10 Things We’ll Probably Regret When We’re Old

12 Honest Reasons Why Time Is Not On Your Side

Reaching out to all you fellow teenagers and young adults out there, how often do you sit and wonder how many of the decisions you make now you might regret in the future? I’m not talking about regretting being a teenager/young adult or regretting this rebellious stage in our lives (staying out too late; flunking the odd test; making the wrong decisions when concerning a night out), I’m referring more to making decisions now that could downgrade the quality of our lives as we grow older by a significant amount.

To be honest, I feel that I live by the quote: “Never regret anything because at one time it was exactly what you wanted.” I don’t know who said it (I’d be thankful if you let me know in the comments, if you know who it was) but I find it particularly apt. That being said, there are some things that I feel I might regret in the future in terms of the quality of my life.

If you’re not sure what I mean, allow me to illustrate it to you…

10 Things We’ll Probably Regret When We’re Old

  1. Not taking care of our physical well-being.
    We are often at the peak of our fitness during our younger years but, in this generation particualrly, our younger years are spent more lounging on the sofa in front of the television and surfing the net than they are cycling around the block and climbing trees. Furthermore, I am not only referring to how much sport we partake in or how many hours of sunlight we have on our backs but also in taking care of our bodies too: eating the right stuff, making sure our teeth are kept clean and healthy, and not neglecting our health.
  2. Not doing something.
    You will rarely look back and think ‘I wish I had not done that’ but will probably be more likely to look back and say ‘I wish I had done that’. If you don’t do something, you’re leaving yourself open to the possibilty of ‘what if’. Trapped within the eternal misery of ‘my life could be different somehow’ or ‘I could’ve escaped that negative aspect of my life’ and not knowing could be a harmful thing.
  3. Caring too much about what others think.
    I know all to well what it’s like to be afraid of other’s perceptions of you, but if you live your life trying to please others it gives you little time to spend trying to please yourself. Surely it’s best off being who you are or want to be because the people that you are trying to impress now will cease to remember you, and vice versa, in forty or fifty years time, I’m sure. The most important thing, perhaps in life, is to stay true to who you are. Click here for some inspiration.

    The people who mind don’t matter and the people who matter don’t mind. – Dr Seus

  4. Making the most of our resources.
    Living in this day and age, we are exposed to so many different resources and it’s about time we started to use them to better our lives. Opinionated about a topic? Share your views online or even in places such as parliament. Want to learn a new language? Use whatever tools your school or college offers and then further your learning by using courses online. Another resource that is often important to make the most of is our family members. Grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles all have memories that, if not shared, can be forgotten. Make sure you listen to them and share them so that they live on even when you and your ancestors don’t.
  5. Not standing up for yourself.
    Standing up for yourself will provide you with the self-respect that you deserve. What’s more is that if you have respect for yourself, it is likely that others will have respect for you too – and who, in life, doesn’t wish to be respected? Of course, it is important not to let this respect turn into arrogance.
  6. Worrying.
    Worrying is about as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.
  7. Not spending enough time with our loved ones.
    Your loved ones will not always be there to spend time with, to learn from, to make memories with. Take the opportunities you have to spend time with them by the head and use them. Your grandparents, parents, siblings and friends won’t always be here.
  8. Not seeing your favourite musicians in concert.
    Imagine this:
    Don’t worry – I’ll just catch Nirvana next time they’re in town.
    ‘Nuff said.
  9. Not paying attention in school.
    School is the foundation of everything. As much as you might despise it whilst you are there, it provides you with life and social skills such as time management as well as knowledge. These things are so important to set you up in life so letting an opportunity to learn pass is a foolish mistake. As you grow older, it will be more difficult to learn so it is so important to learn as much as you can as soon as you can.
  10. Not pursuing your dreams.
    Holding back on your dreams in order to better others chances of achieving theirs may seem like a noble thing to do but it will probably result in bitterness. Take your dream and go an achieve it. You never know how drastic the change in your life could be if you do so. So if you’re sitting on a talent, go and use it and don’t let it waste away.


Add yours →

  1. 3. Caring too much about what others think.
    Mother Theresa has a beautiful saying. search her and ‘anyway’. I found it, and it now resides on my bathroom mirror for my viewing every morning as I get ready and every evening before I go to bed.

    You are pretty amazing. I believe your thoughts are on the right track. 🙂

  2. I’m at the other end of the age spectrum…53. There is a lot of wisdom in what you have written. #8 particularly rings true for me. I would add three things to your list. #6 should, I think, be worry and guilt. Guilt is the biggest waste of emotional space that there is – it only serves to make one feel bad. I would also add not taking every opportunity to travel, and racking up credit card debt. Great post!

    • Fifty-three is not at the other end of the age spectrum at all. You’re still in your prime, Miss.

      Ah, thank you for the advice. I’d love to travel but I’ll keep that point in mind.

      Thank you!

  3. I hate to tell you this but the chances are as you get older you will find that you are still doing all the same things except for the first one. That I am afraid is as much pot luck as anything else, things like cancer don;t care about your age or lifestyle just look at the number of kids that die as a result of childhood leukaemia, The reality is that the only practical thing you can do to try to avoid regrets is to focus on specific ones, write a bucket list (I am doing 50 things before 50 so I guess you could start with 20 before 20) there will never be enough time and definitely never enough money to do everything you want, the one I really do advise you following through on though is the quizzing of the grandparents while you can, and I do not just mean before they are gone but also while their memories are clear and they can have the pleasure of knowing you actually care about their stories.

    The best advice I can give you is don’t worry too much about the future, focus on being the most you can be everyday now and they future will take care of itself. 😀

    • Of course, I mean, bad health can often be inevitable and that is the sad truth although there are a lot of other factors of one’s life that can be affected by the actions one takes during their younger years. That, of course, doesn’t mean you will have no regrets – sadly, regrets can also be inevitable.

      I think a bucket list is a wonderful idea. I’ll definitely be starting one.

      Thank you for the advice – they really are some wonderful words. Thanks. 🙂

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