“If I could just lose that last ten pounds!” That was the lament of an 80-something-year-old at the gym. “Really?” I thought, “at 80 I’m still going to have that same regret? That sounds awful!”
Are end of life disappointments inevitable?
The truth about aging is that while society may say it’s an arc with a peak at middle age (technically 38.5 based on US 2020 life expectancy statistics…Yeah!), there’s no reason you can’t make it an upward trajectory, like a rocket soaring to new heights until the end. In fact, the average age of an entrepreneur in 2021 is 50.3. We’re just getting started!
Make growth across your lifespan a conscious decision! Set goals! Soar to the stars!
Sound hard? Okay. See if this is easier: Compare yourself to others and get mad at them for their success. Think of famous people who achieved things when they were much younger than you…like Billie Eilish who won five Grammys at 18. Even better, compare yourself to people you know in real life like a college buddy who is now a global CEO or that high school acquaintance whose book has been made into a movie.
Also try perseverating on specific moments in your life when you made a mistake. Relive awful, humiliating conversations from the past and fill in the perfect response you’ve now had 10 years to craft.
Feel better? Me neither. Let’s go back to the first approach to diving into your second act.
“It’s never too late” may be cliché but true in the sense that there’s nothing to stop you from acting toward a goal every day. Even right now.
Preparing for no regrets means taking a deep look at what you thought you wanted. You may realize you already have it, or that your desires and interests truly have changed–you may realize you no longer want what you envisioned in the past. Events that had an emotional hold on you in the past may not mean anything anymore.
And for those dreams that are still alive, what does that look like now? Can you still achieve it? Whether that be full-on or some facsimile that’s comparable and satisfying. There are so many more resources and access to help—be they people or tech—than when we were staring out. Who can you enlist in realizing your vision?
Even with the famous “no regerts” tattoo, you can remove something seemingly permanent that’s blocking you. It may be extremely painful (analogy intended), but once removed or refocused, it leaves space for reflection or an opportunity to create something new.
What can you let go of? What can you act on and start building toward today?