Everyone wants to live a fulfilling life with no regrets. Our definitions of a fulfilling life may vary but at the core, this is what everyone wants.
Many times, people are haunted by the regrets of the past, the things they did and not did. Regrets bring us down, and thus we need to avoid them.
There are things I wish I had done differently. Things I wish I hadn’t done. There are big decisions I’ve taken which didn’t make sense to those around me. But all those decisions made sense to me, and that’s all that matters. I don’t regret any past action. I believe I made what I thought was the best decision in that moment, and I make my peace with that.
TL;DR to live a life without regret you need to do 2 things:
- Make deliberate decisions.
- Take responsibility for your decisions and actions.
1. Make deliberate decisions.
We tend to decide things without a thought. We tend to choose what appears to require the least effort or least resistant path. Instead, our focus should be on making thoughtful and deliberate decisions.
Don’t just do something or agree with something just because someone told you to. Every one of us has the opportunity and power to make our own choices. Unless someone is holding a gun to your head and making you do something, you have the complete power over what you do. You can wake up tomorrow and quit that dead-end job, change your major, get out of the unhealthy relationship if you want.
Yes, you may have family, friends and other people you care about to think of before making decisions, that’s why it’s even more important to make the decisions yourself. Only you know who you are and what is really important to you.
Once you make deliberate decisions, you don’t have the option of blaming anyone else. You seize the power over your present and future.
But remember, whatever you do can greatly affect your life. Don’t do something because you love the dopamine rush of the moment, but do something for the longer run. Decide by thinking that your future self is sitting and watching you make the decision. You don’t want to let him/ her down, do you?
Once you make your own decisions, you can’t point to anyone in future and say: “You made me do this”.
Man is not the creature of circumstances, circumstances are the creatures of men. ~ Benjamin Disraeli
2. Take responsibility for your decisions
The second and main step is to take responsibility. Once all the choices you make are your own, you are completely responsible for your actions.
You are in your life-sucking job because you decide to be. You are studying what doesn’t make any sense to you because you decide to. You are in an unhappy relationship because you decide to be. Stop blaming others for your decisions. You have the power to quit your job, change your major, or get out of the unhealthy relationship. It’s by your own choice that you’re still stuck there.
You may counter that you have a family to take care of, friends and people who depend on you. How you have the whole world’s responsibility on your shoulders. How the government has limited you, how your background didn’t provide you with enough opportunities, how your parental issues are hampering you. But there are people out there, who have faced similar and even far worse situations. But they have gone out, taken responsibility for their decisions and actions and thus changed their lives.
It’s not that they had more time than what you have during a day, or they had any superpower. All they did was to take responsibility for their life and decided that they don’t want to live the same life anymore. They reflected, focused on what their strength and weaknesses are, and worked accordingly.
Of course, there are some external factors you don’t have the power over. There are people who’ll let you down. There are scams and market crashes that’ll make you lose your money. But those people only let you down because you decided to trust them. So in a way, that’s your responsibility too.
But by saying this I’m not telling you to bring yourself down by all the blame, but liberate yourself by taking the responsibility instead.
Nothing made me. I made me. ~ Sherlock
We all have one life. You can either live it by having regrets and blaming others, or you can seize the day and live life according to your own rules. The choice is yours.
Thank you for reading! 🙂