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5 Things Most People Take a Lifetime to Learn

The unpredictable turn of time and life makes it seem like there is still enough time. This mindset has led some people to learn things too late in their lifetime. Being oblivious to the truth that life is short has filled many people with regrets when reminiscing about experiences and things that formed the total of who they are. However, this cannot be undone and trying to catch up to some will be expensive.

Regrets can also be in the area of business, as entrepreneurship is also a part of our life. This has seen many renowned and successful entrepreneurs wish they had done something different when they had the opportunity.

Wade Foster, the founder of Zapier, said one of his regrets is not trying new things in school. He said, “I would have experimented with more stuff in high school and college. Programming, science, selling: I was a bit too shy and nervous about my social image to try different things, and I ended up having some catching up to do.”

He believes if he had done things differently, there won’t be the need to catch up on some things he should have learnt once upon a time. To not have a chest filled with regrets, always remember that each day once lost, is gone forever. Hence to avoid such, here are some things some people learn too late in their lifetime.

Live the most of your life

One of the regrets older people have when they reminisce is that they wasted their time pleasing others and missed out on things that made them happy and fulfilled. The only way is to correct the mistake when there is still time.

Since you only live once, you do not need to waste your time and life doing things that please others at your expense. While your act might seem selfless to others, you are actually wasting your life living for others and being selfish to yourself. Therefore learn to draw the line between selflessness and selfishness. Before taking any decision, ask yourself what it will cost you.

If it is a costly one, do away with it. Remember, you are the master of your own life. Therefore, don’t give people autonomy over you lest they discourage you from doing things you love. Elon Musk capped it by saying: “The single best piece of advice: Constantly think about how you could be doing things better and questioning yourself.”

Live in the moment

Some people are stuck in the past with their regrets and emotional baggage. Instead of moving forward, they become attached to the things they wished could have been done differently in the past. This holds them from living in the moment and leveraging present opportunities. This way, they continue wishing for past things and remain oblivious to the fact that the past is history, and nothing can change it.

The present, however, is an opportunity to be cherished as the future remains uncertain. So, live in the moment. The moment is the only variable you can control, so make the most of it. Learn from the past, plan for the future, and maximise the present moment. 

Adii Pienaar, the founder of Conversio and co-founder of WooThemes, said one of his regrets was not living in the moment. He said, “I was obsessed about always moving from point A to B to C, which meant I was never really present in any given moment.

This also meant that the highs on the rollercoaster ride were fleeting, and the lows were always brutally around the corner. I’ve since learned to enjoy the journey itself (more than the destination) and appreciate small victories and special moments much more.”

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Money cannot solve all your problems

There is nothing wrong with wanting to be rich. The problem is the wrong mindset people have developed about money. Contrary to the popular notion that having enough money means you have no problem, the fact is that it cannot solve all life problems.

This wrong money ideology has seen many people give it more priority than it deserves, thus missing out on some important things.

While money is essential, it cannot replace or make up for the quality of time you could have used to socialise with your friends and family, nor would it buy you true happiness. You can always make more money but never regain the lost moments with your family and friends. 

To this, Steve Harvey said, “we need money to live and survive, but not necessarily to make us happy.”

The price of not making a move

Some people have conditioned themselves to certain beliefs that have hindered them from taking the needed move. This inability to take the required step has seen many pay dearly for mistakes that could have been avoided on their part.

The lack of attempts to avert it has led to regrets and a realisation that came too late. Regrets include missed opportunities, living for others instead of themselves, and staying in a job lacking fulfilment.

Contrary to the belief that you need to live your life for others, the only person you should live to satisfy is yourself. Be loyal to yourself first. This does not mean you are selfish. It only means that you are self-conscious. Take bold steps to avoid costly prices, such as the life you could have had. Remember, you only have a life to live.

Dharmesh Shah, the founder and Chief Technical Officer (CTO) of HubSpot, said that one of his regrets was not selling sooner. He said, “One of my more significant regrets about my first startup is hanging on to it too long.

I ran that company for about ten years. During this period, I had acquisition offers along the way, but the valuations never matched my growth projections. I probably held off on selling that company for three to four more years than I should have. I knew I was no longer excited about the industry and had aspirations to do something different⁠ and hopefully bigger.

Eventually, I did sell the company, which freed me up to go back to MIT for graduate school⁠ and ultimately start HubSpot. If your heart’s not in it, be willing to sacrifice to let something go so you can free yourself up for whatever new things are ahead.”

There is no perfect decision

The world constantly rotates on the notion that there is always a perfect decision for any situation. But in fact, the world itself is imperfect; hence there are no ideal or wrong decisions or solutions to a thing, only wrong ways to look at them.

Changing how you view decisions will make you more open-minded to doing things differently. No wonder entrepreneurs see decisions that end badly as discovering a new way that a particular something might not work.

Instead of self-condemning and wishing you had done things differently, see yourself as a brave person who took a decision and followed through to the end. Be proud and never let your past decisions define your present or your future; but let them be a guide to the next step. Remember, we learn and grow every day.

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