Life is a beautiful thing and every day we spend on earth is a blessing. Life gives us the opportunity to reach for our dreams, share moments with loved ones, and live each day to its fullest. But like most things in life, there is a beginning and an end and what we do today is what counts to avoid regrets in life.
As we get older and look back, there may be some regrets about the choices we made or didn’t make. Here are 40 of the most popular things that older people wished they would have done when reflecting back on their lives.
1) Regrets of not living to your full potential. Ever since we’re kids, we set the bar higher and higher in everything we do. Never settle and follow your passion to succeed.
2) Regrets of not staying in touch with childhood friends. There are probably friendships you lost because your family had to move away. The thought of picking up the phone years later and calling them came up but you never did.
3) Regrets of not listening to your parent’s advice. Our parents have decades of life experiences and they learned it all without the internet. Their knowledge is so much more important and meaningful.
4) Regrets of not learning to speak another language. Being fluent in other languages provides more opportunities for work and provides more enjoyment when traveling to other countries.
5) Regrets of not leaving a bad relationship. Most people stay in a bad relationship in hopes that it will eventually get better. The longer you wait, the more you are putting your own happiness aside.
6) Regrets of not putting on sunscreen. Wrinkles, skin discoloration, and even skin cancer are just some of the reasons to avoid sun damage.
7) Regrets of not seeing your favorite band or musician. It’s easy to put it off in hopes that you’ll catch them in the future but let’s face it, bands break up. See them when the opportunity comes up.
8) Regrets of not doing things out of fear. We might not do things because we are scared of trying it but the only way to live life to the fullest is to try new things.
9) Regrets of not taking the time to exercise. It’s important to take care of your body and it’s never too late to exercise. A healthy body will ensure more enjoyment out of life as you grow older.
10) Regrets of not being the person you want to be by letting gender roles define you. Don’t let society tell you what you can or cannot do in life. Just follow your heart.
11) Regrets of not quitting a job you hate. If you wake up every morning and dread going to work, find a job you love. Your happiness comes first and the sooner you do it, the happier you will be.
12) Regrets of not doing your best in school. Having a good education opens up so many opportunities and always be dedicated to everything you do.
13) Regrets of not realizing how beautiful you are inside and out. Never shortchange yourself or think you need to change for other people. Be comfortable with who you are and that confidence will shine through.
14) Regrets of not saying “I love you” enough. Take every opportunity to express your love for others because each day we get to spend with them is a gift.
15) Regrets of not taking the opportunity to travel when you are young and healthy. The older you get, the more difficult and expensive it becomes to travel.
16) Regrets of not being more compassionate with others. Some spend their youth as a self-absorbed person but they eventually realize that the world doesn’t revolve around them. Be the best friend and person you can be.
17) Regrets of not being the person you want to be. Don’t care so much about what people think because their opinions should not determine your amount of happiness.
18) Regrets of not supporting your own dreams. Being nice is fine but not if it means sacrificing your own happiness.
19) Regrets of not moving fast enough on important matters. The faster we make decisions the quicker we could enjoy the results of those decisions. Successful people make decisions quickly and firmly.
20) Regrets of not forgiving people and holding grudges. Letting anger and resentment fester inside of you is not worth it. Let it go and move on. You’ll feel much better for doing so.
21) Regrets of not standing up for yourself. You’re entitled to your own opinion and don’t change your principals just because people don’t agree with you. Follow your inner voice and don’t let yourself get bullied.
22) Regrets of not volunteering enough. Helping others is a rewarding experience and doing good lets you feel good. Make a difference by helping others every chance you get.
23) Regrets of not taking care of your teeth. It only takes a few minutes every day and taking care of teeth ensures you’ll have them for your entire life. Always keep smiling.
24) Regrets of not spending more time with your grandparents. Grandparents are wise and they love sharing their knowledge and spending time with you. The time we get to spend with grandparents is limited so tell them you love them every chance you get.
25) Regrets of not choosing family life over your work life. We all need to work to enjoy a good lifestyle but finding a good work-life balance is key.
26) Regrets of not learning to cook. Cooking a meal for your family and friends is a great way of spending time with them and sharing your love. Learn the basics and your passion for food will continue to grow.
27) Regrets of not appreciating the special moments. When you are spending time with family and friends, put away the smartphones and focus on them.
28) Regrets of not finishing what you start. Get into the habit of always finishing what you start and you’ll keep pushing yourself every day. Never quit.
29) Regrets of not learning a special skill. Whether it’s magic or even a silly party trick, making people smile should be your ultimate goal.
30) Letting cultural expectations define who you are. Don’t let your gender or cultural differences prevent you from doing what you want in life.
31) Not letting friendships run their course. You will meet a lot of people in your life and knowing when to let go is important. Forcing a friendship can do more damage than good.
32) Not spending more time with your children. Kids grow up incredibly fast and losing out on special moments because of putting in more time at work is not worth it. Spend time with them and fill their lives with joy.
33) Not taking risks (especially in love). People rarely regret the chances they did take but always regret the chances they didn’t take. Don’t live a life of “what ifs.”
34) Not taking the time to develop work contacts. Networking with businesspeople and learning from them is key to having a great career.
35) Not learning to cope with anxiety. Always being worried can be paralyzing and prevents you from being truly happy. Soothe your inner voice and always think positive.
36) Not living in the moment. Instead of dwelling on the past and anxiously looking to the future, make sure you are happy and live for today.
37) Not spending enough time with loved ones. Life moves pretty fast so spending time with loved ones as much as we can is the most important thing.
38) Not performing or speaking in front of large crowds. Many people will avoid public speaking at all costs but it’s worth to try it at least once. All public speakers are nervous the first time but like anything, practice makes perfect.
39) Not feeling grateful sooner. Be grateful for small things, the big things, and everything in between. Be thankful for the people in life and always let them know how grateful you are that they are part of your life.
40) Not being happy. We only live once and we should make every effort to be happy and to remain happy. There will be sad moments in life but it’s important to deal with them and seek out the people and things that make us smile.
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Unlike the top 5 regrets of the dying, these are feelings you may experience at any stage of your life. The best thing about life is that we can change it and work hard to make sure we have a life that we can be proud of. Please share the regrets people sometimes experience as they get older and how you can use them to change your life with your friends and family.