Avoiding Regret: Living Life on Your Terms

Written by Tye Jiles

We all dream of doing something spectacular that impacts the world in a positive way or maybe even something subtle to leave our mark but most people won't even attempt that dream due to fear. I was one of those people. I dreamt of being many things due to my obsession with reading books, I traveled to all these places in the world every single day and longed for the adventure that awaited beyond those tattered pages. The history of the world amazed me and to this day my love affair with Italy in my mind and how fun it would be to fall asleep in the fields of Tuscany or trekking through the rainforests around the world and happening a upon a native tribe and befriending them. Yes I wanted to live out all those adventures but I was afraid. I was afraid to get on planes, my grandmother always creeped me out with stories about being abducted, and being outside of my comfort zone was just not an option. I have always loved dancing, if I could dance in my sleep I think I probably would. I remember having the flu and making my way to school to audition for the dance team. I was determined to make it and I had practiced and waited for my chance to break out my shyness and dance to different genres of music, all the kinds of music I had read about in all those books, but I didn't make it, not because I couldn't dance but because I was unknown. The popular kids (some who had two left feet) made the team boosting their social status to another level. Gladly, popularity was never my thing but I never tried out for dance again. I thought if I got rejected for the one thing I was so sure about, how could I ever try out for anything again? I never tried to see what would happen because my spirit was crushed and I didn't see the point but I never stopped dancing. I regret not becoming a choreographer; it was a piece of me that I wish the world had seen. I have grown and changed. I discovered new passions and pursued them. If it wasn't for a college professor telling me to write, the voice I have now probably would have been silenced. It goes to show that encouragement can go a long way.

We are often stifled and pushed away from our dreams because one person may have discouraged us but when there are so many people around us that encourage us we focus on the negative and silence the encouragers. The reason why we hone in on the negative is because deep down we doubt our abilities and that one person who probably never took a risk in their own lives is the first one to knock down your dreams. Avoid that person. The best thing to do is have complete tunnel vision when trying to accomplish something meaningful. Having complete and total faith in yourself and your talents is the only thing you need to worry about. Who knows your skills better than you do? When you are dreaming about what you want in life nothing is more fulfilling than seeing those things become realities. Being able to wake up and be happy with what you are doing is a gift and when you are happy you give others your best. There is no reason to live life for others because they have their own paths to follow and each journey is significant to that individual. For example, don't try to chase after a career as a surgeon if you are squeamish about blood just because the money is good, I definitely don't want a doctor working on me that may pass out mid cut! No thank you! Often people chase after money thinking it will complete their lives but how many people do you know who are stuck in careers they hate just because they have financial security? If you chase after passion the financial security will fall into place. Doing what you love and makes will not only improve how you look at life but also encourage you to uplift others to follow their dreams. Happiness is contagious and once people see that you are content with your choices in life, they will gravitate towards that positivity. You will only realize that living life with no regrets is important when you see that your passion in life is not being fulfilled. That passion will not leave you alone, after a while it will start to pursue you.

Let's start by taking a moment to look at the big picture and then figuring where to go from there. You may not know where to start or you may be afraid to take the plunge. It may take a while to get into the swing of things but here are a few ways to get started.

  • Write it down. Get a journal, print out goal sheets (there are plenty available online for free), see the passion and speak it out loud. Nothing beats hearing your passion vocalized. Start writing "Janna Johnson-Designer, Kelly Ash-Psychologist, claim it and add it as another element of who you are becoming.
  • Visualize it. Vision boards are amazing! I have made a few and even when I am thinking of new things to write about or books I want to write in the future, I grab scissors, glue and a magazine and get to pasting my vision. It is good to have a visual of what you want to see happen in the future, it motivates you to see what it could become. It is the best way to encourage yourself, wake up and look at the vision board and get one step closer to making the vision a reality.
  • Pursue it. Don't think your time has passed or you missed your opportunity to accomplish something because you waited too long to go after it. As long as you are still breathing, there is nothing that you can't achieve. There are women who are getting college degrees at 60+ years old, mothers starting business after their children have left the nest, and women who came from horrible beginnings that changed their lives around and accomplished great things. It is never too late to start. There may be people who laugh at your desire to do something that they would never try but that's what makes you unique, your ability to stand out!

Regrets are fueled by fear and once you conquer that fear you will never look back. Today you must chose to avoid regretting the chances you never took because you were afraid, choose to be who you already are internally. Live that life you always want to by going after what is that you are passionate about. Don't wake up with regret on your heart; don't sulk in the "what-ifs" because the only person you will look back and not be able to face is yourself. So that you will be encouraged to take the next step, I may not be a choreographer but I will dance!


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Tags: dreams, goals, life, passions, regrets, women


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