Think about it. What can come back to haunt you any more than wondering what could have been?
Here are a few of examples of things people may not do, but later regret:
- Not having kids
- Not wearing protection when having sex
- Never getting married
- Not pursuing a degree or finishing school
- Not aiming for a better job because they're too complacent where they are
- Not saving money
- Not being more on top of their health (e.g., not smoking, doing more exercise, etc.)
What's the best way to avoid being in this situation?
For starters, we should all guard against the impulse to trek through life in a mindless manner. It's when we do things mindlessly that we seem to get in the most trouble. For example, the question of whether or not to have kids is one of the most important ones we face in our lives. That's a decision that should not be taken lightly. Whether one decides not to have kids or have unprotected sex and worry about the consequences later, it's a decision that should be thought out carefully. I'm in this quandary myself, as I've stated in prior posts.
While I get a paternal itch every so often, I am a little skittish about giving up my cherished freedom. I love waking up late on the weekends and driving to the movies at a moment's notice. That will no longer be an option with a baby in tow. At least my wife and I are thinking this through before deciding which direction to go in. That way, no matter what our ultimate decision is, we can take comfort in the fact that we didn't act rashly.
Sometimes, though, there are decisions we make that we wish we could take back. Some people end up having kids and wishing they hadn't, though they'll never admit it publicly. Others might catch "grass is greener" syndrome and change jobs, only to discover that their old job was in fact a lot better. Such examples illustrate how hindsight is always 20/20.
If we had a crystal ball that could tell us whether we should do something or not, a lot of us would probably not be divorced, unemployed, or broke. But life is really about taking chances. No guts, no glory. If anything, it's the bad decisions we make that make us wiser. Nonetheless, the key here is that decisions should never be made recklessly. If you decide not to do something after weighing the pros and cons, then maybe it was for the best, even though you may second guess yourself later on.
Do you agree that the decisions we don't make may end up being the ones we regret the most?
Check out earlier posts by clicking here: How to Understand People