post written by: Angel Chernoff

9 Ways to Never Regret Another Day of Your Life

9 Ways to Never Regret Another Day of Your Life

“If only…”  These two little words paired together
create one of the saddest phrases imaginable.

Last week, in the last few hours of my cousin Jamie’s life, she told me her only regret was that she didn’t appreciate every year with the same passion and purpose that she has had in the last two years, after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer.  “I’ve accomplished so much recently,” she said.  “If I had only known, I would have started sooner.”

I shared this story, along with some advice on avoiding regret, in one of our recent “subscribers only” email newsletters.  Within 24 hours we received nearly 500 replies.  This inspired Marc and I to revisit the content, tailor it to some of the most popular questions and commentary we received, and share an enhanced version of our advice on avoiding regret with you here.

Honestly, my cousin’s words and passing have been a true wake-up call for us.  “Life is short” is only a cliché until you witness it firsthand.

You really have to make your journey count every single day, because the distance we each get to travel is a mystery.  One day, hopefully many moons from now, you will inevitably find yourself close to the end, and thinking about the beginning.  TODAY is that beginning.  TODAY is life.  Right now you have a priceless opportunity!  Forget the past.  Forget your age.  Today is the first day of the rest of your life.  At the end of it, let there be no excuses, no explanations, and no regrets.

Here are nine ideas to get you there…

1.  Be the leader of your own journey.

Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?  Stop living for other people and their opinions.  Be true to YOU.

There are far too many capable people who don’t pursue their dreams and goals because they let their fears and others talk them out of it.  They give up before they even try, and simply let life’s river flow them downstream.  Choose to be stronger than that.  Choose to swim upstream when you have to.  Choose to do the things in life that move you.  Let others lead small lives.  Let others argue over small things.  Let others cry over small wounds.  Let others leave their future in someone else’s hands.  But not YOU.

2.  Take calculated risks.

There is no excuse for being an amateur forever.  Life is short.  The day is rapidly approaching when the risk to remain perched in your nest is far more detrimental than the risk it takes to fly.  Fly!  Spread your wings.  Start now.  What a disgrace it would be for you to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of your full potential.

You don’t have to have it all figured out to move forward.  Just do the best you can until you know better.  Once you know better, do better.  (Read Start: Punch Fear in the Face.)

3.  Think you CAN.

If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.  And change breeds growth.  So when a goal seems big and a plan looks tough, just start, push through it for awhile, and soon the next thing you need to do will look possible.  Step by step you can get through anything – this is the truth and you have to believe it.  In the end, you’re going to succeed because you’re crazy enough to think you can.

4.  Find the courage every day to take another step.

You will trip and you will fall, you will make mistakes and you will fail, but you have to stand strong through it all.  You live and you learn.  You’re human, not perfect.  You’ve been wounded, not defeated.  Think of what a priceless gift it is to grow through these experiences – to breathe, to think, to struggle, and to overcome challenges in the pursuit of the things you love.  Yes, sometimes you will encounter heartache along the way, but that’s a small price to pay for immeasurable moments of love and joy.  Which is why you must keep stepping forward even when it hurts, because you know the inner strength that has carried you this far can carry you the rest of the way.

5.  Let the disappointments GO!

We grew up building invisible fences from our bad experiences.  But we don’t have to be contained and defined by the things we did or didn’t do in our past.  Some people allow themselves to be controlled by regret.  Maybe it’s a regret, maybe it’s not.  It’s merely something that happened or didn’t happen – an optimistic expectation that got the best of you.  Accept the fact that life is not perfect, that people are not perfect, that you are not perfect, and that there are all sorts of things in this world that will disappoint you.  But most importantly, realize that, just because things didn’t turn out like you expected, doesn’t mean they can’t be better than you imagined.  (Read The Untethered Soul.)

6.  Ignore your fantasies of other times and places.

We all want pretty much the same thing in life.  We want to be happy.  But sadly, so many of us think it lies outside ourselves.  When we’re young we think our happiness lies somewhere in the future, tied to future relationships and activities.  When we’re old we believe our happiness rests in the past, tied to memories of what is already gone.  Both of these beliefs are false.  Happiness can only ever be found right where you are now.

Life is too short to spend at war with yourself.  Letting go of illusions of the past and future is your greatest step to happiness and a life free of regret.  In this moment, there is plenty to smile about.  In this moment, you are precisely as you should be.  In this moment, infinite possibility awaits.  Don’t waste it worrying about what isn’t.

7.  Look at what you have, instead of what you have lost.

The primary cause of unhappiness is never your situation, but your thoughts about it.  And the primary cause of regret is looking back at everything these negative thoughts prevented you from doing.

Truth be told, a day without laughter and positive action is a day wasted.  Even if things aren’t perfect, today is filled with little opportunities.  Everywhere you look, there are small ways for you to make a positive difference.  In little bits of time that might otherwise be wasted, there is a piece of something larger waiting to be created.  String enough of these pieces together, and absolutely anything is within your reach.  You just need to decide what it is you want to achieve.

8.  Share your love openly and honestly with those you love.

No matter what, you’re going to lose people in your life.  Realize that no matter how much time you spend with someone, or how much you appreciate them, sometimes it will never seem like you had enough time together.  Don’t learn this lesson the hard way.  Express your love.  Tell people what you need to tell them.  Don’t shy away from important conversations because you feel awkward or uncomfortable.  You never know when you might lose your opportunity.  (Marc and I discuss this in more detail in the “Relationships” chapter of 1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently.)

9.  Say “goodbye” so you can say “hello.”

In life, goodbyes are a gift.  When certain people walk away from you, and certain opportunities close their doors on you, there is no need to hold onto them or pray to keep them present in your life.  If they close you out, take it as a direct indication that these people, circumstances and opportunities are not part of the plan for the next step of your life.  It’s a hint that your personal growth requires someone different and something more, and life is simply making room.  So embrace your goodbyes, because every “goodbye” you receive sets you up for an even better “hello.”

The floor is yours…

What do you NOT want to regret someday?  What’s something positive you can do today to help avoid this regret?  Leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

Photo by: Ewen Roberts

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  • I don’t want to regret not seeing my family more, not traveling enough, and not honing my gifts and working on my passions. So today, I will hug my family members, start planning a trip to a place I’ve never been, and will spend the a hour this evening painting.

    Thank you Marc and Angel, once again, for reminding me of what’s important. Your blog, your book, and everything you share via FB, speaks to my soul and keeps me on track. May your cousin RIP.

  • This post is so breathtaking. Thank you, M&A for this lovely website. Right now I’m waiting for certain things to happen in my life and sometimes it does get the best of me. But really, people, I think that if something is your destiny it’ll happen eventually - even if it takes a while to find the strength to make it happen. Either way, we should never stop living in the moment and doing our best… Because this moment is all we’ve really got. I don’t want to regret missing it.
    Have faith and courage. Xoxo

  • I have made some poor choices which has resulted in me hurting the four people I love the most (who have thankfully remained by my side without hesitation). If I died right now, I would die with regret, for not being brave enough to confront my fears, admit my wrongs, and simply apologize sincerely to those I love. But like you said, it’s not too late. Right now is my chance…a new beginning. I am taking it, and I am going to go talk to my youngest daughter right now.

  • Oh man, I think I’ve mentioned it in the past, but dealing with my regrets of past failures was one of the things that turned me on to your blog, and then your book, in the first place. Specifically, this line from your book reset my perspective on what it means to fail, and ultimately helped me heal some of my biggest regrets:

    Past mistakes should teach you to create a wonderful future, not cause you to be afraid of it. What happened needed to happen. Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. Success in life is not about where you are standing at any given point in time; it’s about how much you’ve learned and how far you’ve come to get there.

    PS: Sorry to hear about your cousin.

  • Thank you so much for this. This blog is quite possibly one of the most valuable blogs on the internet, ever. You guys truly understand the definition of self improvement. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with the world, and those of us who need the strength and encouragement to carry on.

  • It’s heartbreaking to consider the weight of pain and loss contained in two small words, “if only”.

    I don’t want to regret NOT saying “Hello” to myself before I say “Goodbye” to this world. Many of us have learned to say “Goodbye” to ourselves and “Hello” to other’s expectations of us. For the remaining minutes of this day, I will show up as my authentic self. Stepping out of other’s expectations is the best way I can connect with myself and with those I love.

    Thank you for sharing your experience and this powerful challenge. May your family be comforted in your loss, and may your cousin rest in peace.

  • What do I not want to regret? That I end up bitter because I’ve been flapping alone in the wind for so long trying to make something happen on my own and I’ve taken it as far as I can go by myself without help and support. I don’t know what else I can do that’ll move my career up even one more step, and I’ve been stagnating in the same place for so long, I’m bored, unmotivated and uninspired, and I don’t know if this IS my potential and I’ve just been deluding myself thinking I’m capable of more. And if I’m deluding myself, then what’s the point in trying when I just fail over and over and get knocked back to the same exact place? It doesn’t make me happy or even remotely feel like accomplishment, and every setback just pushes me further into an emotional hole that’s getting harder to climb out of. I can’t take it any further alone, yet still doing it alone is exactly where I’m forced to be.

    So #5. I’m still waiting for “better than I imagined.” And I have no faith or hope at all that it’ll show up. And I can’t force happiness that isn’t there, especially when what I have right now falls way below what I want and need and have paid my dues and earned. So yeah, bitterness is setting in, and I hate it, but I don’t know how to stop it. Guess I’ll have to work on that.

  • Lots of loving thoughts from Denmark. You’re words are so… strong, true and uplifting. Reading your blog is like getting a big warm hug, but still a gentle shove back on track. Thank you for reminding me too keep following my path to becoming the person I wanna be .. who I already am.

    Also, I’m sorry for your loss.

  • These points echo perfectly how I’m living my life now. Just over a month ago my 45 yr old hubby was told he had incurable cancer. He has evolved from a suited workaholic into a guy who now enjoys wearing tactile bright colored clothes, daily gym visits & is a green smoothie lover. Yesterday he was checking out meditation retreats. Instead of endless sport & business news journalism he is now reading soul enriching books & blogs. We no longer escape into drone tv, we choose well written thought provoking dramas & documentaries. We make every moment count. Cancer & the threat of early death has made us finally live. Thank you for this timely post.

  • Working abroad and leaving my 3-year-old son to stay with my in-laws as career opportunities aren’t readily available in my country, I just don’t wanna miss those opportunities to hold his hands and read him stories while he is still sweet and cuddly. I do my best to spend my annual leaves so I could stay with him at least for a month, yet at the back of my mind, I am regretting that I couldn’t make him feel loved and cared. I am doing my best to get him on a family joining visa, by God’s grace, hopefully I could reunite with him. Thanks Angel and Marc for your wonderful articles…I printed some and written some on my notes. Having a daily toxic working day, it’s been a struggle and your articles inspires me to see life and my work in a positive light.

  • There are so many gorgeous words in our language to express love, admiration and support. Yet a lot of people are very stingy with them (some have even suggested they make us weak, yikes). I feel we shall universally regret not speaking them far more often. Don’t hold back. Tell your specials you love them and why you love them, thank everyone with sincerity for anything they do for you. Listen to your kids and grandkids and later remind them of what they said and how you feel so they’ll know you were listening. I feel that we have this enormous store of positive affirming language and we use it infinitesimally in comparison with negative language. Think of how much more inclined you might be to never miss a chance to swear at negativity than to comment on something good. Please try - I think our lives will better.

  • To expand on #5, I would add: FORGIVE YOURSELF. Forgive yourself for past mistakes or when you didn’t feel good enough. Let go of the guilt. The longer you hold on to the negativity of the past, the more you’re sabotaging your present and future.

  • Instead of waiting for my kids vacation to be over I decided this morning to give them a super duper day. We are off to have FUN. What’s that again? I have to rediscover FUN. Great post.

  • @ Marc & Angel: I wanted to thank you. It has taken me relentless days, and many of your posts, but today I have been able to let go…I opened my eyes to so many beautiful things and so many loving people who were always waiting for me. Thanks a lot!!

  • My biggest regret thus far has been that I have settled for a life that is less than the life I have always wanted for myself. The result has been that I lived my life being a minor character in someone else’s life instead of having the staring role in my own.

    Unfortunately the message programmed into my psyche growing up was to be satisfied with what you’re given or what comes to you. People spent their days in jobs they hated and lives in relationships that were unfulfilling. The people who went off and made their lives were not ordinary; they weren’t like us. Theepse were people admired outwardly but secretly to resent because they had the nerve to think they were better.

    Now I tell my children that the power resides in them to have the lives they want not what other people think they should have. I guess the lesson took as long as it needed to take to teach me that I do not have to jump through hoops to conform to or confirm what other people think I should or should not being doing with my life.

    The past two years of emotional turmoil has truly been a gift. I would never have understood the lesson if this false existence I had existing in hadn’t finally shattered. At first I was terrified. I was like the idiot rushing into a burning house to save material possessions because these define him. The people in
    My life were like these possessions. I gave others the right to define me and accepted my role based on their limited vision of me. The hardest thing I done was to admit this and let these people go from my life.

    Life is so wonderful that we’re continually given these lessons and these moments of grace to bring us back to our center. The biggest regret is when we choose a life that is off center and outside of ourselves.

  • Being a goal-oriented person, the thing I want to most avoid is not savoring the journey with my son, wife, and friends. Taking a positive step toward an achievement or new horizons is one measure of a good day, but if I don’t make time to play with dinosaurs with my son that’s a fail.

  • I am 53 and have felt that I am “too old” to do things that I dreamed of. I also have MS and let that limits me as well. But yesterday, I realized that my dad - the person I admired most in this world - hadn’t even gotten to the most important part of his career at this age in his life. It was a wake up call for me to get off my butt and make the difference in the world that I want to make! Have the courage to go for it and just drop my self limiting beliefs.

  • Thank you.
    This was so appropriate for me this morning. I woke up in the middle of the night regretting a lot of the past and fearful of the future. I am so tired of living this daily “Ground Hog Day” movie existence. No more. Time to live. Thanks for helping me jump start my life today.

  • Working in healthcare I see too many people make themselves sick or sicker by negative self talk. I have rheumatoid arthritis but you would never know it. I do not think about it everyday. I do not let it limit me and in fact I take NO meds for it. Once I changed my attitude and CHOSE to be happy, things work themselves out.

    As for people holding me back, I have adopted a new saying that I have just found - If I have cut you out of my life chances are you handed me the scissors. Wave goodbye.

  • I like this article a lot. In life we need to focus on where we are today and what the next few steps are to moving forward towards our vision. Getting caught up in who we were or who we wish to be many years from now will send us off track. Be thankful for what you have accomplished and look for ways to live your values every day. Learning to be present in your everyday work with the intent of living the steps of your vision will always lead you exactly where you can do the most good for everyone.

  • In the past few months, I’ve been praying for the opportunities to be of more service to others; to share my talents, expertise, knowledge…

    Last week I was asked to join a study group for A Course in Miracles. At first I was resistant, thinking I didn’t really have the time to study something I already have a solid understanding of. Then, in meditation, the thought popped in “maybe it isn’t all about you.”

    When I told my friend I’d be happy to join in, she was elated, asking if I would give a commentary each week to share my wisdom relating to the Course. She feels I could make a significant contribution to help the other members of the group.

    I’d be really bummed out to get to the Pearly Gates feeling my prayers were unheard and unanswered only to learn I simply hadn’t been listening - because I was too busy thinking about me and my problems.

  • I don’t want to regret not taking a chance on my goals. I think I have lived much of my life by fear, keeping in my comfort zone and riding the waves as safely as possible. The reality is I have not lived at all… and never for ME.

    Thanks for posting; all these positive posts are inspiring and so helpful.

  • I relate so much to Melissa’s comments above. Would Marc and Angel address that issue please? Or point me in a direction to where it has already been addressed? Thank you.

  • @Melissa Webster and Donn: I think these two articles may help you:

    1. 5 Ways to Meet the Right People
    2. 4 Ways to Quiet the Negative Voice Inside You

    @All: Melissa’s comment caught my attention, but I will be back soon to read and respond to the rest of your comments. Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us. Hope you all are having a positive, productive day. :)

  • Today, I can believe in myself and take another step at building my dream business. Marc and Angel, your words have spoken life into my soul during times that God knew I needed them most. It has truly been a hard, self defeating journey which is turning around as each day I believe in myself more and more.

    Thank you and bless you both. (Tears)

  • Haha…
    You should have put 8 after 9… After I read 8 I immediately emailed someone. Then I read 9, and realized maybe that email shouldn’t have been sent after all! Kidding.

    Love this site. Keep up the wonderful work!

  • Thank you Marc and Angel for another wonderful thought provoking message.

    I have been living the approach you have outlined for over 30 years. Here are three of the causes that prompted me to do so and stay with it. Being at the death bed of an elderly relative who expressed heartfelt regrets 40 years ago, the loss of my first daughter at birth 27 years ago and the loss of my father 17 years ago.

    After each of the above (and there have been other instances including some distinctly inexplicable spiritual experiences - one planned in advance with a friend and relative who was dying - which may just be a consequence of an open mind) I decided nothing could hurt me any more and since then I continue to make the best of every day no matter what life throws at me.

    It’s impossible to get everything right so I do my best, treat everyone as I would like to be treated myself and I try to learn a little more about life, the world and myself each day.

    I am also very lucky that my life partner of nearer 40 years is still my best friend, I have two other grown up children who are also my friends and a wide network of family and friends who’s company I enjoy when we can make time for each other. Like Marc, I tend to avoid people who refuse to see beyond their own limited perception/self indulgent negative experience of the world despite my best efforts for them. I realise that for some this can be an undiagnosed medical condition but it is very difficult to help someone who does not want or see that need.

    I do get pleasure out of helping people - in life and in business - especially since I set up my own business and moved away from the negativity of the fear and greed of larger companies just under 10 years ago. Anyone who says you should not mix business with pleasure is probably not doing it right and they need to sort out their morals, priorities, career and life balance if it troubles them.

    As a result I maintain a good standard of living without fear or greed, bear no grudges and I am at peace with myself and the past.

    I already feel I have lived more than one lifetime and I do not have any regrets and if life continues like this I shall be happy to be around for many years to come.

  • You all are so amazing and I can’t thank you enough for appearing in my life at the time I needed. Seriously… Thank you thank you thank you for your healing sediments and positive way of looking at life.

  • Wow! This is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever read. It speaks directly to my heart and soul and I feel like it was written just for me. I believe that this is exactly what I needed to read today and I so thankful to both of you for being the messengers. Your posts are invaluable and you are making a real difference. Thank you.

  • Live each day to the fullest because it may be your last! I don’t ever want to regret not trying, not getting up and making an effort to get outside my comfort zone to experience living a full life. I’m not reckless and oftentimes it’s a little frightening to step up but before I know it–I’ve done it. My prayer is for daily courage! Thank you both for inspiring me today. And I’m so sorry for the recent loss of your loved one.

  • I’m definitely sharing this with my team. I think you sum up just exactly what it takes to succeed in nearly every area of your life–in one short blog post!


  • Marc and Angel, I am sorry for the loss in your family and will be praying. Secondly, can I come live with you for awhile?! I so desperately need help. For whatever reason, I cannot move forward. I am completely stuck in a negative hole and am full of regret. As Sandra mentioned, I have also been “living as a minor character in someone else’s life” for too many years.

    I absolutely love to read your posts and the comments by your devoted readers. I flag each email so I can go back & read them if I need to. I just spent over half an hour reading this blog entry & comments, and thinking about them. I should be over at my Mom’s, keeping her company. I lost my long time corporate job 3.5 years ago. Friends told me to get right back out there & get a new job. I decided to take a little break for myself after 26 years. A few months later, my Dad got sick. I spent nearly every day with him, caring for him and being there for my Mom. He passed away after 7 months; I cherished the gift I’d been given to be with him and have no regrets there.

    I have not put the needed amount of energy & time into finding a new full time job with medical benefits. For 2 years, I had a part time job taking care of a beautiful man with the start of Alzheimer’s. That ended 6 months ago when he was out into a nursing home. During that time & until now, I have become very depressed. I now feel like a hermit. Many days I don’t leave my home; I am 49 years old. A lot of the depression comes from a long term unhealthy relationship I can’t fully let go of. In 2012, he was diagnosed with an incurable cancer. He kept telling me how much he needed and loved me, but I would never be a full part of his life. I have let go of my friendships as a result of wanting to be with & there for this man. I divorced in 2009 & my ex moved back in with me (unhealthy). We are friends but I have gone back to the non-motivated, lifeless, unhappy person I was while we were married. I’ve also had diabetes for 38 years & have many medical complications (limited vision, arthritis, chronic pain). Being unemployed with no medical benefits, I am on the verge of becoming destitute.

    I’ve been looking for work a lot harder lately, have gone on interviews but no success yet. I feel I am of no value to any person or company. My memory is horrendous. I know I should be out pounding the pavement every day but don’t. Most of the time I sit at home, read, visit with my Mom way less than I should, and my home is a mess. I cannot afford counseling. I should be out volunteering or doing something with purpose, but I am stuck in this black hole. I know life is short but meanwhile, I’m not doing anything to make each day a purposeful one. I don’t understand why I can’t take your wonderful words of advice and put them into action. I pray each day but still am not pushing myself to make progress. I am a good person with a good heart. I love to help strangers whenever an opportunity arises. I will keep reading your posts and pray I can move in a positive direction. If I learned I would die tomorrow, I would have so many regrets. That is very sad and I hate myself for it. God bless.

  • @Theresa “As for people holding me back, I have adopted a new saying that I have just found - If I have cut you out of my life chances are you handed me the scissors. Wave goodbye.” Haha! That’s a great motto and it made me laugh out loud, but I have to wonder about where your compassion fits into this. I try not to pass superficial judgement on people before learning their whole story and working to understand where they are coming from. Only then do I make the choice on whether or not to keep them in my life. Maybe I’m loyal to a fault and maybe karma plays too big a role in my decision process, but I don’t advise purposely “holding someone back” and cutting them off in ways that hurt and adversely affect them just out of spite because they displeased you in some way. That’s your ego and pride (not to mention extremely controlling and manipulative) making decisions for both of you, NOT something petty and negative the other person may have actually done wrong.

    Happiness isn’t always something you can choose. Shit happens and people have to go through the emotional process of it until they get to the other side. Making people feel like shit for feeling like shit isn’t helpful. Rejecting them while they’re going through this process and labeling them as “negative” when they’re otherwise not normally negative, but are dealing with a lot of external factors, only exacerbates the problem and doesn’t say a whole lot about you as a person. And faking it until you make it whether it’s real or not isn’t authentically living your truth and ultimately delays recovery and confuses you. That’s my two cents at any rate, for what it’s worth.

    @marcandangel, thank you so much! Those article links were exactly what I needed. I was in a bad place last night and this blog helped. And thank you to all the commentors. Your own experiences and inspiring, wise words really make a difference.

  • As I read this blog post - especially 1, 3 and 4 - it made me think of an incident last week. I was stopped at a traffic light and observed a young boy, possibly high school or a young college student, driving his motorized wheel chair along a busy street sidewalk. He had a beautiful yellow lab service dog walking next to him on leash. He was hindered by an entrance sign for a Taco Bell that stuck out over the sidewalk somewhat and the ramp for the driveway entrance. He was trying to adjust the chair back and forth, so that he and the dog could get past the sign without going off the curb or catching the driveway ramp wrong. He appeared to have some lag in trying to control his body to operate the chair controls. I got to watch this for about 2 minutes waiting for the light. As I watched him trying to deal with this, I just couldn’t help but wonder what he had to deal with daily to just get up and go out into the world.

    I have been dealing most of my life with low self-esteem and am always fighting this internal mental battle. But seeing this boy, I just had to really grab myself mentally by the collar, give myself a good shake and tell myself, “What nerve do I have to complain about anything!” “I have no right to “feel bad” (whining), look at what others like this boy have to deal with!” I declare this period of “self pity” (because that is all it is) to be over. Thank you for all of your excellent posts and allowing me to make this declaration to myself.

  • Thank you for this!

    I’m going back to work after having my 1st baby and I’ve decided I need to look for a new job, which is an overwhelming thought. Even though I’m very qualified I often put up invisible fences thinking I’m not good enough or won’t find a new job I love because of the economy, or because of my expectations, or because there are better professionals than me. This post is a reminder that a job I love is possible with a “can-do” attitude.

    btw - You’re a talented writer and an inspiration.

  • Patricia de Talbot
    January 20th, 2014 at 7:19 pm

    I love this blog! I have learned so much from you and wish even more people had access to it. You truly understand the concept of self improvement. Thanks so much for allowing me to share your knowledge.

    May your cousin rest in peace!

  • Your website was shared with me by a wonderful friend! The “Hello” you speak of came in the most unexpected circumstances over two years ago. I have always been a “glass half-full” person, and have appreciated the opportunities, and even the disappointments, that life has provided to me. Life has been good to me, even though there were a few rocky roads. Unwittingly, I think we can stumble into circumstances that can present barriers that seem impossible to overcome. And the time wasted trying to overcome those barriers could certainly be regrettable. The solution is often as simple as reaching out and accepting the help that lies before us. For me, it the was the “Help” that came in the form of a person; who guided me back to health and personal well-being with kindness and caring beyond what I deserved.

    So the only “Regrets” that I may have through the remainder of my life, would be if I am unable to find enough ways to give back the enormous stockpile of kindness and caring that I have received, especially in these recent years.

    Your blog is an inspiration…to everyone who takes the time to read. Thank you for that.

  • Marc and Angel…. You guys are truly a blessing. Thank you for you inspiring words. Your advice helps me to put things in perspective and the comments by everyone makes me realise that we all are going through some kind of difficulties in our life. You guys are truly amazing by sharing your wonderful advice with the world. Thank you.

    @Theresa “As for people holding me back, I have adopted a new saying that I have just found - If I have cut you out of my life chances are you handed me the scissors. Wave goodbye”
    All I can say is that your words are PERFECTLY SAID. When i read that I couldn’t stop smiling. There have been many people in my life that have let me down and what is sad is that it is close family members. Life moves on though and we all are trying to do the best with what we have.

  • I just wanted to say that this article and your lovely thoughts came to me at EXACTLY the time I needed them most. They give me the material and thoughts that I need to help create the world that I want for myself. Thank you.

    As for something positive I can do for myself? I can believe in my abilities (something that other people have believed in for years). Share that belief with with the world in a competent, calm voice. Dare to take the leap for the things I want in my life…

    Sorry for the loss of your cousin.

  • So, SO true! I lost my sister-in-law and my own mother far too early, and in the last year we have had TWO friends lose their young children to tragedy. We never know if we will even get one more breath, much less one more day, month,year. Planning is all well and good and I don’t advocate anyone making truly reckless plans, but at some you have to leap and have faith the net will appear.

  • If you realize you lost your smile lately you need to stand back and reanalyze your life. You need to enjoy today and plan ahead as well. You have to keep one thing in mind that not everything turns out the way you want. You shouldn’t be disappointed when this happens because there is always something positive happening that you didn’t plan as well. Also, you should have positive people around you.

  • I try to check the comments on these posts almost everyday for inspiration, and am continuously blown away by something new each time.

    @Bonnie, thank you. Your story is inspiring.

    @Rhonda “Planning is all well and good and I don’t advocate anyone making truly reckless plans, but at some you have to leap and have faith the net will appear.” I LOVE this. Well-said.

  • I don’t want to regret - “not having close friendships/relationships with people.” I look around right now (thanks to the magic of Facebook) and I see people in my life all hanging out with other people (also in my life) and I sadly ask myself the question, “where was my invite?” I try to understand why I/we are not invited to theses things and why, at the end of the day I don’t have friendships like other people in my life. Am I doing something wrong?

    What can I do so that I don’t end up having that regret? I need to reach out more, be friendlier (and it’s not because I’m not a friendly person, it’s more out of fear of rejection for who I am… I might not be the kind of person they want to be around). I need to make an effort and stop assuming that people don’t like me. “How are they going like or not like me if I don’t give them the chance to get to know me?”


  • I read your posts all the time to get inspiration to keep me on the up and up. I too spent a lot of my life thinking I wasn’t good enough. I still struggle, but I’m working on it. I always wanted to be a writer but was discouraged as a young person. Now I’m old and unemployed, having been laid off awhile back. I am doing what I always wanted. Sometimes I feel guilty about this. I am trying to silence that voice. I struggle against the voices in my head often, because I worry that I’m not making enough progress every day. After reading a few of your posts, I now know it’s alright to make a little progress as long as you keep moving towards your goal - you don’t have to conquer everything all at once. Thank you for your inspiration and comfort.

  • Skyler Vanderfield
    January 22nd, 2014 at 8:42 pm

    This specific article on regret–an emotion I know too well–resonated powerfully with me, perhaps because today I was willing to recognize that most of the points cited reflected an aspect of my personality and my way of thinking. I am not only making my life more difficult and far less rewarding by focusing on unproductive and unhealthy thoughts, but I am also allowing fear to play a dominate role in my life. I do not like to leave my comfort zone.

    This reminds me of a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt who said, “you must do the thing you think you cannot do.” Sometimes when I think of that quote I feel impotent because I question whether I have the backbone to face many of my fears–my track record is not good to date. It seems that you must have courage and a solid belief in yourself to face those nagging fears, and right now, honestly, both of those areas are in need of a boost.

    Finally, thank you Marc and Angel for working tirelessly to help others improve their lives by providing much needed knowledge so that our journey on the road of life might not be so unpleasant after all. Thank you.

  • @Sandra Hamlett: Beautifully written; thank you for sharing your inspiring story.

    @Theresa: I love your saying! =) Just made a note of it for future reference.

    @Lorna: For all the dreams we chase, it’s often the ones right under our noses that we are never awake enough to honor. I am so happy you had a moment of enlightenment and decided to pursue this opportunity. I look forward to hearing how it goes. Do check back in with us.

    @David: We can all benefit so much from your experiences; thank you for taking the time to share a piece of your story.

    @KD: True strength comes when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead. There are blessings hidden in every struggle (as you’ve experienced) you face, but you have to be willing to open your heart and mind to see them. You can’t force things to happen. You can only drive yourself crazy trying. At some point you have to let go and let what’s meant to be, BE. I think this article will help: 8 Things to Remember When Everything Goes Wrong.

    @All: This has been one of my favorite batches of comments. Marc and I read them together – so insightful and uplifting. You continue to inspire us and we learn so much from your personal stories. I can’t say it enough: thank you! We love having you in our community and look forward to your interaction after every new post. :)

  • Marc & Angel:

    Tears have been running down my face as I’ve read this post and the comments. I recognize myself in the comments about fear, not taking chances, and, the regret I would have at the end of my day if I didn’t keep pushing forward to achieve the goals I’ve set for myself. Thank you for the inspiration to keep trying, God bless you both, and, I am so very sorry for your loss.

    Maria Wolff

  • First and foremost, I am sorry for your loss.

    I can really connect with your first and third points: Be the leader of your own journey / Think you CAN.

    I am finally coming to understand these points and living my life as me, for me. Chasing my fears and conquering those tough “obstacles” that are made up in my mind!

    Great post, thanks.

  • Hello, thank you for your article! I have been struggling so much lately with what I need to do to change my life. I am in a very dysfunctional marriage that I know I need to end, as well as a job for six years that is emotionally draining. I know I need to make changes and have been asking the question “what do I want to spend my life doing”, I don’t know quite how to start, but I have faith in myself that I will find the open door. I am tired of crying and being unhappy. My joy has been snatched away from me and I want it back!! I have been blessed with some wonderful people and family that loves me, that I have let my misery in both my marriage and job effect my relationships with them. Reading your post was so inspiring. It gives me strength and hope. Thank you! I know where I need to start and am going to do it now.

  • My cousin died of brain cancer a year and a half ago. She was only 38 yrs. old and also one of my very best friends. I miss her dearly. One thing I’m so glad about with her and I is that we were completely open about our feelings with one another and about her health.

    I truly think she felt like she could open up to me more than she could with more immediate family which was a blessing for which I did not take for granted. We would cry together and eventually would always end up laughing together too. I’m so blessed to have had her in my life and I’ll never ever regret one tear shed for her and will always miss our laughing fits we had about the most ridiculous stuff. I was there for her toward the end but did not live close by at all - in fact 5 hours away. I do wish I’d be with her at the very end but I know the time we spent together was priceless and made all the difference for both of us.

    Never stop being there for people who you love - never be afraid to reach out and talk to them about the difficult, painful stuff because they just might really need your shoulder to lean on and your ear to hear them express their pain or fear. You’ll find as i did that it is something you will always be glad you did.

  • This post touched me very much. I read and share daily, though I very rarely comment.

    QUITE SIMPLY….I DO NOT WANT TO REGRET THAT I “HAVE REGRETS”……..I have lost so many loved ones in the past year (from July of last year until now)…I lost a dear family member suddenly and quite unexpectedly. I lost family members who had been ill for some time. I lost a dear friend to breast cancer. I lost dear friends who moved away (I did not lose the friendships, but the physical presence of them in my daily life). I lost someone that I once loved when a relationship ended. I lost longtime neighbors and friends…a dear family member just died and he always used to say, “When I could have, I didn’t - Now I want to, and I can’t”…it has remained in my head and my heart…with all my heart I believe what you have shared today.

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