Life is precious. It is frail yet magnificent. Life is interestingly simple yet confusingly complicated. Our time here is so short and limited, yet we don’t really realize that we can be gone in the next moment. We’re spending time as though we have forever to live. Then, before we know it, half our life has passed. How can we stop living with regrets?
“The days are long but the years are short” – Gretchen Rubin
In looking back to our years, we find that time flies because we get so hung up with our commitment and responsibilities as we mature. We are no longer the carefree kids who have nothing to do besides our daily school activities, revisions and home chores.
Then, we start thinking about the time and moments we have lost.
My mother used to tell me the years just seem to fly by after 18 years old. I didn’t believe her then. Chinese New Year and holidays always seemed so long away. I believe her now.
Have you ever been so busy with chasing deadlines that you don’t seem to remember what you have been spending your time on for the last few days? Do you look back into your weeks and find that you have been so busy but not knowing what you have actually achieved? Do you feel tired trying so hard but still don’t feel satisfied at the end of the day?
We see a pattern among the majority of people who struggle with getting started in doing what they love versus putting their dreams or even live off until it feels too late.
That is when ‘if-only’s and ‘what-ifs’ pop up.
Don’t Wait Till Mid Life Crisis Strike to Go After What You Want
You don’t actually need to wait till you’re accomplished, retired or old to start regretting what you didn’t do or go after.
You don’t even need to be in your middle age crisis to realize that.
If you’re in your 20s today, and you find yourself greatly dissatisfied with life, you find yourself missing that ‘Umph’ and wishing that you could do something that you actually enjoy, it’s time to change something.
Perhaps you have been putting your life goals off for simple reasons, like life. Do you tell yourself that you need to finish your degree or gain traction in your career first before you can do anything? Do you know what you want to pursue in life yet? Or have you put them at the back of your mind for some time now?
Are you waiting for the right time so that you can dig back at what you wanted to pursue? Do you give reasons like you don’t have financial stability, freedom, qualifications, expertise, experiences or resources to do what you want?
It is natural for us to want to stay comfortable now. After all, we have just completed a major phase of our lives and barely entered into another one. We need a break and get settled before another change. Right?
Before long, you might find yourself settling for the okay zone, that comfort zone where you are alright with what you have been doing so far, that zone where you can do better but you are doing okay now. So why rock the boat?
Then comes the day when you wonder, where has all your zest gone?
Before this day arrives, take a step back and stop yourself from entering that zone where someday you will look back and feel remorseful for not giving yourself that chance to risk it and do it anyway.
Don’t allow ‘what-ifs’ and ‘if only’ in your future conversations.
Sure, we all go for what we want or dream off at some point. We start our journey with excitement and anticipation, but we want results immediately. When we don’t see the results we want after a year or two of hard work, we begin to think if it’s worth it at all. Then, we start falling behind until a day comes when we don’t really feel like caring anymore.
Going through the motion is what we call them thereafter.
Understand that what we are seeking in life is progress.
No one is perfect, nor can we be, but all we need to do for ourselves is to ensure that we are progressing each day, improving every day and living to be better than who we were in the past.
We need to keep going and keep growing. When we stop growing, we begin to fall behind.
How To Progress?
You may not be able to achieve your life goals in ten years’ time but have you even started on them yet? What are you doing about them now?
However little that action or however small that step is, you just need to get started.
Only by taking that first step will you allow yourself to build up that experience, exposure and expertise.
When we get uncomfortable, we want to return back to where we feel comfortable. Don’t let yourself get comfortable too much too often.
Sometimes when we took that one step out, we get burned, threatened, betrayed or rejected and we retreat back to our haven. Perhaps when you return, there will be others who would welcome you back and treat you as a hero for trying at least. Then, slowly but surely, there will be others who will try to work their way out.
The longer you stay in your safe spot, the harder it is for you to step out again.
However, if you choose to take that step out and try, and make the difference, your life will never be the same again.
You’ll know that the first step, though hard, is probably the best decision you’ll ever take to come out of your safe zone, to achieve what you never thought possible.
If you’re still reading up to this far, and you know that’s who you are and what you want today, deep in the bottom of your heart, you know that want the either one or more of the below:
change for the better
get out of a painfully dull situation
brave the uncertain front
make a difference
do something different
lead the life that you want
wait no more