Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. – Jonathan Larson
Caitlin, my 25-year-old daughter, is already making a difference. While her friends majored in finance, business and pre-med at the University of Kansas, Caitlin followed her heart and became a social worker.
Today she works with patients in a hospital’s dialysis center. My daughter listens and provides comfort for those facing end of life. One patient, however, recently comforted Caitlin.
The patient recounted the last 70 years of her life. She described being paralyzed in a car accident when she was 17 and then unexpectedly losing her husband, which created the need to raise their four children on her own. Today she sits in a hospital on dialysis, but without a hint of regret.
The lesson in all of these challenges, she told my daughter, is how blessed she feels just to be alive and how lucky she is to have the chance to experience life’s gifts.
A Dose of Perspective
Caitlin relayed this story to me via a text message on a particularly busy day. Annoyed the phone was buzzing, I was expecting to see a problem that needed solving; instead I received a dose of perspective, too.
Sometimes I can get so caught up in the act of living that I forget why I’m living. While it’s important to do what’s necessary; it’s also important to take time to reflect on the life I’m creating.
When my last day arrives, I want to look back and know my life mattered; that it counted for something. I want to close my eyes and feel my spirit excitingly begin its next journey without fear, anxiety or regret.
To help my spirit prepare, I try to live without regrets. Some days are easier than others, but on all days my goal is to live life with a free and intentional heart. I’m just appreciative that a courageous lady, who I’ll never meet, along with my amazing daughter, reminded me of this important lesson.
30 Ways to Live Your Life Without Regrets
When the necessary seems too much, rely on these 30 ways to live life without regrets to rekindle your spirit and get back to the business of creating your life:
- Take responsibility for your life and live every moment, every choice and every day like you own it.
- Keep moving forward even when life hits hard.
- Face your fears because you can’t avoid them and pretending like they don’t exist won’t make them go away.
- Live with a forgiving heart. Forgive others and yourself.
- Avoid the someday syndrome because it tempts you into believing that tomorrow is soon enough.
- Treat others with kindness and see your life change for the better.
- Be your own best friend. Enjoy the person you are and the person you are becoming.
- Perfection isn’t required and mistakes are welcomed.
- Take a honest look in the mirror. If you see something that needs changing, be sure to start today – start right now.
- Be thankful for what you have because gratitude opens your heart wider to receive more abundance.
- Smile more. It’s a simple act that can help you get through some of life’s most challenging situations.
- Savor the moment – it’s the only one guaranteed.
- Look forward to the journey and all of the potholes and digressions along the way; not just the destination.
- Transform negative thoughts into positive beliefs by choosing to see what’s good in your life.
- Love what you do. If you aren’t passionate about your job, consider what you would love to do and then begin moving in that direction.
We must be willing to get rid of the life we’ve planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us. – Joseph Campbell
- Thinking differently gives you the ability to test different ideas and then finding which ones bring you the most happiness, peace and purpose.
- Become the person you want to be by stepping outside of your comfort zone and claiming your voice, realizing your worth and doing what you were made to do.
- Acknowledge your reality so you can change what needs changing and heal what needs healing.
- Make time to follow your heart’s desire.
- Letting go of negative attachments and past mistakes gives you the opportunity to let in happiness.
- Share your love and what is burning inside your heart so others can encourage you; inspire you and fill you back up with more love.
- Believe you can by taking charge of your own beliefs and expecting to see the best in yourself.
- Don’t waste time living someone’s life – live your life.
- Seek counsel, advise and the friendship when you get stuck and can’t see where your path is taking you.
- Know your truth. Find time to listen to your inner voice, your inner wisdom, by asking, What do I need? or What do I want?.
If we spend our time with regrets over yesterday, and worries over what might happen tomorrow, we have no today in which to live. – Anonymous
- Take a chance. You’ll never know what might happen.
- Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.
- Walk your path at your own speed and in your own way – it doesn’t matter how others how walking their paths.
- Flush the BS. Get rid of the Belief Systems that tell you that you are too young or too old; or that you’re not smart enough or too damaged to have the life you want.
- Ask for what you want – believe you are worthy to receive it.
The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have. – Author Unknown