“The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” ~ Unknown
We all have something stored in our memory banks of the past that we wish we could have done differently, or something we wish we didn’t do.
As we get older we learn and grow, but that doesn’t mean we have to regret what we did before we learned how to do things differently. If we didn’t go through those experiences, we might not have grown into the strong and knowledgeable people we are today.
What I'm proposing is that we get rid of the negative thoughts—the could haves, might haves, and should haves—and start living a life that won’t make us feel regretful. Not even at an older, wiser age.
Here is a list of things you can do to practice living life with no regrets:
1. Realize that it's okay to make mistakes. Just make sure to learn from them, forgive yourself, and move on.
2. Make your health and wellness a top priority and always take care of yourself so you’re ready to take care of others.
3. Follow your own path, not one that others want you to follow.
4. Find the humor in life and laugh like there is no tomorrow.
5. Relax and move with the flow of life by being unafraid of change.
6. Be adventurous by trying new things and taking more risks.
7. Have more intellectual curiosity and embrace creativity.
8. Try to find happiness with as many different people as you can.
9. Think for yourself instead of letting other people's opinions influence you too much.
10. Try not to judge people before you get to know them.
11. Be thankful for what you have now instead of thinking about what you don't have.
12. Wish well upon everyone equally and try to admire without envy.
13. Share your happiness with others instead of hoarding it all for yourself.
14. Don't try to change someone—love who they are now.
15. Enjoy the journey, not just the destination.
16. Know that happiness is bigger than any bank account.
17. Control negative thoughts so that they don’t contribute to the outcome of your life.
18. Use your energy wisely because spending energy complaining, worrying, or being impatient is just wasted energy.
19. Be bold. Find the courage to change things that should be changed and accept that there are some things that cannot be changed.
20. Love your work. If you don't currently love what you do, figure out what you would love and take the first step toward that life.
21. Turn your discontent into a mystery and enjoy trying to solve it.
22. Face problems from different angles in order to find solutions.
23. Gain independence by realizing that on this earth we are all dependent upon each other.
24. Change your perspective by taking on a wider view of things.
25. Don't waste time trying to bring disagreeable people around to liking you.
26. Become the person you would like to spend the rest of your life with.
27. Be honest with yourself and others by saying what you mean and meaning what you say.
28. Treat people with respect and compassion.
29. Live in the now by loving the present and being aware of your thoughts and actions. Think happy thoughts and speak powerful words.
30. Try not to put things off until later.
31. Never hold grudges.
32. Face your fears head on and try to do the things that you think you cannot do.
33. Spend time with people who make you happy while also not depending on other people for your own happiness.
34. Stand up for yourself and others and don't let anyone or anything hold you back.
35. Be yourself and love who you are now.
36. Be a participant in life rather than an observer.
37. Do the things that you love to do as much as you can.
38. Write out a list of goals and achieve them by doing them step by step. Don't give up when things get difficult.
39. Do something every day that makes you feel proud of yourself—commit random acts of kindness whenever you get the chance.
40. And always keep on moving forward.
I know it seems like a rather large list of things to take on, but you can accomplish a lot on this list by doing just one thing. For example, right now as I'm typing this I'm putting into practice at least eighteen things.
Put these things into practice and see where life takes you, without regrets. And please comment below. I'd love to read your thoughts on this.
Man and the moon image via Shutterstock