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Thursday, August 20, 2020

What Will You Regret in 10 Years?

We can all improve the quality of our lives, but it’s hard to change. Here are five common inner excuses we all use and how to overcome them.

Maybe you have always wanted to paint. Or you wish you could spend more time with the grand kids. Or you have an idea for a little business you could start. But it never happens.

We all know how easy it is to procrastinate. There are a million reasons not to do something. The house needs to be cleaned. My schedule is already full. I might fail. So you stick to your routine, and time slips away. But what if you only had a month to live? How important would those excuses seem then?

Thinking about what you would do if you knew your time was limited can help you identify what you should be doing, right now, to create more satisfaction in the life you have. Following are a handful of common excuses, and how you can choose to act instead.

The time isn’t right.

Don’t wait until everything is just right. It will never be perfect. There will always be challenges, obstacles and less-than-perfect conditions. So what? Get started now. With each step you take, you will grow stronger and stronger, more and more skilled, more and more self-confident and more and more successful. — Mark Victor Hansen

There will never be a perfect time. So start now on whatever project or dream you’ve been setting aside. Download a podcast to learn about a new topic, join a class (many are available on the internet, even art classes!), make an appointment with a therapist, go on a walk or put $5 in your vacation fund.

Someone else is more important than me.

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. —Steve Jobs

Many of us have never discovered who we are because we are busy being the perfect wife, working in the “right” profession or imitating what our friends think and value. The greatest gift we can give ourself is being authentic, and finding happiness in our true self. Forget about what others think you should do and decide what you want to do.

I failed, so I’m quitting.

Don’t quit. Never give up trying to build the world you can see, even if others can’t see it. Listen to your drum, and your drum only. It’s the one that makes the sweetest sound. — Simon Sinek

Everyone fails. Even the people you think walk on water. It is how we learn. It is how we get stronger, gain confidence, and overcome obstacles. Every great gain in life, and every tiny one as well, starts with failure. Embrace it!

No one thinks I can.

What “pick yourself” means is that it’s never been easier to decide to be responsible for your own work, for your own agenda, for the change you make in the world. To have a chance to matter. Not to be finished right now, but starting now. Pick yourself means we should stop waiting and whining and stalling. The outcome is still in doubt, but it’s clear that waiting just doesn’t pay. — Seth Godin

That’s right: you can choose yourself, even if you’ve been told you can’t do it. You can start writing that novel, or learning a new language, or practicing yoga. Seek out people who encourage your growth and do something new.

I’m too scared.

Try and fail, but don’t fail to try. ―John Quincy Adams

Creating new habits is hard. Doing the same thing is easy. We all need to take action to initiate a skill. Hockey star Wayne Gretzky said, “You miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Take one step toward your new goal. Then another. Something will get in the way but figure out how to overcome it. Take another step. Gretzky didn’t get famous in one game. He practiced over and over and over, and he didn’t quit. You don’t need to become famous, but you do need to keep trying.

So, what would you do if you had a month to live? What will you regret you did not do 10 years from now? Your list will change over time, but if you make it now and act on it, you will feel empowered. Find a friend to make a similar list and support each other in your new ventures. One of the best things we can do to feel young as we age is to continue growing our knowledge and allocating our time to people and projects we love.

Click below for the other articles in the August 2020 Senior Spirit


Blog posting provided by Society of Certified Senior Advisors