10 Choices You Will Regret in 10 Years

10 Decisions You Will Regret in 10 Years

“If only…”  These two words paired together create one of the saddest phrases in the English language.

Here are ten choices that ultimately lead to this phrase of regret, and how to elude them:

  1. Wearing a mask to impress others. – If the face you always show the world is a mask, someday there will be nothing beneath it.  Because when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are.  So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you.  You don’t have to be perfect to impress and inspire people.  Let them be impressed and inspired by how you deal with your imperfections.
  2. Letting someone else create your dreams for you. – The greatest challenge in life is discovering who you are; the second greatest is being happy with what you find.  A big part of this is your decision to stay true to your own goals and dreams.  Do you have people who disagree with you?  Good.  It means you’re standing your ground and walking your own path.  Sometimes you’ll do things considered crazy by others, but when you catch yourself excitedly losing track of time, that’s when you’ll know you’re doing the right thing.  Read The 4-Hour Workweek.
  3. Keeping negative company. – Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you.  Don’t let them get to you.  They can’t pull the trigger if you don’t hand them the gun.  When you remember that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, you free yourself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.
  4. 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 has expired.  So carve your name on hearts, not stone.  What you have done for yourself alone dies with you; what you have done for others and the world remains.
  5. Avoiding change and growth. – If you want to know your past look into your present conditions.  If you want to know your future look into your present actions.  You must let go of the old to make way for the new; the old way is gone, never to come back.  If you acknowledge this right now and take steps to address it, you will position yourself for lasting success.  Read The Power of Habit.
  6. Giving up when the going gets tough. – There are no failures, just results.  Even if things don’t unfold the way you had expected, don’t be disheartened or give up.  Learn what you can and move on.  The one who continues to advance one step at a time will win in the end.  Because the battle is always won far away and long before the final victory.  It’s a process that occurs with small steps, decisions, and actions that gradually build upon each other and eventually lead to that glorious moment of triumph.
  7. Trying to micromanage every little thing. – Life should be touched, not strangled.  Sometimes you’ve got to relax and let life happen without incessant worry and micromanagement.  Learn to let go a little before you squeeze too tight.  Take a deep breath.  When the dust settles and you can once again see the forest for the trees, take the next step forward.  You don’t have to know exactly where you’re going to be headed somewhere great.  Everything in life is in perfect order whether you understand it yet or not.  It just takes some time to connect all the dots.
  8. Settling for less than you deserve. – Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to wait for what you deserve.  Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before.  Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again.  Don’t settle.
  9. Endlessly waiting until tomorrow. – The trouble is, you always think you have more time than you do.  But one day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do.  And at that point you either will have achieved the goals you set for yourself, or you will have a list of excuses for why you haven’t.  Read The Last Lecture.
  10. Being lazy and wishy-washy. – The world doesn’t owe you anything, you owe the world something.  So stop daydreaming and start DOING.  Develop a backbone, not a wishbone.  Take full responsibility for your life – take control.  You are important and you are needed.  It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday.  Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.

Photo by: J.T. Noriega


  1. says

    I tend to wait until tomorrow…always working today and waiting until tomorrow to enjoy life. Realizing one day that you are 40 and haven’t lived for yourself yet doesn’t feel good.

  2. Jessamine says

    Number 1, 2… with number 4… Sometimes people say that I am being selfish when actually I’m very tired of living another person’s dreams.

  3. says

    Angel, I’d like to share the most important part of your post in this comment. What a dilemma! There is no most important part; it’s all equally important!

    Thank you for your positive thoughts. You have built a community based on optimistic living. You show how to build a better life by sharing how you live yours. I appreciate it.

  4. says

    I was into few of the things you’ve written about here. Thanks for enlightening me… I’ll take care not to repeat these mistakes again.

    Thanks for sharing.

  5. says

    Number One – Wearing a Mask to Impress Others, really hits home. How many of us are people pleasers? I certainly tried to be. Instead of being myself and showing the world who I really am I hoarded my true thoughts and feelings, just as I hoarded my possessions.

    No wonder I became gravely ill with fibromyalgia. No one knew who I really was and, at times, neither did I. Life is too short to hide. It’s time to live and enjoy who you are. True friends will appreciate you and love you for who you really are rather than the false face you have masked yourself in. If they prefer that, no doubt they are hiding who they are too.

  6. says

    Wonderful! This post actually got me out of bed. I planned to go out today to take some photos, but woke up feeling so tired and thought ‘what’s the point of doing anything today?’ Well, life is short, isn’t it, so I might as well live it :) Thanks!

  7. says

    Thank you for this. #1 hit me hard enough to inspire a blog post of my own: countingmyspoons.com/2014/05/sunday-inspiration-true/
    I often feel like I’m wearing a mask, not so much to impress others, but just to keep them comfortable.

  8. Danelle says

    This is an extraordinary article. Just what I needed at the perfect time!

    Happy to subscribe. Thanks Marc and Angel.

  9. says

    Unfortunately I learned many of these after my 20s. Now I get to spend my 30s making better decisions. Maybe I’ll have everything figured out by 40. Ha! I’ll be sharing this link. -Thomas

  10. your visitor says

    I disagree with the statement that one owes the world something. None of us asked to be born; we are simply here. Our parents chose to bring us into the world, and being in this world is no easy thing, so they owed us a healthy upbringing to equip us to live here with a decent shot at happiness and health. Some of us got that, some of us didn’t. The world doesn’t give us anything, so why do we owe it anything in return?

    That being said, I think we deserve to be the kind of people who make a positive difference. There’s no joy in the thought of being born, eating and sleeping and working with no sense of purpose, and dying as if we had never lived. There is, however, tremendous joy in the thought that countless lives extending out into infinity may be affected in countless ways, seen and unseen, by the domino effect from wise, kind choices we make today. It’s not so much that we owe the world anything, but that being of service to it gives us a future beyond our own short life spans. Our choices matter, and in that sense, so do we, for all time.

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