The Big Regrets in Life Everyone Has but Needs to Avoid

By Robin Mei - January 09, 2017

Putting Work Ahead of Everything Else

Working long hours has somehow become the standard over the past couple of decades, especially for management.

Often faced with super short deadlines and backlogs of tasks, lots of people feel like they have no choice but to make certain sacrifices, mostly at the expense of their personal lives.

Every time theydecide to stay longer at work, another decision follows: “I’ll make it up the first time I get a chance, this weekend or the next.” But do we really do that?

Source: The 25 Biggest Regrets In Life. What Are Yours?

Letting the Bullies Get Away With It

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who hasn’t been bullied in some way during their school years or later on in life. Every time something like that would happen many victims would think, “I wish I had the strength to stand up for myself, but I was too scared…”

That devastating thought of not being strong enough to stand up to the treatment, or even unfairly judging oneself as being a coward, can haunt a person for the rest of their life.

Not Staying in Touch With Friends

Have you ever asked yourself how many true friends do you have? The friends you can rely on, friends you can call at any time of the day or night when you need them, friends for which you are ready to do anything.

The most sincere friendships are usually formed in the early years of our lives, at school, or maybe in college, but for some reason many of us let those friendships slip away.

Using Smartphones as a Crutch

Life without a smartphone seems almost impossible nowadays. How would we keep up with our work without them? How would we know what our friends are up to if it wasn’t for those little screens which keep us posted on everything?

The answer is pretty simple: the same way previous generations did. That doesn’t mean we should give up our smart devices. Only perhaps every now and then we should put them down and enjoy the analog life before it’s too late.

Getting Dumped By My One True Love

It’s a scenario that has repeated itself a billion times over the course of human history: a couple is in love one moment, then in complete misery the next. In some cases, it’s only one half of the equation that feels like anything was ever wrong.

Being on the cutting room floor in a relationship, especially when it involves your one true love, can be devastating. Constantly looking back at it wishing for things that can never be only ruins the chances for love in the now.


Always Worrying What Others Think

It’s no one’s fault for wanting to feel part of something, especially when it comes to the social aspects of life. That can come at a price, though, and it’s usually having a slight feeling of dread thinking that people are always judging each and everything you do.

People will always have opinions, good and bad. Trying to make sure you’re on the plus side with everyone can be an all-consuming waste of time. Let the haters hate. You’ve got better things to do.



So many people go through their lives feeling insecure and vulnerable. The less self-confidence they have, the more exposed they appear to be to other people’s views, opinions and criticism.

That’s not only hurtful, but it’s often harmful on so many levels. It’s like living a life in a self-created cage built out of someone else’s thought and attitudes we cannot control. Is that really how a person should live? Is that a feeling one should have when the final hour come?

Self-Confidence Was Never My Strong Point

Finding the right balance between feeling (or being) self-confident and having profound doubts about yourself is an extremely difficult skill to master. It takes time, willpower, strength, patience and lots of thoughtful reflection to find that delicate equilibrium.

Some people succeed, many don’t. When old age comes along people often regret why they didn’t try harder to build their own inner support system, why they failed so hard to believe in themselves, why they never felt worthwhile.

Living Someone Else's Life Instead of My Own

It’s never too late to start living your life exactly as you want it. So, before the final hour strikes, we should all take a moment and think about whose life are we truly living — the one we want, or the life of someone else?

Trying to live life to other people’s expectations is probably the hardest and miserable thing a person can do to themselves. The sad thing is, we usually come to this conclusion when it kind of late.

Not Applying For a Dream Job

There’s usually a long excuse list that people continually add to when it comes to applying for the job of their dreams. To be fair, life can get complicated at times, and stretching out for the big win can have its downsides.

What’s the worse that might happen? A person gets turned down. It’s something everyone has to go through. The point is the effort was made, which is a victory unto itself.

Letting Life Be Everything but Fun

Life is a game worth playing and it should be fun. Unfortunately, we often forget that, even in the early years of our lives. As a result, we continue playing it without any passion or heartfelt enthusiasm.

Having fun in life is more crucial than it may sound, but everyone should try and allow themselves the opportunity. Life can be serious, but trying to be more active and high-spirited helps to balance things out.

Forgetting About Traveling With Loved Ones

There’s much more to life than just working, running errands, sleeping, working again and then going through the same old cycle day after day. We all deserve a break from time to time.

Taking a trip with loved ones, even for a single day, can be very enriching on many levels. Going to the beach, spending a few hours by the lake or enjoying a hike together are some of the best ways to detox yourself from daily routines. Travel also lets you scratch a few things off your bucket list before its too late.

Allowing My Marriage to Fall Apart

Going through life alone with no one to kiss in the morning or to hug when you return home at night can be a sad way to live a life after you’ve had a special someone at your side but let them slip away.

You know what they say — it takes two to tango. Working on your relationship and making sure that it’s a quality one is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your partner. A little effort can go a long way.

Not Teaching My Kids How to do Stuff

When you look back and remember your childhood, what are the most precious memories you have with your parents? Chances are it’s something you did together.

Spending time with your kids by playing together, or showing them how to make or build something is a positive way to teach them life’s little lessons. Kids learn from us the same way we used to learn from our parents — both the good things and bad things.

Refusing to Set Aside Petty Arguments

Some things in life are worth fighting for, some are better to let go. The only person who gets to decide what should be done is you. But, before you make that final call, take a moment with yourself and reflect if you are at peace with the choice you’re about to make.

Burying the hatchet (particularly with family and friends) is way more complicated than simply winding up to take another swing, we know. But it’s worth it — trust us.

Ignoring That Inner Voice

We may call it intuition or an inner voice, but whatever name we choose to use for that extraordinary feeling, it is something none of us should ignore.

People tend to make decisions based on rational arguments and hard proof evidence, which is never a bad thing. If the gut has something to say, it pays to listen to it. Sometimes intuition can be a hard feeling to translate, but it’s worth it when personal happiness is at stake.

Being Too Shy to Ask Someone Out

Seize the day or let it go; everything left in the middle might haunt you for the rest of your life. Like not telling a boy or girl how you felt about them, or not asking them on a date just because you assumed you’d be turned down.

Living in the moment and letting your true feelings show towards a person are not easy things for people to do. Think ‘carpe diem’ when there’s someone you really want to get to know better.

Hanging Out With the Wrong People

Some argue that dumb people never recognize their mistakes while smart ones learn from them. We all have made some bad choices in our lives, especially in our youth. Sometimes that’s linked to the people we hung around with.

If we manage to find a way to grow out of our “crimes” we might end up being truly happy and prosperous in our lives. As long as our past burdens us, there will always be a dark cloud in what we all want to be a sunny sky.

Putting My Education on the Back Burner

It’s never too late for going back to school and getting that “piece of paper” if it is something you really want. No matter what your age or your education history, there is usually the opportunity to fulfill your dream of getting your diploma or degree.

There are lots of shining examples of people who went back to school to prove to themselves they could do it. Some even go on to start a new career.

Getting Stuck in a Job I Hate

A person who is doing a job they really enjoy is not building a career but a happy life. No matter how cliched it may sound, there’s an important truth behind that thought.

If one feels right about his or her work there’s a good chance they will feel the same about other things in their lives. The jobs that we immerse ourselves in shape our lives more than most of us would like to admit, at least not before time finally catches up to us.

Not Spending Enough Time With the Kids

When it comes to parenting, often it seems that people with children are torn between two ideals: – “It’s not about the quantity, but the quality of time we spend with our kids” and “If you don’t spend enough time with your kids, there is nothing you can do to make it up to them.”

But how about making the best of what you have – regardless of how much or how little it is? At the end of the day, focus on creating positive memories.

Putting Personal Health on the Backburner

Is health the greatest and most important wealth we have? Many argue the only answer to that question is a resounding “Yes!” Unfortunately, most of us are taking it for granted until it’s too late.

Nearly everything we do, all the choices we make and the paths we take affect our health one way or the other. The level of stress we are dealing with every single day leaves a serious footprint on both our physical and mental health.

Feeling Too Afraid to Speak Up at Important Events

Lots of people suffer from stage fright or even freeze when they have to speak in public. Some people get the jitters in front of their own family, making talking at a wedding or funeral emotionally excruciating. Later comes the wish that they would have at least tried.

Sometimes it is better to push yourself out of your comfort zone and gather the courage to speak from the heart in front of people. Never forget that everyone appreciates an honest effort.

Avoiding a Visit With a Dying Loved One

Finding out that a good friend or family member is severely ill, or even worse in the terminal stage of a disease, is understandably a shock for anyone.

When something like that happens, we all have to find the strength to go through the painful process of saying goodbye to someone we love, no matter how much it hurts. It’s an emotional experience a person needs to face in the present to avoid regretting it in the future.

Never Learning a Different Language

There’s an old proverb that says, “A man who knows two languages is worth two men.” Regardless of whether we find that to be true or not, we can all agree that learning a different language is never a bad idea.

The great news is you can start learning a new language whenever you can find the time for it. The most important thing is to enjoy the experience of learning about the worlds outside of your own.

Not Being the Parent I Should Have Been

The remorse over not being a good mother or a father is one of the biggest a parent can have. There are too many stories out there of people waiting until it’s too late to try and make up for it.

We should all try to make the best of our lives while we can, give our best to nurture our relationships with our children and our families, and make sure to find time for all of the people we care abou.