Repeat after me: If I want to live a life I’ll love, I must always lead with love.
If you died tomorrow, do you think you’d be happy with the life you lived? Would you have any regrets? I’m ashamed to say that up until recently I’m not sure I could say I have no regrets. In fact, for a while I always pondered how you live life with no regrets.
Within the last few months, I’ve dealt with the death of three people I grew up with. While all death is difficult to cope with, these three were especially hard because they were all under the age of 34. Two of them were completely unexpected, while one of them had some complications with breast cancer. While it’s honestly been years since I’d been close with any of them, my heart continues to ache for their families, the life they never got to live and the rest of their story that remains unwritten. And of course, I wonder did they leave this world with any regrets?
In one way or another, everyone is searching for the answer to that deep question. “What is the best way to live life?” And for the most part, we all come up with different answers because life is a personal journey. Sometimes we think the answer is to drop everything, move across the country and spend all our free time traveling much like the Vs of Goal Traveler. Other times the conclusion we come to may be to live like a minimalist and focus on the simple treasures. Or some people may choose to dedicate their lives to creating a business that gives back to the community. The list can go on and on.
I may be young, but I know a thing or two about questioning my past and doubting my future. I’ve questioned my decision to attend college, doubted my career choice, became disappointed about financial decisions and even missed people that I’ve released from my life.
I don’t have all the answers and I never will. But what I do know is that leading with love can be the solution to many questions and just might be exactly what we need to live life with no regrets.
When you think about your day to day life, nearly every decision you make is motivated by some emotion or feeling. Sometimes that feeling is anger, fear, anxiousness, exhaustion, jealousy, pain, happiness, worry, boredom and of course love. The list doesn’t end there, but the feeling that motivates your decisions can be the difference between whether or not you end up living with regret.
For example, let’s discuss the decision to not open a business you’ve played with in your mind – a decision that so many people make at various stages of their lives. If you base the decision on the fact that it doesn’t mesh with your personality, will take away from time you spend loving and caring for your family, than there’s a good chance you won’t regret the decision to not start your business. However, if you base the decision off your fear of never making enough money, or the fear of not having the skills you need to stand out in a tough market, there’s a good chance you’ll regret it later. In one scenario, the decision is based on a well meaning, warm place. In the other scenario the decision comes from a bad place of uncertainty that usually doesn’t benefit you at all.
Or consider going on a diet. You can choose to diet because you are jealous of a friend’s transformation or your decision to diet can stem from the desire to feel your best and love your body. One of those triggers will make you feel fulfilled and motivate and the other will most likely leave you miserable and regretting ever starting the diet.
Leading with love means coming from a place that is true to you. It means refusing to allow insecurity, hatred, pain, or any other unpleasant feeling be the reason behind every decision. More importantly, sometimes the love you lead with can be the love you have for yourself. People often confuse leading with love with always being an agreeable person, saying yes to everyone and always putting other people first. However, that’s not what it means to lead with love. Plus, you can do those things and still end up regretting life. Leading with love to live with no regrets can also be a method of self-care.
Bottom line: Whatever decision you make in your life should come from a good place; preferably a place of love.
So many people look back on their lives and wish they’d done things differently. I can’t say you won’t still feel that way if you lead your decisions with love. But I can say that if you lead with love, you’ll most likely be able to walk away knowing that regardless of the outcome, you did what you did for the right reasons. And I honestly believe that leading with love is the simplest way anyone can live life with no regrets.
Do you have any regrets? What do you think you can do now to make sure you live with no regrets.
TERRIfic Quips: In case you don’t know which way to go, lead with love. No matter where you end up, there will be less to regret.