When I was a young man, trying to find my way through life, I sat down with my father to hear about his life and what brought him to where he was at that time. As I heard about his military service, his marriage to my mother, and the jobs he had through the years there was one story that has stuck with me throughout my life. He told me the story of how he was working a job and had an opportunity to purchase a business with a friend. The business was a tire store/parts and repair center. He and his friend gathered the down payment and worked with the current owner to take over the business. In the midst of those discussions, the doors of the business were chained shut because the taxes had not been paid on the business by the previous owner. Rather than working through the details, my father backed out of the business and walked away from the investment. He stated that the pressure of the situation was just too much, but he always wondered how it would have turned out if we would have worked through those issues and been a business owner. I heard the regret in his voice as he told the story, always wondering what would have happened if…
I’m not sure that story my father told was supposed to be a motivational lesson or a warning. Was he saying don’t be afraid to take chances or was he warning me of the impending doom of taking chances and living for the moment? What I heard was never live a life of regrets, try new things, and live your life fully. Taking heed of that advice, my life has been filled with a wide variety of experiences and my resume is more like a scatter plot than a clearly defined line chart showing an upward move through an industry. I’ve tried many things, succeeded and failed in some businesses, and enjoyed my jobs/careers regardless of the skill set that I was using at the time. Without a doubt, I have attempted to live my life with no regrets. However; knowing my father, that story was probably meant as a warning and I got it all wrong.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. (Quote accredited to Mark Twain but unverified)
Live your journey without regrets, live a life full of experiences.
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Great story and perspective!
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