Life is short, and time is the one thing we'll never get back. In our minds we understand this, but far too many of us don't live our life this way. We have hopes, dreams, and things we've always wanted to do in life, but we put them off until "tomorrow." And tomorrow often never comes.
It took the death of my father unexpectedly in 2012 to wake me up and stop me from living a life of regret. Two days after his funeral, I started the journey to completely change my life. I have since accomplished my three biggest dreams: losing 170 pounds, quitting a job I hated, and moving our family to Maui, Hawaii.
It took years to realize that at the end of our life we're not going to remember all the "stuff" we had; we'll remember our experiences. Each of us has the power to decide what those experiences will be. Here are five decisions and experiences that you'll regret later in life.
1. Staying in toxic relationships
Love can be absolutely amazing, extremely frustrating, and everything in-between. There are, however, relationships that cross the line into something that's not healthy for either person. As hard as it can be, staying in these toxic relationships will be a decision you regret later in life. You have to get honest with yourself about the situation, and make the hard choice. Toxic relationships add stress, take away your happiness and hinder your motivation to change for the better.
2. Staying in a job that doesn't fulfill you
Most of us spend 40 hours or more of our week working. When you spend that much of your time doing something, it will affect your life one way or another. The Washington Post tells us that only 13% of us actually like going to work. While a job may provide a good income, a happy life is about far more than money. If we spend that much of our week and life unfilled, it will affect other areas of our life. Finding work that is fulfilling is not something that happens overnight, but if you start today, you can make it your reality soon enough.
3. Not living a healthy lifestyle
Sickness, the way we feel, and the amount of energy we have can be traced back to what we eat. Living a healthy lifestyle means eating right and moving more. Diet and exercise aren't enough; every choice we make should be based on a healthy lifestyle. You don't want to come to the end of your life with all kinds of health problems that affect the quality of your life.
4. Not living fully present
Has there ever been a time when you were with your special someone and your focus drifted? Just because we're there doesn't mean we're fully present in that moment. When we live life distracted, we miss so many little moments. Those little moments are what we'll remember at the end of life. You owe it to yourself and the ones you love to be engaged and living those moments together. Living fully present will help your health, work and relationships.
5. Living life on autopilot
Listening to self-limiting beliefs, letting negative people hold you back, not chasing your dreams, and having more fear than hope are all signs that we're living life on autopilot. Living life this way is a decision you'll regret more than all others. My father lived his life this way and died before he had a chance to do anything about it.
We only get one life to live, and we have the power to live it with no regrets. We have the power to refuse to live a complacent life. There are things that we spend our time and efforts on that won't matter in the grand scheme of things. There are people and situations that won't better our lives.
Living a life without regrets means getting real honest with our self about what's best for our life. We may have to make some hard decisions today, but we'll be grateful for those decisions later in life. Life is too short. Make it count.
Are you living or existing?