Each and every day opportunities go by. One by one. Here today, gone tomorrow. When I think back on my life (34 years-still fairly young) off the top of my head I think of 2 or three dozen opportunities that zoomed by me all because I didn’t act on them. These are things that I regret NOT doing.
What about the things I have done that I regret? How many things did I do that I look back on and say “You Idiot!!!!”
One. There is one single thing that continuously pops in my head that I really really wish I didn’t do. What I did wasn’t that bad. I wouldn’t be guilty of anything other than being a jackass. But I would change it if I could.
At first thought you might think this is a good thing. But it’s not. It’s a terrible thing.
How many times did I sit on the sidelines while others were out playing the game?
My friend, Pat, lived a block from the storied Haight-Ashbury intersection in San Francisco. Quite possibly my favorite spot in the United States and I never went to visit. Sure the air fare was pricey but c’mon! That’s no excuse. I regret not going there as much as anything else. Now he lives in Baltimore and my free housing in San Francisco is gone.
And don’t get me started on the chances I blew with females. This angers me more than anything. In college, I recall standing on the front porch of a girl I liked. I never had the guts to knock on the door. Well in college you just walked in to people’s homes but you get the point. I just stood there telling myself how dumb I would feel if I were to be rejected. I walked back home, tail between my legs. Defeated by my own thoughts. How many times have I talked myself out of something that I wanted, something that was waiting for me to take.
I remember that late evening very vividly. I only lived a block from her house and as I was approaching my home I saw my neighbor, a local York PA resident. He said to me “She’s not going to wait for you. It’s now or never”. This guy had less brain cells than he had teeth. What the hell did he know? Turns out he knew a whole hell of a lot more than I did. I knew he was right, but it didn’t matter. In my mind it was already too late. I had already lost the game despite having everything lined up perfectly for me.
Stories just like this one are endless in my memory. By the time I met Clarissa I was starting to realize that chances had to be taken. I took the lessons that George Costanza learned in “The Opposite” episode and starting doing everything completely different than I thought was right in regards to girls. Low and behold it landed me a beautiful family. Unfortunately it was 10 years later than I would have like to have learned it but hey, better late than never.
Chances need to be taken. Screw ups must occur. Mistakes are OK. Not just OK but they are a must if we are going to grow and allow others around us to grow. We must be allowed to make mistakes as this is the best way for us to learn.
- Stand Out, Don’t fit in. When the teacher or manager of a meeting asks if anyone has any questions or comments, raise your hand. Ask something, anything. Be noticed. Have an opinion and express yourself.
- Don’t wait for tomorrow to take advantage of an opportunity that is provided today. Strike the Hammer while the Iron is Hot! Tomorrow’s chances are yet to come but today’s may be gone forever. Jump on it while you can.
- NEVER let yourself believe you can’t do something. NEVER talk yourself out of something because you fear embarrassment or rejection. If you fear doing something, DO IT! Chances are what you fear is exactly the the thing you should be doing.
Do you have regrets? Are there more regrets for things you did do or didn’t do? If you live in San Francisco, may I visit?