Is it worse to regret the things we do or the things we don’t do?

There are times in life when you are faced with a life-changing opportunity.  Taking a new job or deciding to pursue higher education are two obvious examples, but sometimes life-changing opportunities appear in our lives in subtler ways.  Sometimes you can come across the opportunity of a lifetime just by being a supportive friend, however, whether or not you recognize the opportunity…now that is the real question.  When someone you trusts asks you to hold their hand and jump, would you follow them or would you sit on the sideline and watch to see what happens to them first.

I was recently presented with just such a scenario, and in typical “me” fashion I jumped right in.  Maybe it’s because I’m old enough now that I’ve seen a couple of amazing opportunities pass me by that I wish I had jumped on, or maybe I’m just not that risk adverse.  But I don’t actually think it’s either of those answers.  I think the real reason I jumped right in is because I am much more afraid of the regret of NOT doing something (provided I’m not going to injure myself or anyone else), than of doing it.  I would rather make the leap and live with the consequences than live with a lifetime of “what if.”

Today I was pondering what it is that separates the leapers from the by-standers, and I think that it has to do with attitude.  I’ve always believed that you can’t avoid making mistakes, all you can do is learn from them.  I approach every opportunity as an opportunity to learn, not just to profit, and I think that because of that, I’ve never been afraid to say “sure…let’s give it a shot!”  When you live your life from a place of fear, you miss out on the opportunity to grow and develop.  It’s only by facing your fears and taking chances that you can move on and up in life.

“Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. Don’t wish for less problems, wish for more skills. Don’t wish for less challenge, wish for more wisdom.” -Jim Rohn