Fear, Regret, and the What If Part 4 of 4

  1. I wish I wouldn’t have wasted so much time.

Time is our best friend and our worst enemy. It is the one thing we want to save, that we are forced to spend. Oddly enough, we never know how much we have, until we are completely out of it. If you could find out how much time you had, would you want to know? What if  you found out you had three days to live, how much Netflix would you watch? What if you found out you had another twenty years? Would you speed up or slow down?

I have lived in Washington DC, surrounded by the nation’s richest history. There were museums, monuments, and tours all over the place that I could have experienced. More so because I was in the Army and had more access to them. I have also lived in Southern California, just south of LA. Once again, the experiences that were at my fingertips were numerous, and so were the opportunities to take advantage, that I let fly by.

Our time on this Earth is finite, there will be a time when we are no longer around. Only our deeds and our words remain. That is how people will remember us. What you have to decide is, what will you leave behind? Will you be a person of compassion, of drive, of culture? Will you be remembered as someone who lived life to the fullest and experienced this life, or someone who just existed through it?

I spoke with a lot of people who were a little older, and the biggest regrets they had were the experiences they never did because they couldn’t fit them in around work or . . .well . . .life. One of them actually said that life never happened, because life got in the way.

What I didn’t understand until that comment, was that my definition of life was completely incorrect. Life, as I defined it, was my job, my house, my routine. He defined life completely differently, his purpose, his family, his experiences. I realized that I was neglecting my purpose for my job, my family and friends for my pursuit of the Jones family, and experiencing the world for Netflix and PS4. I decided then and there, sitting in the coffee shop with a man three decades smarter than me, that I was going to change that.

Never avoid something out of fear or logic. Try, give it all you have. When you are old and wrinkled, tell your kids you have your dream job because you took that opportunity, tell your wife that dress makes her look majestic, because you told her you loved her before she married someone else. And you can even lie to her and tell her that her parents are your best friend because you gave it your all.

What if is a dangerous question, but luckily for us, it is a rattle snake. Your fear is the rattle, warning you before it bites. Never ask it, live life, love without fear, and experience everything.

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