How do you go through day-to-day life with the least amount of regrets? There are so many obligations we as humans have daily and if we don’t fulfill those obligations should we feel guilty? For there is always tomorrow to rectify what we neglected the day before… What does it mean to live each day to the fullest?
Hey Molly this is like the question of forever. By that I mean a helluva lot of people are always asking it (some on this website for sure, check topics b4 you post). Way I feel about it though, if one is thinking about regrets, he/she cannot possibly be appreciating the current moment they are living in to the absolute fullest (as their mind is elsewhere). So don’t do that.
Well even though topics very similar to this have been posted before, as you’ve noticed, thank you for replying to my post anyway.
So what you’re saying is to just live life and enjoy where ever it takes me whether or not it is where I had planned on being, but to make the best of it anyway?
That’s one of the reasons we regret a lot of things. If we prioritize things before putting our peace of mind first we wouldn’t enjoy the moments we’re in. If the only thing you do is prioritize because you’ll feel you have no time left you’ll feel under pressure which will squeeze the time you have. Which isn’t as cool as being at the ready for cool expectations. Definitely not cool to feel alert.
I see prioritizing as weeding out what is the most important to you so you can experience that first to make your time feel most fulfilling. I feel peace of mind when I’m doing something I’m so psyched about so much that I wouldn’t gamble it for tomorrow. Personally, I found prioritizing pretty relevant as you are a new person each day so your values morph accordingly and the situation you’re in is never static
Related to what @tearoom said, https://www.highexistence.com/topic/the-philosophy-professor/
I read alot of science fiction and fantasy novels Molly. If you do this, it will broaden your mind to the degree that you’ll start to see how small our lives are here on this little planet, in this non-descript solar system, in this typical galaxy. Basically, well written science fiction opens your mind to the many wonderful possibilities there are for life and how we define it.
I see your point, Ray, and I agree with you. But, my stipulation with that is that, even though, our lives are so small when you consider them as a part of the grand scheme of things; it is still OUR life and we have a duty to ourselves to fulfill this life for we are lucky enough to have one and the possibility of it being taken away before we have the chance to finish what we once started is all too real.
That’s true, we should all strive for ultimate fulfillment. I have often found myself wondering how many people even get close to living their dreams though? Most don’t. My mom was a wonderful person. She sacrificed a tremendous amount to raise her five children alone. And she never, in the richest country in the world, got to do the simplest of fun things. She never got to take a real vacation. She never had more than $1,000 in the bank… She had to harangue her children just to stay in touch with her her final ten years of life…
So for me, when I look at my mom’s life, I understand that most people never get to live their dreams. My mom found her peace with this, but I always felt she was cheated in a phenomenal way. She brought five well adjusted people into this world, and the world gave her nothing in return.
I agree with the aspiration and outlook you are promoting Molly. But I also see that it rarely happens.. Think about all the people in human history that lived short, brutal lives. In the middle ages, most people never traveled outside their villages their entire lives…
We have much more opportunity in western nations now to live our dreams. But let’s not forget that 80% of the people on the planet today live in third world countries, women in Africa who have to walk 30 miles a day just to get fresh water for their families… Thousands of people in Mexico City who find their daily meals in garbage dumps…
Life is still brutal and short for the majority.
You’ve made a strong argument and I can’t help but to agree with you. It is an unfortunate reality that most people who live in a place as prosperous as this seem to live lives that come short of basically everything they’ve ever hoped for. That is what I am trying to avoid here.
I understand you can’t plan out your whole life and part of the impossible fulfillment is to “live by the seat of your pants”, as some say.
Tragedies do exist in this world and many of those tragedies effect people who deserve it the least. We all live cruel and harsh lives in one way or another… The solution to that is sort of the question I am asking, but with each answer and thought I get, I’m realizing that there may not ever be one.
Optimism is the best outlook of course. I don’t disagree with that Molly. Regrets often can’t be mitigated. Bob Dylan once said:
“A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and gets to bed at night, and in between he does what he wants to do.”
That applies to women too. I also like what Johnny Carson once said about money. He was enormously wealthy, but he said that having money really only solves one problem, and that’s that you no longer have to worry about money…
I guess we all have to make peace to some degree with our lot in life and our pasts, and try to rise above it. Maybe the best way to go about life with the least amount of regret is to try to live the philosophy of Eckhart Tolle, that is, to live fully in the “now” and not focus on the past or the future…
Here’s what I’m against based on the “now”. If you hate, because we all hate what we avoid or just are repulsed to, how do we know anything at all? One can agree about capturing the essence of a moment but preaching ignorance gets you so far. There’s timing and then there’s improvising. Living in the “now” is empty talk. Quite annoying when it’s preached and not shown. Quite annoying.
I can’t help but sense some hostility in this response…
I interpret living in the “now” to be associated with not dwelling on what was once in the past and to not fret the future and what mistakes we may make for how can we every fully live if all we do is worry about living…
I watched a DVD by Eckhart Tolle on this philosophy a few days ago. He goes into how difficult it is to explain this concept of living in the now with human language, that it distorts and contradicts itself…
Preaching and not showing is very difficult to quantify except on a superficial level. You can never fully suppress the constant grasping towards the future and the past that is the function of the cerebral cortex, and he’s not advocating that. What he’s trying to say is that if you can minimize it from being absolutely dominant in your life, you can live a more fulfilling life.
Its easier said than done of course as are all these ideas about transcendence…
In my opinion, living with regret is a regret in an of itself. Every obstacle in live can be seen as a learning experience. If you utilize each situation to your own individual prosperity, why regret anything? At the end of the day we are mammals and no species has ever been flawless or remotely close. Why beat yourself up for something that happened in the past? Instead, look toward the present with an optimistic and realistic approach while possessing the empirical knowledge of life experiences.
Couldn’t have said this any better myself… I think this was exactly the answer I was looking for. I believe myself that to deem something in life as a mistake is wrong…. because if we had never made that “mistake” how would we grow as people and learn from the past to make our futures that much better.
I use to regret a lot of things. A lot. About how I treated others, how I reacted to treatment towards me, what I said I would do and didn’t, what I said I wouldn’t do and did – you name it, I probably thought about it at least a few times after I did it. I second-guessed myself a lot, and constantly questioned/contemplated things that other people seemed to take for granted. It became pretty normal to hear, “Don’t worry about it so much.” Yep, that’s me: The Worrier.
I have to say though that by simply reading about meditation and enlightenment, embracing the unknown and admitting I don’t know, cutting a lot of “beliefs” that served no purpose in my daily life… Things just had a domino effect until I realized one day, with fluid thoughts, that I cared less about THINKING about my stress. In turn, it waned. I’m able to think more clearly about what path has the least resistance, and how to handle those that don’t without focusing on what COULD happen and instead valuing that which IS happening – that which I can do now. I realized that if I changed the now, the future could change and my worries would become one in a million possibilities depending on what I choose to do – nothing set in stone – each regret suddenly able to be mended as there is always something we can do now to fix it, if we truly want to.
Once those epiphanies started setting in – all in their own time, I will admit – I realized how much more I was taking out of my day. Instead of living in the future, trying to predict everything that could go wrong and how likely, I became focused on my current self. I saw how unhealthy I ate, how little I exercised, how much time I spent in front of Black Ops and how little I valued the people around me – I saw how little I cared about myself now and how much I cared about myself in the future, finally realizing that I had separated the two when they should go hand in hand.
Really, a good portion of society treats the “do good, feel good” mantra as a hokey-pokey religious-freak saying and lifestyle that ought to be avoided. But, if a person is truly trying to do as much good as possible during every moment they act/speak/think, then they would have no doubt about what the future would bring towards them, and they would then be living each day to the fullest. It sucks for selfish people, but “doing good” really does bring good and fortune. Think and act good for long enough and it becomes natural, which causes us to see more good in things than bad. If you believe something, good or bad, you’re only going to see that which solidifies your belief.
Wow…. I wrote a lot more than was probably needed, but hopefully it made sense.