All life is a learning process. If we stop learning, when we believe that nothing can surprise us anymore and the desire to discover new things abandon us, we begin to die slowly. However, there are some lessons that we should learn as soon as possible, to avoid repenting later of everything we would have done and we did not. In this regard, the American writer Harriet Beecher said: “The bitterest tears will be those of the unspoken words and unfinished Works”.
Valuable life lessons to avoid regrets
1. Life is now. We spend too much time complaining about the past and worrying about the future, while the present escapes us. We live in two eras that do not exist, and let all that we really have, the “here and now”, vanishes. The sooner we learn this lesson, the sooner we will be able to make the most of our time.
In fact, learning to enjoy the here and now, pay more attention to what surrounds us and to those we have close, will make us avoid to repent in the future. When we are aware that we are making the most of our time, we will have no reason to repent.
2. Don’t live thinking about what “you have” and “you don’t have” to do. The family, the partner, friends and society charge many expectations on our shoulders. The others expect us to behave in a certain way, take some decisions, and even that we feel certain emotions. However, direct our life trying to please everyone is the surest way to be unhappy.
Sometimes our wishes, dreams and decisions do not match the expectations of the others. But never mind! We shouldn’t feel guilty about it. If we are happy, we will trasmit this happiness and make others happy. And this is the true meaning of life, or at least should be. And we don’t need anyone’s permission to be happy or to indicate us the path to follow, because each path must be different. So, don’t limit your life to meet the expectations of others.
3. Don’t make a storm in a glass of water. We have an innate talent for tragedy. But every time we put in motion our catastrophic thought, we end up only harming us. In fact, it is likely that more than in one occasion, when you look at the past, you become aware of being worried for no reason or that you overreacted, always fearing the worst.
Life, usually, takes care to put everything in place and teaches us to have a more realistic and objective perspective for the situations we face. But if we learn early to take this attitude, we will save many headaches. Remember that when we are immersed in the problem it always seems bigger than it is, but it only takes just a step out to put everything in perspective.
4. Face your fears before they consume you. We all have fear, it is normal and we should not be ashamed of this. In fact, fear is a defensive emotion and warns us that something may be dangerous. But there are fears that are crippling, prevent us from growing. In such cases, it is necessary to overcome them.
Indeed, fears are only a product of our mind and our insecurities. A French philosopher said: “The man who is afraid when there is no danger, invents a threat to justify his fear”. The good news is that every time we overcome a fear we broaden somewhat our comfort zone, we grow as people and expand our horizon.
5. Step by step we go far away. When we are young we want everything immediately. We set objectives, and if we do not get them right away, we are disappointed and we surrender. This is due in large part to the erroneous messages that transmits our society, because we expect that our ambitions materialize like magic.
However, ancient philosophies such as Buddhism teach us that one step at a time we’ll go far away. Hurry is almost never a good counselor and the best things are achieved with patience and perseverance. Remember that often isn’t the goal, but the journey that counts. So, sometimes it is not the goals we have achieved that are important, but the person we have become while trying to reach them.
6. Don’t postpone happiness. Someone said that if you’re not happy with what you have, you won’t be happy with what you desire. Happiness, or at least daily happiness, is not in great strokes of luck but in small things. Therefore, the biggest mistake we can make is to postpone our happiness until we reach the goal of our life, only to realize that when we arrive, we will have a new goal that will consume all our energy.
Don’t expect to solve all the problems to be happy because there will always be other problems that take their place. Don’t put happiness on standby, because it’s not possible to standby life. We have to assume that each day has its good and bad things, but it is always a wonderful gift that should not be wasted.
7. Appreciate everything in life. Too often we take many things for granted, we think it has always been like that and always will. But it’s false! In fact, as we age we begin to appreciate those little things and understand that each of them is a huge gift, including health, life and people around us.
We can learn this lesson while we are still young and feel gratitude each day of our lives, a key feeling to feel happy and satisfied. So, make sure you thank everyday for something, however small. Many of the things you have the others don’t have them, such as take a simple walk or enjoy the sight of a beautiful flower.