Recently, I saw a question on Quora about what people in their 30s, 40s, and older regret when they look back on their lives. I find this a very interesting and important question, especially for someone like me who is teetering on the edge of her 30s.
When I was younger, I was so scared to have regrets when I got older that I made only “safe” decisions so that I wouldn’t regret doing something stupid. For instance, I didn’t want to take a chance with a career I was passionate about in case I never was successful at it. I chose a career that ensured success as long as I worked really hard. There was a little bit of luck involved, but mostly I had control over my success.
This decision-making process obviously shows an extreme amount of naivety. I was so focused on not making a bad decision that I would regret that I never thought about what it would feel like to regret the things I didn’t do, the chances I didn’t take.
Luckily, I finally realized that was the wrong way to approach life, and I left the “safe” life I had chosen for myself for one that is much riskier but that has the opportunity to give me much greater rewards and happiness.
Will I regret this decision in my 30s, 40s, and beyond?
But I will never regret taking the risky road for the chance to experience something great.
Because in my opinion, it is much worse to regret not taking a road that could have been great than regretting taking that road just because it didn’t turn out as amazing as you wanted.