"The memory of that event has only just come back to me, now doubly painful: regret for a vanished past and, above all, remorse for lost opportunities...the women we were unable to love, the chances we failed to seize, the moments of happiness we allowed to drift away. Today it seems to me that my whole life was nothing but a string of those small near misses: a race whose result we know beforehand but in which we fail to bet on the winner.” - Jean-Dominique Bauby, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly
What does it take to live without regrets? It seems impossible to guarantee that our future self will be satisfied with our present decisions.
I've saved plenty of quotes that are variations on the classic 'Carpe Diem'. But those words are just words, and it's hard to identify exactly what seizing the day looks like.
Instead of hollow self-help advice, I think we should look towards actual individuals for inspiration. People like Ernest Hemingway, Amelia Earhart, and Hunter S. Thompson had rich and interesting lives. They pushed the boundaries of fears and social expectations.
There are hundreds of derivative books that encourage us to fulfill our potential and accomplish great things. But there are only a handful of people in history that had the courage, focus, and ambition to take action.
So going forward, I think I'll use this methodology to guide my life:
- Identify those who inspire me
- Study their lives...successes, failures, and everything in between.
- Carve my own life path
I think the way to look back on life without regrets is to do great things. And we can look to those who have done great things for inspiration and guidance. Their lives can give us energy and encouragement as we pursue our own unique journey.