How to get the most out of life and live with no regretsArticle added by Anne Bachrach on November 11, 2011
Anne Bachrach

Anne Bachrach

San Diego, CA

Joined: October 26, 2009

What if the solution to living with no regrets was as simple as a single question?

Are you living life to the fullest? If life ended tomorrow, would you feel as though you had absolutely lived it to the tilt, with no regrets? If you are like most of us, you still have that “someday” list of dreams that haven’t yet come true tucked away in a drawer.

Sadly, life doesn’t have to be that way, but very few people get the most out of life before it’s over. There are, however, a select few that seem to have the philosophy of life figured out and live every day without regret. You know, the kind of people that seem at peace, move at a comfortable pace and don’t seem to be distracted by the small stuff. They accept others without judgment and walk with an open heart while the rest of us get caught up in the rush of daily life, with no real connection to ourselves or anyone else. We’re so busy, we don’t even have time to think about what’s missing, let alone trying to figure out how to get the most out of life.

But what if the solution to living with no regrets was as simple as a single question?

Let’s take money out of the picture for just a moment. Actually, let’s put lots of it in the picture. Say you had all the financial resources you would need to live the kind of life you have always wanted without having to “work.” Would you still be doing what you do every day?

Just for a moment, imagine what you would rather do with your time — the long hours you used to spend in the office. If you can imagine a different life, given financial freedom, you are probably not getting the most out of life.

Maybe it’s time you did. Here are some ways you can begin to change your life and to get the most out it.

Do something you love at least once a day

Don’t wait one more day to do something you have always wanted to do. Book your reservation to go skydiving, go back to school, write that book, take a road trip, play hooky from work and take the kids to Disneyland, invent that new product, go heli-skiing, kayak in Patagonia — whatever it may be — and commit to doing it.

Of course, those are big examples. If something simple is what you really want, it works just as well. Take a bath, read a book or magazine, watch your favorite movie, take a yoga class, paint more, visit a friend, go to the driving range, plan a sunset picnic or even sleep an extra hour per day. Pick something you love to do and make the time in your schedule to do it.
Create more personal quality time

Use moments throughout the day to create thoughts that will positively influence your life. If you are sitting in traffic on the way to and from work (or your place of business) use the time to channel your thoughts to things you would like to experience. For instance, instead of wasting time stewing over something that made you angry, let it go and focus on thoughts that make you happy. The more time you spend visualizing the things you want, the more positively you influence your future.

Create more shared quality time

When you’re with family and friends, make an effort to leave business out of the discussion unless there is a valid reason to bring it up. Spend quality time talking about the things that really matter and connect with the people who matter to you most.

Build a legacy

At the end of your life, what would you like people to say about you? What would you like to leave for your children? If you could change anything for the better, what would it be? When you’re not feeling motivated to get the most out of life, think about the personal footprint you will leave and what you would like it to provide. Build a legacy not for the fame, but for the benefit it will provide for those living well after you’re gone.

Live with faith, not with fear

At first glance, it may seem that the average life span of 77 years is a long life. In reality, time can go by so quickly. Do not waste one moment living in fear, because that only scares you out of living life to the fullest. You dream of what you would really love to do, only to discount the probability or opportunity, and talk yourself out of it. Life is meant to be lived, not passed by. Quit standing on the sidelines — get in the game. What is the worst that can happen?

Now that you’ve learned how to live life with no regrets, take some time to create a list of 10 things you’d like to do by life’s end and make a plan to accomplish each one.

Once you've finished your list, add the date by which you would like to achieve each one (make it a specific month, day and year). Put them in priority order.

Regrets are a waste of time — you can’t change the past. As one of my clients says: “Put your big girl panties on and deal with it.” Create your game plan to achieve your goals this year so you can enjoy what is truly important to you in life. Start today!

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