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10 Future Regrets to Avoid: Making Smart Life Choices

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8 mins,
Health writer | Editor | Public Health Researcher

Ten years from now, make sure you can say that you chose your life; you didn’t settle for it.” – Mandy Hale

Did you remember the 10-year throwback challenge that went viral on social media? Did you participate in such a delightful trip down memory lane?

In case you never knew about it, here’s a short description: By using the hashtag #10yearschallenge, social media users posted two photos side-by-side, taken 10 years apart, to show how much they had changed.

The challenge was a fun way for people to reflect on their personal growth and share major milestones with their online community.

Although the trend has come and gone, the memories and lessons it inspired will stay with us for years to come.

It’s an important reminder that time waits for no one, and that our daily decisions have a compounding effect on our lives.

Whether it’s our health, relationships, finances, or personal growth, our future is shaped daily in profound ways by the seemingly little things we do today.

So, take a moment to reflect on the actions you’re taking today and ask yourself: are they leading you towards the life you want in 10 years?

In this article, we highlight 10 actions that may lead to future regrets.

1. Not taking the time to discover yourself:

10 Future Regrets to Avoid
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It’s understandable that we live in an ever boisterous and fast-paced world which makes taking a pause to look inwardly a bit difficult.

The idea of living life as the day comes can be alluring but nobody ever becomes phenomenal by chance. It takes calculated and deliberate steps to make real progress.

Therefore, it is imperative to put a pause to the activities of your daily life which are not channeled towards bringing out your real identity because in 10 years, the gallivanting will be long over.

In the decade to come, what will help you to transit to the next level of your life is self-discovery.

Good ways to discover yourself is to self-evaluate your values and life choices. You can also look inwardly and decide what matters to you and what should matter to you.

2.  Procrastinating your Happiness:

10 Future Regrets to Avoid
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For some reason, a lot of people are in the habit of postponing their happiness to the future. You’d hear them say things along the lines of, “I will be happy when I get a promotion or when that big break happens.” While nothing is inherently wrong with this line of thought per se, the disposition which it puts the speaker is faulty.

This is in the sense that this mentality is based on the premise that happiness is attached to a particular thing that happens in the future. The mindset that “someday, I will finally be happy” is fundamentally flawed. This is because “someday” is always in the future. How about now? Why can’t you be happy now?

If you are guilty of this behavior, then rest assured that you will wake up some day and realise that 10 years have gone by and you didn’t live your best life because you were busy waiting for the perfect moment when everything seems right to be happy.

Truth is that happiness is never a destination, rather it is a journey.  Embrace it and make each moment count.

3. Not Taking Risks

10 Future Regrets to Avoid
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It was Mark Zuckerberg who said that “The biggest risk is not taking any risk.” When you allow fear to becloud your motivation to succeed, you will most likely remain stagnant in life for a long time which is a sure recipe for future regrets.

This is a good time to try new things and chart a new course for your life’s direction. It is almost always better to try and fail than not to try at all. If there’s an idea or business you are passionate about but too scared to try out, here’s the push you want. 

What’s the worst that could happen anyways? You either succeed or you learn. Re-conceptualize your perception of failure as something humiliating; rather see it as a learning experience. Not taking risks is, in itself, a risk as well.

Therefore, make up your mind on which side of the divide you want to belong. Remember that if you wait until every circumstance seems perfect, you may never have anything done.

4. Not making your health a priority.

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“Health is wealth” may sound cliché but it remains true even to date. A lot of persons put everything forward but their health, and then wonder why their health begins to fail them after they had laboured to achieve so much.

Make concerted effort to prioritize your health in everything you do. Endeavour to sleep well, feed well, exercise regularly, have your routine health check-ups and avoid overworking yourself.

Take care of your body and mind because you are stuck with it forever. You can begin by routinely Speaking with a Certified Doctor about your health concerns.

5. Harbouring unforgiveness:

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As far as you are alive and you live among human beings, you are bound to offend people and get offended too.

Some persons take it further by hurting others deliberately and for selfish reasons. Sadly, this happens very often because it is in the nature of man to be selfish.

It is painful to fall victim but what is worse is holding onto the grudge and not letting go through forgiveness. There’s a saying that not forgiving a wrong is akin to allowing someone to rent a space in your heart for free.

Imagine someone living rent-free in your heart for 10 years! A sure road to regrets.

It has also been proven that unforgiveness is a negative emotion as it is characterized by bitterness, hurt and resentment and puts one in a cage of their own mind. Whether they apologize or not, release forgiveness to whomever that has hurt you. Do it for the freedom that comes with genuinely forgiving a wrong.

The other five things you will definitely regret in 10 years include:

6. Not exploring the world:

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It is said that the best form of education is travel. When you travel the world, it broadens your horizon and your perspective about life. Though many people might not have the means to explore other countries, nothing stops them from exploring their immediate environment.

Have you taken the time to travel to other states in your country to learn the different cultures that exist, the people and perhaps the language? Exploring the world in which we live in is part of living a fulfilling life.

7. Not networking.

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Your net worth is a reflection of your network. Networking provides you with opportunities that you may never have been open to. If you are an entrepreneur, this can be the source of your next big client or your next big opportunity.

If you are job seeker, your lack of networking might just be standing in the way of you getting your next dream job. When we network, we meet new people, learn new things and forge new relationships which can be essential when we need those connections the most.

8. Not following your dreams:

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You might remember the kindergarten rhyme that goes “Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…life is but a dream”. Life is too short to not follow your dreams.

Just like dreams go by so fast, before you know it, life is over. Why were you born? What is your inmost desire and wish? What is standing in your way of following it?

At the end of the day, you alone will have to account for your time, and would you rather wish you spent it following a dream that is not yours?

9. Not having a mentor:

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Mentors are super important for anyone who is serious about achieving more from life. They provide the guidance that we need to navigate life’s challenges and also help us make better life choices.

Mentoring is a long-term relationship that should not be confused with coaching. Many people struggle with taking the first step towards a goal.

They fear that there may be an error in their judgement and are constantly in need of validation. This is what a good mentor can help you with. Mentors often serve as a sounding board for the many ideas and paths we want to take. If you are struggling to make a big decision, running it by a mentor is certainly a great idea.

10. Being lazy and unproductive:

10 Future Regrets to Avoid
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Though this is relative and mostly subjective, whatever you define as lazy or unproductive will fit the description. Being lazy and unwilling to do the work necessary to make progress in life is certainly one that will not serve you well in the next 10 years.

It is a road fraught with regrets and truthfully, nobody wants to work with anyone who is either unproductive or dubbed lazy.

At the end of the day, we are all end products of our decisions. The last best time to make amends was yesterday.

The next best time to be more intentional about the things we do is today.  Remember that life is short and time flies by way quickly. Make each day count to mitigate future regrets!

Are there any other thoughts you might want to add to these? Feel free to drop them in the comments section.

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Ginika Oluchi Okeke

Ginika is the Lead health writer at KompleteCare. She also doubles as an editor and proofreader for everything that concerns content. When she's not writing content for KompleteCare, you might find her copy-editing works for authors before publication.

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