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Do you care what people think? I do. And in a way I think everyone does, but that is not the point. The point, in fact, is that though we may care what our mother, boss, teacher or ex-boyfriend may think of us and our choices, we still must be satisfied with how we chose to live our own life. In saying this, I am hopeful that these few examples may assure you that the choices you made and may regret, are only choices to teach you that life is supposed to be lived, and sometimes mistakes are the only way we can grow. So here are a few reminders to inspire you to live life with no regrets.

1. Choosing your college major. 

Let me guess. You majored in art and are now a high school facilitator? I actually know a woman who did exactly that, and guess what? She loves it! She doesn’t regret that she spent years learning about art only to end up advising kids on their own educational choices. It was the experience of going to college that she remembers and cherishes. The fact that you got a degree is what says something to employers, not what you actually majored in. So stick with it!

2. Going to college. 

Has anyone ever told you that you can’t be successful without a college degree, especially “nowadays”? They’re wrong. Seriously. College is not for everyone and honestly, motivation, willpower, and a good work ethic is what makes someone successful in their occupation. I know plenty of people who haven’t gone to college who have government jobs and make a very decent living. I know people who didn’t go to college and have a great office, construction and bookkeeping jobs as well. A piece of paper saying you spent four years studying does not define the amount of success you will have.

3. The night you drank too much. 

Okay, okay. So you got epically drunk and made a complete spectacle of yourself, however, what did you learn from that night? Probably not to down half a bottle of Jack by yourself, unless of course you don’t mind being a spectacle. The point is, you learned a lesson, and hey, now you have something to teach your kids about alcohol. I bet you even got a few good laughs out of it too. Chances are, even if you could go back to that night and avoid downing half a bottle, fate would find a way to creep in somehow, and you would have ended up being a spectacle anyway.

4. Dating a complete prick. 

Chances are you’ve done it. I’ve done it. But you know what? I really don’t regret any part of it. Dating an awful person for far too long is not something to be ashamed of, because they are a great life lesson. I learned what I wanted from my partner, what I was willing to put up with and what I truly deserved. Another great lesson dating a prick can teach you are the little red flags you should look for next time you are ready to enter a relationship. Don’t feel regretful of your ex, instead make a list of useful things they taught you.

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5. Spending too much ££

It’s difficult not to look back and wish you started saving sooner or spend less on your vacation last year. One word of advice, you can never spend too much on a vacation. When you travel, you create memories that are 9 times out of 10, unforgettable. Aside from the memories, something about traveling soothes the soul and calms the mind. Is that really something we can tack a price tag on? Whatever it is that you spent too much on, I am sure it made an impact and you took away a lesson from it. It may have taught you what you would rather spend on, save for or even how to make a budget. Whatever it is, blowing money is an experience that can really show you where you want to spend the money you make.

6. Choosing the wrong job 

Don’t feel bad that you chose a boring job for more money over an exciting job that pays less. Once you work somewhere you don’t enjoy for a while, it opens your mind to what a job should really feel like. The importance of having a job lies in the value and enjoyment you feel. Having a job you don’t enjoy is actually a good thing. How else will you decide what kind of person you want to work for, the tasks your willing to do, or even the type of environment you enjoy? And even if you choose to work somewhere based only on the paycheck, maybe that is the right move temporarily to get ahead or pay off some bills. Choosing the wrong job is not something to be afraid of, it will only help you find the right one later on.

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7. Yelling at your loved one. 

This one is probably the hardest to look back at, but you know what? Emotions are a powerful thing and sometimes they come out in the wrong way. Things get heated, words we don’t mean come flying out, and all of a sudden everyone is hurt. The silver lining in this is that though we didn’t mean to yell or say hurtful things, they can help us figure out a better approach in dealing with our emotions, and let’s face it, making up after a fight is always the best part. If we didn’t have fights, we wouldn’t have the pleasure of making up.

8. Leaving someone, you love. 

At some point, you will leave behind a loved one, whether it’s a friend, spouse or family member. Saying goodbye to someone we love is one of the hardest things the human species goes through, but in many ways it also sets us free. If you feel like you need to leave, chances are you absolutely do. Don’t regret leaving someone behind so you can move forward in a healthy way.

9. Making out with your ex’s best friend. 

It happens. And to be completely honest, when it does happen its a good thing. It will give you the ability to move on, and it will give them the ability to move on. You may regret it, but it will teach you a world of knowledge on the kind of person you want to be, and the kind of friends you want to have.

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10. Breaking the law, and getting caught. 

Not that I am encouraging you to break the law, but sometimes getting caught and punished by the government is the only kind of wake-up call that will work. Again, remember what it taught you, and how it urged you to change your behavior. Getting caught may have been the only thing that made you decide you needed to change your ways.

11. Not apologizing.  

Sometimes we can really hurt people, but in the end not apologizing to them is what hurts us more. And frankly, once we realize we should apologize they are probably already over it. Some things are better left unsaid, because sometimes they wouldn’t make any different anyway. The most important forgiveness to receive is your own.

12. Being too late for someone. 

Realizing you should have spent more time with someone is a horrible feeling to have when it’s too late to do so. It is really hard to look past time that you felt was wasted when you should have been with a loved one, but you have to channel this into the choices you make in the present, and use it as motivation to show the people you have now how much they mean to you.

13. Having a poor attitude. 

Another dreaded human emotion that can easily upset people. The thing about having a grouchy attitude is that sometimes it’s necessary to release stress that we have been carrying around. If your attitude is impacting someone around you, then perhaps talking to them about your stress will help you start to move on and will help them understand why you are behaving the way you are. Another lesson to learn from having a crabby attitude is that it gives us the ability to be less judgmental on others who seem negative or grouchy, and can even prompt us to help them through it. If anything, looking back on how you behaved poorly will give you insight on how to handle stress next time.

14. Giving up. 

I absolutely hate the expression “never give up”. Why? Why can’t we give up? I have given up on plenty of things that were only dragging me down. I gave up on the belief that success was only obtained by being perfect, I gave up on two draining and crappy relationships. I’ve given up on people I realized were never going to change their unhealthy behaviors and I’ve even given up on hobbies that I realized I was only doing because I was good at them, not because I enjoyed them. I don’t regret giving up on any of those things, because I felt a wave of relief when I did, and in the end I was so much happier. Persevere through the things you are passionate about, that will make you happy, and not through the things people tell you to.

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15. The person you are.

We are not meant to hate who we are, and if you are unhappy with the person you have become, simply work towards becoming better. You have to at some point be unsatisfied with yourself in order to improve as a person. Don’t get stuck in not liking yourself, move forward to who you want to be.

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