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How do we live without regret?
I wish I had pursued my dream.
I wish I lived a different life.
I wish I never got married.
I hate that I didn’t do enough with my life.
Do you know how many people think this way? Apparently, many.
I read these and other confessions, result of a beautifully executed interactive gallery installation by Taiwanese American artist, Candy Chang.
Candy created a space for people to anonymously share their confessions and regrets and it is heart-wrenching to read some of them. She gave people an opportunity to be completely honest and the voyeur in us rejoices.
Could it be that we feel less alone this way?
I wonder how many of us will read this and decide to do something about our own regrets?
What strikes me the most (yes, I read almost all of them) is the number of people regretting their lives and decisions they have made.
and then more…
and even more…
We don’t like talking about this. We prefer to numb ourselves or get lost in “busyness” of life and pretend like we didn’t have the time to do otherwise.
“The last time I saw my dad, I didn’t tell him I loved him even though I knew it would be the last time I saw him. I’m sorry dad. I miss you every day.” – see it here.
After I read these Confessions, it made me think about whether regret might play a role in how we make future decisions. Or – how many of us might make different decisions based on regrets of other people, for example:
This confession I found in one of the Quora forums, but it is only one of many.
I don’t know about you, but this made me think about my own life. I try and live on purpose every single day, but like I say to all of my clients: I fail daily but I get up and try it again.
For me, reading this is a reminder that choosing a non conventional path is theONLY way to live life on purpose and without regret.
By a non conventional path, I mean living life on YOUR own terms and not subscribing to what we “should” be doing. As much as we would all like to think that we are all pursuing our happiness, we are actually following down the path of rules created by someone else and we never stop and question where we may be headed.
Let me ask you this: if this was you in this booth – what would be your confession or your regret?
Living on purpose is not easy.
It means making difficult decisions now.
It means going against everything we have been taught.
It makes us face all of our fears, mostly of failing and the unknown.
Living on purpose is not easy, but it is the only way to live without regret. Only you can make that decision and it starts with today.
It starts small. It starts with you. Today.
Now, I would love to learn from you: do regrets of others make you think differently about your own life? If not, why not?
Will reading this make a difference?
I always love to hear from you. I read every email.
By the way – you can read all of these confessions right here. Hope you enjoy.
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