I've got my own list of regrets. I suppose we all have hindsight that gives us a better perspective on the mistakes we made when we were younger. The problem is that many of us make important decisions about what we're going to do with the rest of our lives when we don't have any clue about what the real world is like. And so, with our starry-eyed outlook on life, we make our decisions. Many of us choose a field of study, get married, and have babies before we have any clue how much our mortgage payments will be or how many hours we'll have to spend at the office.
Here's a short list of mine:
- Don't take a job to pad your resume or to fill the time until something else comes along. Sometimes you have to do grunt work, it's true, but try to find something that challenges you and matches your interests.
- Don't assume that money doesn't matter. While it's true that there are more important things, poverty is not a virtue in and of itself, and you don't get any medals for starving.
- Don't sacrifice everything you want for the sake of your family. Your family deserves for you to be happy so you can treat them well. Balance sacrifice with your own needs because you can't draw water from an empty well.
- Don't assume that a degree is job insurance. It isn't. Get some kind of skill and experience and keep yourself as marketable as possible, even if you're not working.
- Be true to yourself and don't make guilt- or fear-based decisions.
And my biggest tip of all: Don't dwell on your regrets. The present will become the past, too, so don't add to your regrets by being stuck on what you could have done.