We all would like to look back at the end of our lives and have no regrets—or at least minimize them. Here are the last words of a few famous people:
How were the receipts today at Madison Square Garden? – P. T. Barnum, entrepreneur, d. 1891
I should never have switched from scotch to martinis. – Humphrey Bogart, actor, d. January 14, 1957
I’m bored with it all. – Winston Churchill, statesman, d. January 24, 1965
I have offended God and mankind because my work did not reach the quality it should have. – Leonardo da Vinci, artist, d. 1519
So what will your last words be? And who will be in the room to hear them? Remember how short and fragile life is. As difficult as this is to think about and say, some of you reading this email right now will not be here next year. Make every moment count with your family. Take a moment now to ponder 10 ways to minimize your regrets at the end of your life.
1. Family First
Possibly the most common regret at the end of life is, “I didn’t spend enough time with my family.” When we’re young, we are so eager to start our grown-up lives that we neglect our parents. When we’re adults, in the midst of building the lives we imagined, we neglect our wives and kids. What’s left at the end of that life is a sad and lonely person. Your family comes first—always. Cherish your wife. Never stop earning her love and devotion. Adore your children and spend every second you can with them.
Life has a far greater purpose beyond our human knowledge. “All I have seen teaches me to trust the Creator for all I have not seen.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson. Faith gives you the inner peace in knowing that all is not in vain. Your life matters. Our time on earth is but a blink of an eye in comparison to eternity. Having faith in something greater than you = no regrets.
3. Learn More
The minute we stop learning is the moment we start dying. Most people stop learning sometime in their thirties. But there is always something more to learn. The minute we stop learning is the moment we start dying. Commit to learning something new every day.
4. Visualize the Endgame
A wise man has the ability to visualize outcomes before they occur. Never make decisions from a self-centered perspective. Self-centered decisions often will grant you short-term gain but create long-term damage for you and everyone around you. Always hedge your bets toward the wise thing to do. You will have fewer regrets.
5. Use Your Gifts
Every human being has a unique set of gifts. Use your gifts to the best of your ability and in the way they were created. Nurture your gifts and use them to bring glory to the One who gave them to you.
6. Be Careful With Your Words
When spoken in haste and anger, the words we use have the potential to create heartache and damage. Hold your tongue and think before you speak. Do your best to redeem yourself with people you have hurt in the past. Your soul will rest much easier at night.
7. Take Care Of Yourself
No one is guaranteed to live to a ripe old age. However, we can help ourselves by taking care of our bodies and minds. Common sense and moderation are usually the keys to good physical and mental health.
We all have dreams and aspirations. Create a list of what you wish to accomplish in this life. Some tasks will be easy and some difficult, but none are impossible. Document these moments and live every second of them to the fullest.
9. Random Kindness
When we spread joy, our souls glow bright and beautiful. Our spiritual well-being is critical to having peace. Stand up for the person who stands alone. Offer a smile to the person who only faces scorn. Extend a helping hand to the person who only has been shoved down.
Grudges you continue to carry only will leave you jaded and loaded with bitterness. Forgive the people who have hurt you and let that pain go. Seek forgiveness from the people you’ve wronged. In the end, life boils down to forgiveness. Nothing else matters.
Sound off: What’s something you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done yet?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “How can we value time together more?”