It’s strange; the saying “life is short” is one of the most common in modern American culture, yet only the slightest fraction of the population act on it. We all have dreams, an ideal life, so why is it that we rarely ever pursue our dreams? For most of us it’s because we don’t really believe that we are able to achieve them. Think about this: If you were somehow guaranteed to achieve your dream life if only you would make the attempt, wouldn’t it be infinitely easier to take that first step and see your goal through? Anything good takes sacrifice, in terms of time, money, effort, or any other type of energy. We don’t pursue our dreams because we don’t want to make a major sacrifice for what we tell ourselves is a shot in the dark. It seems foolish, we’d rather invest our energies into sure things with small returns. Let me make the case that not taking that chance is the most foolish thing you can do.
This viewpoint helps me see things through…give less importance to the actual achieving of your goal than to the effort you make towards it. Being able to tell myself that I tried my hardest is even more important that actually achieving the goal, for life really is too short. When it’s all over and your time is almost up, you may look back on your life and think “Man, I should have tried harder. Looking back on it now, there really wasn’t anything in my way but myself”. Regret is one of the worst emotions a person can feel. Regret for wasted time, time you can never get back. Whatever it is that you really want to do, don’t make it an issue of failing or succeeding. Make it an issue of whether or not you gave it your best shot. Reaching for your dreams and failing is far better than the regret of not trying. Let fear of regret be your motivation.
So today, think carefully about the life you really want to live and take one step in that direction. Not two, not zero, just one. Don’t listen to that voice in your head telling you it’s a waste of time; success isn’t even the point, it’s the ability to be able to tell yourself that you tried that’s important. Boldly charge ahead of obstacles, make those sacrifices even if you “know” that you’re going to fail or that it’s a waste of time. Failure is not your enemy, regret is your enemy. You’ll never forgive yourself if you don’t try. And as an added bonus, you may actually get the life you never thought possible. Like they say, you can’t win if you don’t play.