These are the top 37 things we tend to regret when we’re old:
1. Not traveling when you had the chance.
It gets more difficult to travel the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay for everyone to travel with you, compared to just paying for yourself when you’re younger.
2. Not learning another language.
You’ll realize you remember nothing from the 3 years of language classes you took in high school, but wish you did.
3. Forgoing sunscreen.
Blemishes, wrinkles and skin disorders can be prevented if you protect yourself from the harmful effects of the sun and UV rays. Put on sunscreen or natural skin protectants like coconut oil.
4. Staying in an unhealthy relationship.
The sooner you get out of an unhealthy relationship, the better. Time spent in an unhealthy relationship can keep you from living your dreams and fulfilling your life’s purpose.
5. Being afraid to do things.
Your new mantra should be: What would I do if I wasn’t afraid? Don’t worry about the things that could go wrong, be excited for the things that could go right!
6. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.
“I’ll catch them next time they come to town” never happens.
7. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.
Nothing is quite as sad as hearing the older generation saying, “Well, it just wasn’t okay to do it back then.”
8. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.
When we hit the 50’s and 60’s, people regret being a couch potato during the peak of their physical capabilities. Yoga, the gym, even walking and light jogging can keep the body healthy for years to come and keep us out of hospitals.
9. Not doing your best in school.
It’s true that your grades can’t define your future, but people often realize how important it was to educate themselves and they wish they’d paid more attention to their education.
10. Not quitting a terrible job.
You’ve got bills to pay. But if you don’t wake up in time and realize that this was not what you wanted, the other more rewarding opportunities could disappear.
11. Being afraid to say “I love you.”
The older you get, the more you come to realize how deeply important it is to express your love for the people you care about. Material things come to mean nothing, and all that matters is the well-being of the people we love, and how often we were able to tell them we love them. Don’t wait for this one, start today.
12. Not seeing how beautiful we were.
We spend our younger years often being miserable and self-conscious about how we looked, when in reality it was the most beautiful time of our lives.
13. Being so self-absorbed in your youth.
Just one of the things you might be embarrassed about someday.
14. Not listening to your parents’ advice.
You never wanted to hear them back then because the truth is, deep down, you knew a lot of it was true.
15. Prioritizing others’ dreams more than your own.
Showing support to others is a wonderful selfless act but not when it dulls your own shine. We wish we kept our dreams close to our hearts and in our minds, but still enjoyed helping others along the way.
16. Caring too much about other people’s opinions.
One day you won’t give a darn about the opinions of people you once stressed over and worried about too much.
17. Holding grudges, especially with loved ones.
Learn to let go and move on. What’s the point of cultivating anger and hatred? In the end, our peace depends on having forgiven others and having peacefully let go of negative memories.
18. Not learning to move on fast enough.
Each of us has our own pace when it comes to moving on, that is true. But don’t take too long; you might wake up one day and realize not much time is left.
19. Not volunteering enough.
Joining efforts to make the world a better place gives a feeling of fulfillment that is unlike any other. As the Buddha said, in the end, what matters is how much we loved.
20. Not standing up for yourself.
As long as you’re doing what you know deep in your heart is the right thing and out of love, then stand up for it.
21. Missing the chance to get close with your grandparents.
Nothing compares to the wisdom of the elderly. They hold many secrets of the universe that young people have yet to discover. Plus, they have a certain magic in helping you to feel like you’re part of the family (hint: they loved you).
22. Neglecting your teeth.
Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so, so easy if/when you have dentures.
23. Not learning how to cook a decent healthy meal.
Knowing how to prepare healthy meals that taste delicious make the get-togethers with friends and family even more special.
24. Working too much.
Spend time doing the most important things in life; time with family, friends and loved ones.
25. Failing to finish what you start.
Make it a habit to always see things through to the end. Or else it might evolve into a vicious cycle of not finishing anything you start, and leave feelings of “I wish I had…”
26. Not living in the moment.
These days everyone is on the go. Taking a few breaks every now and then to appreciate the moment is beneficial. Take it all in. The moment is all we truly have anyway.
27. Letting cultural expectations limit you.
Do not let yourself be restricted by statements such as, “We don’t do that.” Break through the cultural barriers.
28. Never mastering one awesome party trick.
Wouldn’t it be cool to show off at the hundreds of parties you’re going to attend?
29. Not bonding with your kids enough.
Spend time with your kids while they’re young. In the blink of an eye, they will be adults and it will get harder to have them in the same room as you.
30. Refusing to let friendships run their course.
Accepting the fact that people grow apart and that things change is far better than feeling bitter and agitated for refusing to do so. We have some friends for a season, some for a reason, and some for a lifetime; know which is which.
31. Not taking the time to develop your network of people.
It may not make much sense when you’re young but building connections early on can surely be beneficial in the near future.
32. Never taking a leap of faith.
You will find great comfort in the thought that even just once in your life, you took a big risk for something you wanted, no matter the consequences.
33. Not fully understanding their spirituality and beliefs about the universe.
Often people when they’re old realize that they didn’t spend enough time figuring out the truths about the universe and their own spirituality; what happens after they die? Energy cannot be created or destroyed, so the energy that you are now will continue on in some form forever. Take the time to meditate and understand your own consciousness; what it really is, and what you know about your future and your beliefs. The truth exists deep within your heart.
34. Worrying too much.
As you age, you come to realize that most of the things you worry about never even really happen.
35. Never performing in front of other people.
This is not applicable to everybody but a lot of people wish they knew what it was like to stand in front of an audience and perform something they were passionate about.
36. Not spending enough time with the ones you love.
I mean, what’s the point of living if not to spend time with loved ones. Make every moment count.
37. Not being grateful sooner.
There is always, always, always something to be grateful for. Gratitude is one of life’s gifts, as life itself IS a gift. Express your gratitude to those around you as soon as you can. We have a limited amount of time on this Earth, so treasure your life and your loved ones while you can.