The Last Word

By Zade Fairweather | Posted: Thursday April 7, 2016

There comes a time when everyone regrets something. That feeling of sadness or disappointment over something you've done, or failed to do.

Now to me, the latter here is more important. Regret over something that you've failed to do. Let's keep in mind however, failing to do something does not necessarily mean you tried for it in the first place. It may simply mean you decided not to do it. Maybe you decided that you weren't good enough to try out for the sports team, maybe you didn't audition for a role in the production, or maybe you didn't bother studying for that next test. In any of these situations though, you may find you're filled with regret. Then the inevitable question hits you. What if? What if I had tried out for the sports team or production, maybe I'd have gotten a role. Well, unfortunately by that time, you're just a wee bit too late to find out.

Let's put it in a different context for a moment. Imagine yourself, 60, 70 years from now, recounting your past memories. Would you rather have a million "what if" questions tumbling through your head, reminding you of all the opportunities you missed, or would you rather have the certainty to know and say, “yeah, I did that. I grabbed life by the proverbial horns and I owned it!” A life full of "remember when" is a damn sight better than a life full of what if. Remember when I got most valuable player, despite doubting my abilities. Remember when I got that scholarship, despite almost not applying for it. Remember when I won a prize for my singing performance on stage, despite hating the sound of my own voice.

Whatever your interests, passions, hobbies, skills and talents, there are always two options. The path of definite regret, or the path of possible triumph. Don't let me convince you, convince yourself, that you're capable. That you're able, that you're man enough to be you on your own terms, and not living someone elses life, that you'll come to regret. Say no when it's absolutely necessary, but say yes when on the fence. Say yes, I'll give it a try. Say yes, I'm confident enough to know my flaws but to work at them. With the idea that in time, given enough practice and enthusiasm, passion and failure, that I'll get back up each and every time, stronger than before, more confident than before, with the unending goal, dream, ideal that I didn't give up before I tried and I won't live to regret this moment.

So one day when someone asks you if you really did that, you can simply say, "I did".

So don't just ignore or reluctantly accept opportunities, pounce at them when they arise. Don't miss the chances now that will turn your youth into an experience, instead of just a theory lesson. Fill your bag of experience, while the opportunities are ripe and plentiful, and don't let your life simply be a regret.

I can't think of anything worse than being able to perfectly summate one's life with four words,

“It might have been.”

Zade Fairweather