When asked what they regret the most when on their death bed, most reply: not following their dreams, not listening to their hearts... it is always about not doing something. And thus they are left to face death with a heavy “What if?” hanging over their heads.
What if I had pursued what I was passionate about?
What if I had married the person of my dreams instead of the one picked out for me?
What if I had seen the world more and truly breathed it in instead of saving for something I won’t carry with me?
What if.... and the list goes on.
It’s one of my fears too... regretting at the end of my life the paths not taken. While it’s impossible for any human to make all the right choices all the time, we can do our best to minimize the what ifs that can come hounding later on.
As cliched as it sounds, seize the opportunities that come to you or you chance upon. Don’t settle for the wrong person/job/career just because you have pressure from outside. Have kids if you want to. Be childfree if that’s what you desire. Be brave enough to love more openly, more deeply, and more intensely. To hell with fear of cheesiness! Let people cringe (and ignore the little part of you that cringes too) but don’t keep away from that bear hug. (Unless the person cringing is the one you are hugging, in which case pls stop hugging immediately)
Make it one of your missions to pluck out and throw away every ‘What if’ that comes your way. And how do you do that? Consult with wise people who have experience, seek counsel in prayer, research, and listen to your heart. Living a what if free life doesn’t have to mean reckless living. It’s about making more informed choices that benefit you. It’s about not letting outside voices drown out the voice inside you.
At the end of the day, as we draw in the last breath, let us not regret the things we didn’t do, the love we didn’t give more freely, the friendships we didn’t celebrate more fiercely. Let’s not what if our way out of life.
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