I recently read an article on common regrets of older people as they looked back over their lives. I realized that I still had time to impact and improve my life and career as I kept reading. Here are the main regrets that stuck out to me and how I plan to not add them to my personal regret list.
- I wish I had pursued my dreams and aspirations, and not the life others expected of me. At HORNE, we are encouraged to see things with a windshield view, to be forward thinking, to own our careers and to identify areas of improvement—all with the purpose of charting a path to our full potential. It’s important to do some soul searching and ensure we are pursuing what we are passionate about. One of my favorite tools for this is a vision board. If you’ve never made one, I highly encourage it.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. As breadwinners, our lives are often taken over by work, making a living or pursuing a career. While those things are important, so is career-life integration. Using this principle we can architect our lives in such a way that allows us to earn enough money to sustain living while spending time with the loved ones that make life worth living.
- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings and speak my mind. I, along with many, do not like to confront difficult situations and people, but I have learned that I can confront things constructively. HORNE has invested in educating us to engage in those difficult conversations that require us to be transparent with others while trusting their good intentions. Confrontation is unavoidable, so entering a conversation with the correct mindset will help all of us grow and become a more cohesive workforce.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. Over a lifetime, many people realize that there were some relationships that were valuable to us and we should have maintained them. Relationships enrich our lives, prolong our days of health, and are worth the effort to maintain.
- I wish I had taken more risks. Fear of failure can cause you to play it too safe. Could you have a richer, more fulfilling life if you take some risks and disturb the status quo?
- I wish I had taken better care of myself. The time to invest in self-care is now. Make it a top priority. So many people report that if they'd eaten better, slept more, and paid more attention to their health and well-being, they might not have gotten sick.
- I wish I’d have done more for others. There are countless wishes from people who dreamed of making a difference through kindness, compassion, and acts of service. Take the time now to give back and avoid regrets.
Each year, it’s easy to set goals whether it’s to exercise, travel, move up in our career, join a club, learn to dance, play an instrument, learn a foreign language, etc. Too often we make the mistake of setting the start date for tomorrow, next month, January 1st of the new year, or “as soon as I get myself together” (whatever that means to you). Also, too often, we never get started at all. Choose one item above and define what you will start doing to make sure it doesn’t end up as a regret for you. Take it one at a time and you’ll always be one step closer to a fuller life.
About the Author
Lillian is a supervisor in government services at HORNE LLP where she specializes in compliance monitoring of CDBG funds, program guidelines, contractual agreements and state and federal regulations. She is passionate about building meaningful relationships and leading her team and her clients to reach their full potential.