post written by: Marc Chernoff

40 Regrets You Don’t Want to Have in 40 Years

40 Regrets You Don't Want to Have in 40 Years

Stop wasting time regretting what you did a year ago.  Start doing what you have to do now, so that in a year’s time you won’t regret what you did today.

This morning, like he has every morning for the last decade, my 86-year-old grandfather picked a fresh wild flower on his morning walk and took it to my grandmother.  This morning I decided to go with him to see her.  And as he placed the flower on her gravestone, he looked at me and said, “I just wish I had picked her a fresh flower every morning when she was alive.  She would have loved that.”

As you can imagine, his words touched a nerve in me.  I almost immediately started thinking about everything and everyone I care about, and what I don’t want to regret in 40 years when I’m on the cusp of my 80’s.  It almost felt like every aspect of my life was flashing before my eyes.  And as soon as I got home, I started jotting down everything that had come to mind.  When I was done, I read the list to Angel.  She nodded her head all the way through to the end, and then said, “I couldn’t agree more.  I don’t think anyone wants to regret any of those things when they’re older.”  Perhaps you will also agree…

  1. Spending too little time with the right people. – Sooner or later, you just want to be around the people who make you smile.  So today, spend time with those who help you love yourself more.  And remember, the people you take for granted today may be the only ones you need tomorrow.  Never be too busy to make time for those who matter most.
  2. Not making your loved ones smile more often. – The most beautiful thing is to see a person you love smile, and even more beautiful is knowing that you are the reason behind it.
  3. Not saying what you need to say. – Speak up.  Don’t hide your thoughts and feelings, especially when you can make a difference.  Be brave.  Say what needs to be said.  If you care about someone, tell them.  Hearts are sometimes broken by the words we leave unspoken.
  4. Constantly comparing yourself to everyone else. – Don’t compare your progress in life with that of others.  We all need our own time to travel our own distance.  It’s perfectly OK to be different.  Today, the only person you should try to be better than, is the person you were yesterday.  Prove yourself to yourself, not others.
  5. Ignoring your intuition for too long. – Sometimes your mind needs more time to accept what your heart already knows.  Breathe.  Be a witness, not a judge.  Listen to your intuition.
  6. Not taking action on meaningful goals. – Instead of complaining about your circumstances, get busy creating new ones.  You either suffer the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.  Most of the time, the only difference between who you are and who you want to be, is what you do.  (Read Getting Things Done.)
  7. Letting others talk you out of your dreams. – 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.
  8. Vivid memories of wasted time. – There is good reason why you should wake each morning and mindfully consider what and who you will give your day to.  Because unlike other things in life – love, money, respect, good health, hope, opportunities, and many more – time is the one thing you can never get back once it’s gone.
  9. Collecting more excuses than you can count. – If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way.  If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.
  10. Waiting, and waiting, and waiting until you’re ready. – Sometimes life seems hard, but we often make it harder than it is.  All you ever have to decide is what to do next. It really is this simple.  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.
  11. Not putting in enough effort. – In life you are either a passenger or a pilot, it’s your choice.  If you want something, work for it.  Do what it takes, not what is easy.  It will hurt.  It will take time.  It will require dedication.  It will require willpower.  You will need to make healthy decisions.  It requires sacrifice.  You will need to push your body to its max.  There will be temptation.  But, I promise you, when you reach your goal, it will be worth it.
  12. Letting solvable problems stop you. – Not everything that’s faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it’s faced.  Problems are not stop signs, they’re guidelines.  If you want it, work for it.  It’s that simple.  Strength doesn’t come from what you can do.  It comes from overcoming the things you couldn’t.
  13. Not taking on enough risk. – Wouldn’t you rather have a life of “OH WELLs” than a life of “WHAT IFs”?  Do what you can while you can.  Don’t be afraid to move out of your comfort zone.  Some of my best life experiences and opportunities came to me only after I dared to lose.
  14. Settling for less than you are capable of. – Remember, growth and change may be painful sometimes, but nothing in life is as painful as staying stuck where you don’t belong.
  15. Putting your own needs and happiness on the back burner. – All jokes aside, your life only comes around once.  This is IT.  So do what makes you happy and be with whoever makes you laugh, often.
  16. Letting impatience govern your decisions and actions. – Patience is not about waiting; it’s the ability to keep a good attitude while working hard for what you believe in.
  17. Giving up too soon. – Forget how many times you’ve broken down.  It’s about how you stand up and move on.  You may have to go through the worst, to get to the best.  Good things take time.  Stay patient and stay positive.  Everything is going to come together; maybe not immediately, but eventually.
  18. Letting someone walk all over you, ad infinitum. – Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.  And walk away from anyone who continually robs you of peace and joy.  Life is too short to waste your time with people who abuse and bully you.
  19. Not helping others when you were able. – If you have a lot, give your wealth.  If you have a little, give your heart.  Just give what you can.  No one has ever become poor by giving.
  20. Ignoring your roots and those who have supported you. – Never forget where you’ve been.  Never lose sight of where you’re going.  And never take for granted the people who travel the journey with you.
  21. Not appreciating what you have when you have it. – We often forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but of deeply appreciating what we do have.  No, you won’t always get exactly what you want.  But remember this: There are lots of people who will never have what you have right now.  (Read The Happiness Project.)
  22. Letting your health go. – Your body is the only place you will truly ever live.  If you’re lucky enough to have a body that’s in good health, be wise enough to keep it that way.
  23. Years of struggling to find happiness outside yourself. – Happiness is not determined by what’s happening around you, but rather what’s happening inside you.  Too many people depend on others, or outside sources, to gain happiness, but the truth is it always comes from within.
  24. Letting too many plans blind you from the beauty of now. – When life is good, enjoy it.  Don’t go looking for something better.  Happiness never comes to those who don’t appreciate what they have.  You must be willing to loosen your grip on the life you have planned so you can enjoy the life that is waiting for you now.
  25. Being too narrow-minded to see the opportunities given to you. – Sometimes life doesn’t give you what you WANT because you NEED something else.  And what you need often comes when you’re not looking for it.
  26. The limitations you put on yourself. – It’s often our own thinking that hurts us.  There’s no reason to imprison yourself.  Don’t think outside the box.  Think like there is no box.
  27. Letting negativity get the best of you. – Remember, true strength is when you have so much to cry and complain about, but you prefer to smile and appreciate your life instead.
  28. Never admitting and growing beyond your mistakes. – You can learn great things from your mistakes when you aren’t busy denying them.
  29. Not accepting responsibility for life changes you need to make. – If you’ve been asking the same questions for a long time, yet are still stuck, it’s probably not that you haven’t been given the answers, but that you don’t like the answers you were given.  Remember, it takes a great deal of courage to admit that something needs to change, and a lot more courage still, to accept the responsibility for making the change happen.
  30. Seeking too much validation from others. – You are GOOD enough, SMART enough, FINE enough, and STRONG enough.  You don’t need other people to validate you; you’re already valuable.  You are YOU and that’s the beginning and the end - no apologies, no regrets.
  31. Impressing the wrong people. – Not everyone will appreciate what you do for them.  You have to figure out who’s worth your attention and who’s just taking advantage of you.  Spend more time with those who make you smile and less time with those who you constantly feel pressured to impress.
  32. Time spent on drama and needless arguments. – Life is too short to argue and fight.  Count your blessings, value the people who matter and move on from the drama with your head held high.
  33. Letting a grudge hurt your happiness. – Let it go.  Grudges are a waste of perfect happiness.  Holding one is like letting unwanted company live rent free in your head.
  34. Endlessly worrying about things. – Move on.  Stop letting it bother you.  If a problem can be solved, there’s nothing to worry about.  If it can’t be solved, worrying is useless.
  35. Forcing what’s not meant to be. – Never force anything.  Do your best, then let it be.  If it’s meant to be, it will be.  Don’t hold yourself down with things you can’t control.  Sometimes you have to stop worrying, wondering, and doubting.  Have faith that things will work out, maybe not how you planned, but just how it’s meant to be.
  36. Getting stuck in the trap of consumerism. – Too many people spend money they haven’t earned, to buy things they don’t need, to impress folks they don’t even know.  Don’t be one of them.  (Read The Total Money Makeover.)
  37. Never traveling when you had the chance. – Once a year, go somewhere you’ve never been before.
  38. Not choosing to laugh at life more often. – Life is way better when you’re laughing.  Being positive in a negative situation is not naive, it’s a sign of leadership and strength.
  39. Resisting change instead of rolling with it. – You’re not the same person you were a year ago, a month ago, or a week ago.  You’re always growing.  Experiences don’t stop.  That’s life.
  40. Talking the talk, but never walking the walk. – When it’s all said and done, be sure you haven’t said more than you’ve done.  In the end, actions always speak louder than words.  So work hard in silence, and let your success be your noise.


If you’re struggling with any of these points, know that you are not alone.  Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and live a life free of regrets.  This is precisely why Angel and I wrote our book, 1,000 Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently.”  It’s filled with short, concise tips on how to do just that.  And believe it or not, Angel and I review a lot of our own material on a regular basis too, just to center our minds on these positive principles.

The bottom line is that it’s never too late to take a step in the right direction.  It’s never too late to become the person you are capable of being.  Things can change if you want them to, at any age.  Right now you have an opportunity to write yourself a future full of peace and free of regret.

Your turn…

Let’s flip the concept of this article around.  Instead of sharing something you don’t want to regret down the road, tell me this:

What have you done lately that you know you will NOT regret down the road?

Leave a comment below and share your thoughts and insights.

Photo by: Hartwig HKD

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  • I will not regret telling my family how much they mean to me before I leave for work and before I go to bed, every single day.

    Thanks for yet another inspiring post.

  • I know I will never regret trying to make the world a better place in whatever small way I can. I strive to make some contribution every day.

    And I know I will not regret reading your blog, book and emails, again and again. They reinforce all the positive principles I strive to live by.

  • Believe it or not, after reading this post I just called a friend of mine who is batting cancer and dying. I haven’t phoned her for a while because she is having continuous cancer treatments, which makes conversation a struggle for us because we know she has little time. I knew I would regret not talking to her, and now that I’ve broken the ice, I’m taking it a step further and going to see her next weekend too.

    Thank you for the continued motivation. Here’s a quote on regret from your book that has helped me keep things in perspective over the past year:

    “Never regret. If it’s good, it’s wonderful. If it’s bad, it’s experience. Success 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.”

  • I spent much of last year working hard on appreciating what I have (#21) and it’s become a habit now. This year’s main goal is working to build a more meaningful life (#6).

  • I will never regret time with loved ones, giving small gifts for no reason, spending to much in Vegas last month, that I cared for my momma during her final years, the short 30 years laughing and crying with my best friend…nor seeing RHPS hundreds of times with him. Oh, so much good stuff to be had. Grab as much as you can.

  • Spent an hour this afternoon walking along a river with my nine year old son. Just the two of us. No agenda, no electronics, no interruptions. It was great.

  • Hi,
    I have come across your blog just a short while ago and have become a daily reader since. Your posts are truly inspiring and I can feel myself becoming more positive every day :) Thanks for your valuable insights!

  • When I first seen the title , I told myself ” no point reading this , I’m 65 years old and I will never see 40 years later”. I went through and read the rest of my emails and in the back of my thoughts I wanted to read it but I was mad I don’t have forty more years to live and then it hit me, “be here now” I read your article and like every morning it was a flower. Thank you.


  • Great list!

    I follow my heart and head (balance the two) and do what’s best for me. I say “No” and mean it. :)

  • I will not regret jumping into the unknown 2 years ago and starting my business.

    I have never worked so hard in my life…. non-stop 7 days a week.

    It has been the happiest and most rewarding journey I have ever taken. I never knew I had so much guts and potential. This has pushed me to my limits and beyond and I can’t wait to see what the next 40 years brings.

    A study published in Psychology Today stated that the #1 difference between happy and less than happy people is their ability to take risks. And boy is this true.

    I would encourage everyone to do the scary things you are afraid to do. Because happiness is in the journey to living to your potential.

  • Wasting time trying to get my parents’ approval of me, my life, etc….and btw I am 60 yrs old and I’m still waiting for it! And I finally realized this year, they will NEVER give it. Whatever their reason, and it really doesn’t matter at this point, they are who they are and to keep waiting and wanting their “attagirl” is getting me no where fast, Only makes me sad.
    So, I finally gave up and I don’t regret it. So that’s one down… ;)

  • Thank you for the gift of this long list. You could have limited it to 10 things and it would have been powerful. 40 things is a real home-run, with so much to think about and be grateful for. I love your posts. Thank you!

  • This is perfect timing!

    After spending less than two months in a new job trying to learn the ropes while at the same time being abused verbally and emotionally from the main manager, I confronted her last week Wednesday and handed in my resignation the following day.

    Chest pains, sleeplessness nights and being on edge, I realized this was not worth it. I don’t have a new job to go to but know deep down I’ll find my way. HR informed me I was the only one to stand up to her and that my former position is a revolving door.

    Do I regret my decision, not one bit, no more being mistreated and having to tolerate it. The best part is I was asked to leave the same day I handed in my resignation and will receive pay until the e/o March.

    To no longer be in that toxic environment is a true blessing, to decompress and allow myself to heal is also a true blessing. I finally learned my lesson!

    I’m grateful to all the good in my life :)

  • Well…I’ll never regret disowning someone that shows selfishness and doesn’t appreciate the gratification that you have shown them, especially when that person has asked for your help so many times.

    I have recently done this and I feel good because in the end, the only way is to just walk away. No one should ever let their happiness drain out at the expense of someone else.

  • Hi Marc!!
    This is my first time commenting! Great article, I must say!! Really inspired by them and have read all of your 570 posts about the topic “LIFE”.

    What I will never regret in my life is telling my best friend how much I miss her when she isn’t near me. I never had the guts to share my feelings as I was always too shy and hesitant to talk to a girl let alone confess what I felt about her. I was afraid that she might make fun of me if I were to confess my feelings to her. But I only realized that It was all in my mind.When I finally made up my mind of telling her It was not easy and to my surprise she returned the feelings of complete trust and loyalty that I had for her from many years. Though it took a lot of courage for me to tell it to her, I was surely glad that she reacted positively and did not think that i was being way to girlish. :D

  • I won’t regret taking time off work to spend it with my family, especially my mother who has done so much for me. One day she won’t be here and I wont ever regret having giving her my time :) And also, I wont regret spending my time how I enjoy it and not how society tells me to spend it.

  • Love this! Thanks.
    Your words inspiring.
    I used to look back and have regret and saying things like “if only I can turn back the time” but since I started reading your blog, I’m now loving the life I live. Moving forward. Thanks to you both.

  • Turning my passion into a business… It’s super scary and a huge leap of faith, but one I will never regret!!! Here I go…

  • I do not regret letting people know when they have deeply hurt me. I do it kindly but firmly. This has freed me from the mind games that can surface when we mull over painfully words. If I sense someone has a problem with me, I try to talk about it. If they refuse, then I am free to move on.

    Thanks for your helpful ideas. I’m enjoying your site.

  • Thank you so much guys! Whenever I feel like I need some inspiration, you are there for me. I don’t know how you write so amazingly that every word of every sentence touches the heart, but I’m glad and grateful you do.

    I’ve completed an article today about what I’ve learned about people and relationships so far (I’m 20), and this is the first time I’ve written something using my real name on the web. I was too worried the past two years regarding letting my emotions show, so I always used other names. But today, I’ve changed it. It feels good.

  • Great post! #26 is something I’ve really started to work on and I have a page on my blog called beyond boundaries which is a list to get me doing the impossible.

    #36…yeah this is a biggee, to many people including me at one point, get lured into all these adverts and consumerism and buy way to much material items that they cannot afford…. Memorable experiences are 100x more valuable than material items

  • Thank you so much for the simple and easy reminders to live each day to the fullest and to make good decisions for tomorrow.

    I’m a newbie here and needed this support for so many years and am so happy to have finally found this site. I’m growing and feeling so fulfilled with confidence each day. Thank you for the simple reminders that help to make life great.

  • I will never regret writing books - even if they never get published - writing brings me joy - lets the inner child in my soar - and it’s my true passion in life.

    Thanks for your 40 - I LOVED this article and shared it on Facebook. You rock!


  • What I won’t regret is how my time was spent and being grateful.

  • I will not regret leaving a job I had for 23 years that I was very unhappy with. We have less money, but I feel like a new person because I am no longer dragged down and depressed by a situation that was never going to get better.

  • Melissa Webster
    March 3rd, 2014 at 1:33 pm

    @Neddy, Same here. I will never regret letting go of the people and projects that undermined my confidence, filled me with anxiety and made me completely neurotic, because as marc and angel said, they were my priority while I was only an option to them, regardless of my own sacrifice and being the only one doing any work or bringing anything to the table. It wasn’t worth it, and I finally realize I need to trust my instincts. If it puts me on edge and fills me with anxiety, or if they/it makes me feel wholly unappreciated, used or taken advantage of, then it’s wrong or something is “off” about it. The “right” people and projects lift you up and make you feel strong and at peace, not insecure and neurotic. That’ll be my gauge from now on.

    I also won’t regret letting those things go and no longer caring if they’re completely wasted because of other people’s decisions that are beyond my control. I won’t regret letting them go so I can focus on my book project that fills me with peace and restores my faith, hope and confidence. I finally realize and accept it’s their loss, not mine, and I did everything I could.

  • Thank you for your positive thoughts. I enjoy this and all your posts!

  • I know I won’t regret starting my own blogging site. It’s nerve wracking and a step towards possibly authoring books and writing for a living. It may or may not work out but knowing I took the chance makes all the difference. It’s about discovering my passions. Thank you for sharing this.

  • I went to my 10 year old son’s Math Tournament for the first time. I almost didn’t go - thought it would be useful to have that time to myself. But WOW. To be there with him when he took his first test and came out of the room glowing with excitement and to be able to hear him say: “That was easy, that was fun, I LOVE math!!!” It was such a high. To share it with him, to support him, and to celebrate with him. He did very well in the tournament, and while I was excited about that, I was able to reel myself in and tell him how glad I was for him, that it wasn’t just about winning, but that he’d found courage to try something new, and he’d worked hard, been kind to the other kids and been a great team player. I was abuzz all day and couldn’t fall asleep that night. I am so glad I took a chance and hung in there with my boy! :)

  • I will never regret letting go of a full time job for part time work so that I could spend time every day with my mom in the last months of her life.

    It was an honor and a privilege to be able to help her, to listen to her stories (again!), to see the love in her eyes and watch the grace that enveloped her as she contemplated her life and that to come.

    We grew closer than we had ever been and developed a genuine appreciation of and gratitude for the women we had become through our cycle of giving and receiving.

    No amount of money or status or a credit on my resume could replace such a priceless treasure as that experience.

  • I will never regret deciding to become a better person despite how I was raised. I will never regret having the courage to admit I did not have good relationship skills. I will never regret doing everything in my power to overcome this because I knew I deserved to be in a great relationship and what it took to obtain that.

  • Not letting fear rule my life, and keep me from taking the actions I need to take most.

  • I had initially purchased “1,000 + Little Things Happy Successful People Do Differently” as an e-book. I later purchased the paperback version, which is probably one of the best investment decisions that I have made. I find that I can read and study a book more intently when I read the physical version.

    Thank you, Marc and Angel, for publishing this list. You lead by example in your work. I am a better man for having discovered you.

  • I will never regret the time I’ve invested in my kids. Now that they are teens, I’m realizing how important building that strong foundation in the early years was. Plus, they are really cool people and I enjoy the heck out of being a part of their growing and learning, and doing my own growing and learning alongside them. They make me laugh until my stomach hurts, and are some of the most adventurous travel companions I’ve known. I am forever grateful that I get to be their mom and on this journey together, and that I followed my heart and kept our connections intact.

  • This is a great article!

  • Thank you!
    Continue inspiring others :)

    Love lots from the Philippines!

  • Hello, I will never regret being the best wife and mother I could be. I love my family!

    I will also never regret discovering your site, and reading every post and the comments from all of your followers. I feel so privileged to be a part of this. I recognize some of the names of the different people who comment, and I take your comments to heart. Thank you all.

  • I love your always positive, encouraging, inspiring messages! I will never regret searching for the love of my life, after many trials & tribulations (alot of emotional heartache and financial aggravation) in the relationship department, I was blessed back in 2009 to meet my perfect for me husband. He’s awesome! It takes some of us a lot longer than others to find the right one… LOL I never regret trying to keep him happy, as I know he does the same for me.

    I too have given up trying to obtain my mothers approval and feeling as if no matter what I do is not good enough in her opinion. Some people are just always have a negative woe is me attitude and I realized no matter how much positive pep talks I do will not change anything. People don’t change UNLESS THEY WANT TO MAKE THE EFFORT TO CHANGE! So I do my best to not let it bother me so much anymore & go on surrounding myself with people who love me, appreciate me ( and my cooking!) & are a joy to be around. I am blessed beyond my dreams!

    Thank you for your constant reminders; I pass them on!

  • What a touching story! I especially connected with the idea of not making excuses and putting in the effort.

    I feel like love is deepening more and more in my life and I don’t miss a chance to tell my husband how much I love and appreciate him everyday.

  • Making the most of the time we have on our hands today is probably the smartest thing to do. Because tomorrow will always be one day too late…

  • Melissa Webster
    March 4th, 2014 at 2:39 am

    @SarahSeaGreen Beautiful story! It really made me smile. Thanks for sharing. :)

    Warm Regards.

  • I don’t regret quitting my job yesterday! Sad, but no regrets. I’m sure bet I’ll live longer now.

  • Number 3 and number 7 have always held me back… Never again! Thank you for inspiring us!

  • Sound advice. My only suggestion: turn these points into affirmations rather than negations. Instead of a list of avoiding regret, it could be one of enabling satisfaction.

  • I will not regret treading on to follow my path despite what others tell me and no matter how much I’ll keep getting made fun of. I won’t regret not being in a relationship either when it seems like everyone around me is in one. I don’t want one just for the sake of being in one.

  • I will not regret telling those who mean so much to me the truth about who I truly am. I carried a lie for far too long and finally grew to the understanding that I needed to live the life that was given to me. So, I told everyone that mean the most to me that I am bisexual and nothing that they said would ever change who I am or who I will always be.

  • I’ve been helping my family a lot recently and I know that will help me in the long run.

  • Point 21 is so important.

    We tend to forget to appreciate what we currently have until its gone.

    We complain about the most mundane and superficial things that we often overlook the big picture.

  • Melissa Webster
    March 5th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    @Kevin Awesome. Just awesome. I wish you the best of luck as you move forward in your truth and honesty.

    Warm Regards,

  • I think it is best to not have any regrets at all. If you do there is nothing that can be done to change them. Moving forward and living in the present is the best way.

  • @Dev: It brings a smile to my face to know that we were able to play a part and bring you and your friend together. Thank you for sharing. I am sure you made her day! =)

    @Glenn: It’s never too late to enjoy another beautiful day. Thank you for giving it a chance and a smile. =)

    @Sandesh: So glad to read your comment and get to know you better. Thank you for sharing your story.

    @Masudul Hansan: Congratulations! What an exciting moment.

    @All: As always, my heart is filled with joy and happiness after reading all these positive comments. Each and every one of you continues to inspire us. Thank you for your beautiful words.

  • I will never regret signing up to Marc and Angel! You guys ROCK and it love you!!! X o

  • I will not regret giving up my partying ways, dropping “friends” who don’t stick around for the hard times, giving up Facebook, focusing on school and finally graduating, and putting 100% into my marriage again. But most of all, we shocked our family and friends to announce that we are moving out of state soon. My husband has been extremely unhappy with his business for over 5 years, and we are done with our current “keeping up with the Joneses” lifestyle. We are moving out of state for a financially secured future, in a family-focused, not so “Housewives of the O.C.” community. All these things I listed have been done in the past year and a half, and I feel like it has been a type of spiritual/mind cleansing. For the past 6 months I have prayed that things fall into place if they are meant to be with our move, and things are going better than we could imagine. Thank you Marc and Angel for this blog. It has been inspirational.

  • Oh, that image of your grandfather picking a fresh flower for your grandmother every day really hit home. Goosebumps. And made me realize how important it is to make time for those little things today - not tomorrow.

    Something I won’t regret is allowing myself to start writing. (I was super scared + started *blogging* behind an “under construction” screen as I was too afraid to share my shaky *I haven’t found my voice yet!* writing with the world. Seriously.) I’ve been blogging for about 3 years now and I love the writing process more than I can tell. So glad I allowed myself those messy beginnings :)

  • What a post! Thanks Marc. And thanks also for the contribution of everyone. The comments are all great and means a lot to me.

    I accepted a new challenge. To go work in another country, moving alone. I’ll be out of my comfort zone and i know i will struggle sometimes, but overall, i will grow in this experience, personally and professionally. So this is one thing i know i will not regret.

    Another thing that i have done lately is to take time for me, invest in me to try to understand who i am. I was doing #23 above (struggling to find happiness outside of me). Now i know that it is all inside of me. I’m not there yet, but i am more and more happy. Meditation and yoga help me a lot. So i definetely don’t regret that decision to take care of me.

    And lastly, i need to do more of #19 (helping others when you were able). Most of us are relentlessly pursuing selfish ambition, but this is a dead end. I took the following sentence from the blog “becoming minimalist” to illustrate the way of life i’m promoting: “Our lives are going to find lasting significance in how we choose to live them… and how we enable others to live theirs”.

    Happy life to all!

  • I will never regret leaving the Bay Area (where I was born & raised) & my corporate job for the Sierra foothills & a simpler life.

    When I finally realized the place I knew & loved only existed in my memories due to the influx of people & money is when I accepted it was okay to move on. This has been one of the best life decisions yet. Each day is a new adventure/struggle (depending on the moment) & I wouldn’t have it any other way.

    Thanks for the encouraging words.
    Cheers ~ Erica

  • I will not regret giving up a rewarding career in nursing to help my oldest daughter by babysitting her two small sons! I love my grandsons’s enthusiasm and exuberance! They keep me on my toes, but keep me young at the same time!

  • I decovered your blog today and opened this post because of the wonderful photography. Your list is complete and I sign every point of it. Most of these things, we know them inside ourselves, but we do most of the times, forget them, forget to live our life.
    Thanks for this list.
    Have a nice day,

  • This week I had to give up breastfeeding my tongue-tied son. I won’t regret the months of hour long feeds, cracked nipples and expressing. I won’t regret switching to formula. I won’t regret these things because I I’ll know did everything I could to do the thing that was best for my baby.

  • Last Sunday i went for a not planned visit.
    I’ve visited the home country of my parents.

    There I’ve sat close to my aunt, suffering from a stroke , we coudn’t really communicate, she can’t move or talk. So i told her the news about my family and me. She listened and nodded a little.
    I left the care unit crying.

    The next stop was at another aunt.
    She’s suffering Alzheimer and lives now in a small Waldorf care unit.
    Although she recognized me and we could talk a while, I felt the loss of her personality very deeply
    I left the House crying.

    And then, the hardest visit, at my 81 years old uncle, who had to bring his wife after 52 years of living together, into the Alzheimer care.
    We could talk and laugh and he told stories from when he was young. And i felt so deep und intense love for the last old member of a once very large family.
    I left his house crying.

    I’ve been crying a lot lately, this last Sunday, but it made me happy as well, seeing all my old family members. I know I won’t regret it.

    I hope people come and visit me when I’m old and need friendly company.

    Thank you for the post !

  • This is really inspiring, I’m currently living with regret in my early 30’s. I’m a single mom of a teenage son, still trying to finish school and enter into a career I will love to do, instead of the miserable job I’m on currently. I always wanted to travel and regret that I’m not doing so in my early 30’s I don’t want to wait until I’m too old, but unfortunately it seems I may have to, if I don’t get my finances in order. Somethings are just much easier said then done.

    Slowly pushing through…

  • Thanks for the inspiring post… life is good, with you Marc and Angel. Keep it up!!

  • I retired a year early and moved across the US to be near my sister while she was dying of colon cancer. My wonderful husband told me “You’ll never have a second chance to do this. We’re going NOW.” She and I had never lived near one another in our adult lives, and we had time to share some fun and mischief during the 17 months we had together.

  • This was an awesome post. I did T25 this morning to keep fit. I also took an aerial dance class which was way out of my comfort zone. I loved it.

  • I will not regret starting my very own theater company while maintaining a healthy relationship with the people that truly matter to me, especially my boyfriend.

    I will not regret attending that theater conservatory and growing as an artist.

    I will not regret giving affection and saying “I love you” to my boyfriend and my family every single day.

  • Good stuff as usual Marc and Angel!

  • Letting him go.

  • Thank you. I needed this! For too long I’ve put off living due to regrets. This will be the start of a new life. We never know how long we will have to say/do things ee need. Happiness is to share! I will finish 2 books started years ago; and more. Thanks again. And, I will read more of your & Angel’s work!

  • My parents live in a city 200 miles away. For the past several years, whenever I come to town on business, I’ve stayed at their house instead of getting a hotel room. My mother passed away unexpectedly last year, and my Dad is now suffering from Alzheimer’s. I’m so grateful for the evenings and mornings we spent together talking over dinner or breakfast.

  • Thanks. I am nearly 20 and i sometimes fear that these things will happen to me.

  • I will not regret taking a challenge from my friend, Stephanie Jones, ( to make a difference to someone everyday for 365 days. I am currently on day 334 and loving it! It has changed my life.

  • When I read this, it reminded me of a quote by Robin Sharma in the movie Finding Joe that really struck a chord: “No matter how long you get to live, life is ultimately very short. And before all of us know, we’re going to be dust. And the street sweeper gets buried next to the CEO. And all that really matters at the end of the day is how big we showed up and how courageous we were. And I think when we are on our death bed, what fills our heart with the greatest regret is not all the risks we took and not all the opportunities we seized and not all the times we went out on a limb and looked silly. What fills our heart with the greatest regret at the end of our life is all the risks we didn’t take and all the opportunities we didn’t seize.”

  • This should me a daily missal for every person on this earth of ours in every language. Thank you. It’s an excellent excellent guide for all : )

  • I have enjoyed looking through some of your posts I love how you motivate through a simplistic style!

    Keep on motivating!

  • I have traveled to 28 different countries in our beautiful world. I have likely spent the money that most people usually save for retirement, but I don’t regret one dime. There is nothing more wonderful than experiencing people, sights and cultures around the world! As an ER nurse, I know all too well that life can end in the least expected moment. I want to die with the least regrets possible!

    I also do not regret letting go of two “friends” in the past six months who repeatedly reminded me how unsuccessful, insignificant and hopeless I was…at least in their minds. A hurdle to overcome and a lesson in self -confidence. Thankful for words like yours to remind me that I matter!

  • I am really struggling with regrets. LOTS of them. I also lost my positivity due to my past decisions, but I know in myself that that won’t do any good to me. So, I need to help myself. I know it won’t be easy but I know I’ll get through it somehow. And..because of this, I became more determined to get past through all that shit I’ve been through. Life is short. I gotta get the best out of it. Instead of complaining and rambling about the “what ifs” and “what could have beens” of my life, I will start making new moments and be happy again.

    Thank you for this push. It meant a lot.

  • Just did number 3 yesterday. Told my friend I had feelings for her and couldn’t deal with just being friends any longer. Cost me a friendship probably, but we’re only here for a minute. You can sit on the sidelines or always wonder “what if”. I will not be on my deathbed wondering and regretting. Who knows if she’ll change her mind in my favor..?

  • Amazing! I love this post! Worth reading! I bookmarked it!

  • Thanks Marc and Angel for this wake up calls.

  • I have never regretted saying “no” when involved in an unsuitable relationship, at the appropriate time before it gets too late.

  • I do not regret becoming a nurse. I struggle with it because it is a stressful, demanding job but at the end of it all I know I have helped people. I have saved lives, comforted the dying, made children smile, and chatted with the lonely. My life will ultimately be fuller because of those I have cared for.

  • So many of us fit into one or more of these categories - I see myself in several. Certainly a lot of food for thought.

    I will not regret my recent trip to Illinois to see my baby sister. The years are flying by an we r getting older and it was soooo good spending some girl time with her.

  • I will NOT regret that I am finally living my life for me and doing what makes me happy and not what others want for me.

  • Sorry, I commented in haste yesterday and missed the question at the end of your post. I regret that. :-)

    It’s a difficult question for me either way, though. On the one hand, the regrets are so infinitely many, so huge, so irreparable–where would I even begin? On the other hand, if I try to think of things I’ve done that I don’t or won’t regret … I pretty much come up empty.

    I guess I won’t regret bringing home a couple of books I thought loved ones would like yesterday, or saying a kind word to a co-worker. As far as the big things go, my life is shot, but one can still do a small kindness now and then.

  • As I was thinking of the things I don’t regret: I don’t regret taking care of my mom the final years of her life. I’d do it again if I could. I don’t regret having my two sons, although I see some of my not so good traits in them. I suddenly realized I’ve been operating from far too much a negative place inside of me because my life hasn’t turned out so far, like I thought or wanted. I admit . When I was younger (57 now) I didn’t have a clear picture of what I. Wanted or needed but I know how my life it some what disappointing. However I realized I don’t regret BEING ME! This is huge for me to say and believe it! I am the only piece like me in this puzzle of the universe; i am a part of history and the future that only I can fill my spot flaws and all. I don’t regret being me. Thank you for your posts and leading me to this
    Wonderful realization and truth!

  • OMG!
    Every point is worth paying attention to!! Its is huge mix of humanity and personal interests.
    Thank you so much!

  • I will never regret moving back to Michigan this past May. I lived in San Diego for 11 months and realized that I needed to get home and spend time with my father who I never had a relationship with up until about 2 years ago. My mom passed away over 7 years ago and I didn’t want to miss out on the moments shared with my dad after so many years, not knowing how much time that I will have with him while he is still here. This brings me much peace.

  • I found your website truly inspiring and uplifting. After being with my company for 6 years. I decided to resign. It is the best decision I could have ever made. Even though i loved my job. The people and company i worked for were very toxic. I was getting harassed almost on a daily basis. I would go home after work worrying if i did everything i was suppose to do. Because i knew if i forgot one little thing i would find a not so nice email or note. I wasn’t even allowed to be sick or have a day off. That is no way to work. And even though i don’t have a job lined up. I know that i will find another one. It is better to live a happy joyful blessed life then to live with stress worry and people putting you down. My husband is currently located in Mexico and since resigning i will be moving there. I am so exciting to be starting this new journey in my life.

  • I have just stumbled on this post when i was low. I started a blog a month ago and it has not been doing well. I almost gave up, but this article has dissuaded me. I will not allow people or things to talk me out of my dreams; i will stop settling for less than i am capable of, and i will start putting in effort that will correspond to the place i want to be 10 years from now. Thanks lots.

  • I have a question. I have wanted to do something for sometime now and when was given the chance to apply for it, got scared and didn’t go for it. Then I was given the opportunity to do something similar but was unable to focus on it because my regrets from not applying to what I wanted were getting in the way. I was given the opportunity to try for the the thing that I regretted not taking but now I am regretting giving up what I had to go for it. What should I do..? (if that even makes sense)

  • Of the 40 items on that list, I am actively living at least half. Items 18, 15, and 29 are at the root of my disfunction. #18 in particular is the key I believe. Thank you for this article. It has given me clarity and helped me employ the courage to move forward. Also - thank you for the challenge question. My first instinct was to share this with others. However, I realize I have to help myself first and live my truth before I can testify to anyone else.

  • I love your article. Very touching, almost in tears. Life is so precious and your words are very inspiring. I will continue reading it over and over again. Thank you, so much!

  • I often wonder why my life seems to be so full. I don’t have everything but I have a life that is just so full. Having read your article I now understand more of why my life is the way it is. Every morning I get up and can’t wait to get going and see what the day is going to bring. I am always cheering up the miserable, smiling at people I don’t know, caring about people who don’t even think of me (sometimes they do but not as often), and looking all around me and this fantastic world. No drink, no drugs, no smoking. I just love life.

  • I will never regret staying in my marriage through all the hard times, we’ve been through more than our fair share. After 12 years of marriage I’m even more in love with my husband now then in the beginning. My life wouldn’t be as amazing without him. It’s been really hard at times but that’s never going to be regretted either because all our mistakes have brought us closer then most people ever are lucky enough to experience. I’ve found my soul mate and I’m glad that I was blessed enough to have unconditional love. Too many people give up, the advice I can give is to remember why you fell in love with someone and hold onto that and encourage and love that person through the hard times. Help them to become a better version of their selves and uplift them even when you feel they don’t deserve it. My husband was worth fighting for in my eyes and so I did and will forever be grateful I did.

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