I have come to believe that almost everything in life can be explained by American C&W music. In one song I enjoy, the singer talks about watching an important part of his life fade away in the distance in his rearview mirror. He asks, “Did I wait too long?” Of course, because this is a C&W song, he is singing about his girl. But, nonetheless, this reminds me of a quote by, of all people, Alexander Graham Bell:
“When one door closes another door opens; but, we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” – Alexander Graham Bell
The song and the quote are getting at the same thing…
“We often wait so long to take action or to make a decision that the opportunity passes, leaving us with regrets. We more frequently regret those things we did not do than those we did do.”
What is it about us that make us reluctant to “choose the open door?” What is it about risk that paralyzes us? It is because we are too comfortable in our rut or that we’ve regretted previous open doors? I recently ran across a list of “20 regrets from people on their deathbeds…” How many of these fall into the category of “looking regretfully upon the closed door?”
- I wish I’d cared less about what other people think.
- I wish I had accomplished more.
- I wish I had told __ how I truly felt.
- I wish I had stood up for myself more.
- I wish I had followed my passion in life.
- I wish our last conversation hadn’t been an argument.
- I wish I had let my children grow up to be who they wanted to be.
- I wish I had lived more in the moment.
- I wish I had worked less.
- I wish I had traveled more.
- I wish I had trusted my gut rather than listening to everyone else.
- I wish I’d taken better care of myself.
- I wish I’d taken more risks.
- I wish I’d had more time.
- I wish I hadn’t worried so much.
- I wish I’d appreciated ___ more.
- I wish I’d spent more time with my family.
- I wish I hadn’t taken myself so seriously.
- I wish I’d done more for other people.
- I wish I could have felt happier.
Sometimes it is good to look at these lists and take a personal inventory… how am I doing with these?
That’s it… no more guilt for today. Spend some time on yourself today. Do something fun! And, take someone you care about along for the ride. Choose the open door!
(Note: The song mentioned above is by Restless Heart and can be found at this link… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIytqbCJfZo )