I watched this video this morning posted by Ashton Kutcher:
And it got me thinking about what my own life regrets were. Honestly, I don’t have any. I’ve tried to live as fully and as true to myself as possible. That’s not to say that I’ve had a happy life or even an easy one. I suppose no life is always happy even if you are living it to the full. There are always ups and downs and challenges to overcome and lessons to learn.
Granted my approach to life has not been the most ideal. I’ve had many adventures and gained many skills but my nomadic, live-for-the-moment attitude has had a hugely negative impact in that I’ve not been able to amass the money to truly live to the max, to attain the toys that I want, to go to the places on my to-visit list, to live in the location and building that nourishes me. Yet. 🙂
Do I regret not working a corporate job? Hell no. I would have blown my brains out a decade or more ago. But I guess, I do regret that I hadn’t been able to make things work out financially. It’s a weird regret because it’s not something I had tremendous control over. I did what I felt was right by me. There’s nothing that I regret about my actions; I regret the results of my actions.
Had I chosen to stick to a corporate job, apart from being utterly miserable after a few months, I’d have made a very good living (I have a skill set that would today get me at least R40K upwards per month in the corporate world). I have attempted to build my own businesses but have failed repeatedly in making these work for me. I’ve just not the mindset nor the patience nor discipline. Instead, I spent most of my life in freelance mode, drifting from career to career and job to job. I do drifting very well.
The result of this is having a whack load of experiences, friends, adventures, and skills. My regret with this lifestyle is that I have no home to call my own which is something that is very dear to me. And I’ve not really traveled as much as I would have liked. Again, yet 😉
I’ve been holding-off to “make it” in order to travel the world. It’s, of course, possible to wing it, work where you can, sleep in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a tent and a sleeping bag, trading talents for board and food, hitchhiking, and numerous other ways to get by. I don’t want that. I want options. I want to sleep in a tent if I feel it and maybe the next day check into the Ritz. This requires money. There’s also the very real cost of airline tickets. I’ve yet to find a trans-ocean airline that will accept massages as fair trade for a seat.
Traveling and adventuring can be very pricey. Recently I took a trip to South America. Even using CouchSurfing, backpackers, having my skill-trade options, the entire 3 week trip cost me R55,000 (the vast majority of that on travel). I’d saved R30,000 for it. And, fortunately, with the help of friends and last-minute project payments, the shortfall was covered. But this has left me with no saving for the next planned trip. Regret it? Hells no! I’ve firm trust in myself that I will make that money back and more and still get to my to-visit places for this year.
Living fully, being adventurous, can be very expensive. And getting more so by the day. So what is the solution? How does one live a life with no regrets while still making it work within the context of the world that we live in?
You just keep moving. You keep doing your best. Life isn’t over. As implied in that video above, you can still do most things that you haven’t yet done. The things you can’t do any more, well, those you let go off. Otherwise it will eat away at you. Trust me, this is not a place you want to be in. Move on to the next thing on your list.
There’s no clear cut answers. We are constantly figuring it out. Sometimes you’re fortunate enough to have the right teachers and parents to guide you. Sometimes you have the right personality and mindset. Sometimes you just got to wing it and see what happens, learn from your mistakes, and keep pushing forward.
Admittedly, I have a blessed life. It’s taken a lot of dedication to have the life that I lead. And, it really has been an emotional and lonely ride. But I’m writing this from this location:
In the Magaliesburg, under Pecan trees with nothing but the wind and birds to listen to. I’ve taken a walk and a dip today, eaten farm fresh vegetation, and enjoyed a peaceful, relaxed Monday, musing of how one can have it all. 🙂
One who is not a business minded individual who actually cares very little about money and most possessions. One who enjoys experience and adventure, and wants to have this in a bit of style.
I have no regrets for the life I’ve lived. I do wish I knew now what I did in my younger years. I wish I was more consistent and disciplined and focused in the “correct” manner, which, of course, I couldn’t know back then. Never too late to acquire and display those traits, of course.
What are your dreams? And how have you made them happen?
I’m interested to know. Have you lived a life without regrets? If so, how did you do it? What’s worked and what didn’t? And if you do have any regrets, what are you doing now about them?
What’s on your clean slate? Are you living life to your fullest?
Life is too short to waste time on pursuits that aren’t feeding you. Do what you need to, certainly, but don’t get stuck there. Figure out a way to make things work for you. I’m still figuring it out. There’s still so much lacking in my life. I know that I’m going to make it happen though. I’ve faith enough in me and in the process. And, because of this, I cannot regret my actions even if the results don’t always satisfy 😛