Those two words, when paired together create one of the saddest phrases in the English language.
I've chosen to live my life with no regrets. Sure, there are things I would have done differently if given the chance for a do-over. And yes, I often feel as though my upbringing might have cheated me out of many things that others take for granted in life. But in the end, I am pretty happy with who I am right now and know that changing the past, would only change who I am and nothing else.
Here are a few things that lead to that "If only" phrase of regret, and perhaps how to elude them.
Wearing a mask to impress others. If we are always trying to be something that we are not, one day we will wake up and realize that we are not ourselves. When we spend too much time concentrating on everyone's perception of us, or being who someone else wants us to be, we eventually forget who we are.
You don't have to be perfect to impress or inspire people. Instead, let them be impressed and inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.
Letting someone else create your dreams for you. We all have trouble discovering who we are. Then we must learn to be happy with who we find ourselves to be. It is often a struggle to stay true to your own goals and dreams. If you have people that that don't agree with you, Good! It means you are standing your ground and walking your own path. When you catch yourself excitingly losing track of time, you know you're doing it right.
Keeping negative company. Bad attitudes are infectious. Don't allow yourself to get caught up in someone else's trouble. Being around negative people is your choice, not an obligation. Free yourself to keep the company of compassionate, generous and patient people, leaving the anxiety behind.
Being selfish and egotistical. A life filled with loving deeds and good character is the best tombstone. Those who you inspired and shared your love with will remember how you made them feel, long after your time here has expired. So carve your name on hearts, not stone. What you do for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others will remain.
Avoiding change and growth. If you want to know your past, look in to your present conditions. If you want to know your future, look in to your present actions. We all must let go of the old to make way for the new. The old way, no matter how good or bad, is gone. If you accept this now and take steps toward the future, you will position yourself for lasting success.
Giving up when the going gets tough. There are no failures in life, just results. Even if things don't go the way you expected, don't be disheartened. Learn what you can and move on. As long as we keep moving forward, we will come out ahead. Even the smallest of steps, keeps the momentum going.
Trying to micromanage every little detail. Life should be touched, not strangled. Sometimes you've got to relax and let life happen. Learn to let go a little and take a deep breath. When everything settles down again, take the next step forward. You don't always have to know where you're going to be headed somewhere great.
Settling for less than you deserve. Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait for what you deserve. Sometimes we have to be knocked down further than we thought possible so that we can stand up taller than we've ever been. Our eyes need to be washed with tears so we can see the possibilities in front of us with clear vision.
Endlessly waiting until tomorrow. We always think we have more time than we do. One day we will wake up and there won't be any more time to work on the things we wanted to. I've seen too many lives "cut short", with goals left unachieved.
The world doesn't owe us anything. It is us, whom owes the world something. There comes a time to stop daydreaming and start DOING. We need to develop a backbone, not a wishbone. We each need to to take full responsibility for our lives and take control. It is our life! We are important and we are needed. If we always wait for the right time, it will never happen. Someday is now; the somebody that the world has been waiting for is YOU. Your life until this point has been training for the exciting things to come.
Life is The Brighter Side of the Grave. This is your chance to make a difference in this world. Chose to leave a legacy of Love. The more you love for the fewest of reasons, the more reasons there will be.
You know, love life, love another, love yourself, love people, love mornings, love French toast, love sunshine, love rain... everything.
Same goes for the more you laugh, smile and skip. But be careful with waving, winking and honking.