dolphin

The second list is easy to remember because it is reordered into relevant groups even though the content of the both lists are identical.

Subconsciousness is the magic and categorization is one of its key strategies. It is essential to our survival, learning new skills and processing information as well as bringing back the information we had processed and stored. 

This amazing skill has its drawbacks

As a result of our brains’ categorization strategy, we also categorize people, especially if we don’t know them as well as our closest ones.

Imagine I am sitting at the table next to yours while you are having your favorite coffee and working on your computer or reading your novel at your neighborhood coffee shop. I stand up, very calmly grab your bag, and start walking away. Your reaction might be quite different depending on my outfit. It could be much more vocal and harsh if I have a dirty T-Shirt and a pair of torn jeans on. However, if I have some navy colored, 3-piece suit and well-pressed white button up shirt on, you might even say something like “Excuse me, you might have picked up my bag by mistake”. (There is an experiment done by social psychologists which reported similar results)

Similarly, I would not be surprised to hear that my co-worker’s spouse is very skilled and knowledgeable in English grammar and literature because he is an English teacher. However, I would not expect it from my co-worker herself because she is an outstanding chemical engineer.  

This is defined as unconscious bias or stereotyping, as a result of our subconscious brain’s categorization strategy. The outfit I have at the coffee shop impacts your response to my action, because it puts me into a different category in your mind depending on my outfit. My co-worker’s and her spouse’s backgrounds make me put them into different categories, which might mislead me sometimes.

Just like we categorize things, it is very natural that we categorize people.  

The key question here for me is; how do we truly treat people as individuals so that they feel unique, just like as they would want, while we know that our brains categorize people

We can overcome unconscious bias 

Leonard Mlodinow, in his enlightening book “Subliminal”, suggests that “if we are aware of our bias and motivated to overcome it, we can.” That doesn’t mean that we need to fight our brain’s categorization strategy. We just need to employ our conscious mind more when we are working or dealing with individuals. 

Our unconscious bias might tell us scientists are bunch of technical nerds who cannot understand abstract concepts that marketers are talking about or it might say that marketers are some daydreamers who need to be grounded by scientists to the real world all the time. I am an engineer and I love thinking in abstract terms and I worked with quite a lot of marketers who thought primarily in factual and concrete terms. 

Spending some effort to learn more about individuals will help overcome unconscious bias. Gathering more information and qualities about them will make it easier for us to treat them as individuals rather than a member of the category we put them in our minds. 

The moral of the story here is to recognize the fact that our brains do categorize, and it is essential; but also, to recognize that every individual wants to feel unique. When we appreciate these two and keep reminding them to ourselves, we are one step closer to figuring out our own way to overcome unconscious bias and treat people more like individuals. 

What was the most interesting part of this article for you? Share your thoughts below!

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