11 Things I’ve Never Heard Anyone Regret

by RJ

in Psychology

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time…is today” – Chineese Proverb

I’m waiting and I plan on waiting for the rest of my life.

What am I waiting for? I’m waiting for someone who regretted simplifying their life.

In a conversation* the other day, a friend and I discussed how we had never heard anyone who simplified their life go back to their old ways of hoarding and complexity.

This conversation had me thinking about other scenarios, which I’ve never heard anyone regret. All together, I counted 11 things:

  1. Simplifying their life.
  2. Starting to save and invest as soon as they can
  3. Maintaining a healthily lifestyle
  4. Taking time off to travel
  5. Getting out of debt
  6. Taking up reading as a hobby
  7. Delegating
  8. Telling the truth
  9. Investing in index funds
  10. Bootstrapping
  11. Leaving on good terms

What am I missing? What have you never heard of anyone regret doing? Let me know in the comments.


Photo by: Snermon87


*In all honesty, the only reason this conversation came up is because of my love for garlic and cooking. I was explaining how I’ve never regretted adding extra garlic to a dish. (:

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris ParsonsNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 9:16 am

Watching less TV.
Spending more quality time (aka not in front of tv) with their family.
Developing goals and direction for their life.


RJNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 9:53 am

@Chris – Can’t believe I forgot goal setting and watching less TV. A long with spending more quality time with family. Thanks.


Chris ParsonsNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 10:11 am

No problem! They were the first thing that I thought of, because that’s what I’ve personally been working on changing. It’s tough to get out of the habit of mindlessly watching TV, but I really believe it has one of the highest impacts on quality of life. I don’t want to quit watching TV entirely (afterall, I still have a few sports teams I want to watch), but I don’t want it to be the first thing I do when I got home – and have it stay on the entire evening.

The average American watches 4.5 hours of TV a day. That’s 4.5 hours of accomplishing nothing, having no meaningful conversations, etc etc. And goal setting becomes a lot easier when you have time to think of what’s important to you – and time to accomplish it.


jeff dullaNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 11:45 am

I regret getting a bermese mountain dog and I regret being a terrible chicago bulls fan my entire life :(


EricNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm

I can definitely say I have done 6 of those things, and I regret none of them. The other 5 are in-progress. As for TV, it’s usually the first thing I’ve heard recommending when trying to simplify. Unfortunately, once I’m hooked on a show, it’s hard for me to break the trend of watching it. I have, however, adopted the policy of not starting to watch any new shows recently, so perhaps once my current shows exhaust themselves, I can finally begin to pull away from TV.

As for my personal list, I would add “Going away for college.” While there is a small minority that regrets it, I would pin a higher number of regrets on staying home for college. Going away offers, for most, a taste of independence (that for myself inspired me to gain independence and responsibility in other areas of my life, including my finances).


RJNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 2:25 pm

@Eric – I agree with college. I would rephrase that to say, “I’ve never heard anyone regret somewhere warm in college.”

@Jeff – Who knew you were going to get an extremely shy dog. Plus, you know you’re secretly obsessed with how good Derrick Rose is and going to be. (Other readers, Jeff’s one of my best buddies. He thinks the NBA is boring)


JoeTaxpayerNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 3:48 pm

Ironically, I love the list, but I’ve actually added to much garlic, go figure.


Pat S.No Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 4:48 pm

I’ve never heard anyone regret learning a new skill or hobby. Worst case, you open your mind and don’t continue to try the new pastime. Best case, you discover new things about yourself and develop new passion and direction in your life.


RJNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 4:52 pm

@JoeTaxpayer – My mom is Italian, so I believe garlic sauteed in olive oil was my first recognizable smell.


LindsayNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

No one ever regrets a great workout!


BenNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 9:00 pm

As we were getting ready for a run, a friend recently told me that he’s never regretted working out. I use that as motivation every time I feel like skipping my workout.


PatrickNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 11:00 pm

I like the list and would add just a few things to mine:

1-Remembering that putting faith in God, going to Church and telling your children about your beliefs builds a stronger household than just bringing home the newest xbox game.
2-Volunteer work in your local community is a force multiplier. The more you give the more you receive in helpers others improve their lives.
3-The blackberry is not more important than a face to face conversation with my wife.
4-Saving up a special events fund and being able to get Rascal Flatts tickets 4 rows from the stage for your wifes birthday is a gift she will remember for a long time.
5-Rescheduling appointments on your work calendar to attend your child’s parent teacher conference physically demonstrates your talking points that education is important.
6-Never risk what you cannot afford to lose. This can cover gambling, investments, drinking at a bar, potential affairs, etc…is getting a DUI and sleeping with a stranger worth losing your house, family and spouse? Of course not, make better decisions.
7-Never respond to emails when you are angry.
8-Never grocery shop when you are hungry.
9-Tell your parents/spouse/children I love you, because once they are gone you can never get those moments back.
10-Honor our Veterans, chances are they have done and seen evil so you didn’t have too.


Ornella GroszNo Gravatar January 19, 2011 at 11:34 pm

I’ve never heard a mother say that she regrets taking time off (ususally it’s years) from work to raise her child(ren). I know my mom didn’t.


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