No matter what decision you make, no matter what path you go down in life, there is a chance you’re going to have regrets. That’s why you should make your decisions based off of what you are going to regret the least.
Would you regret it more if you told your crush how you felt and he rejected you — or if you never told him how you felt and spent your whole life wondering whether he was interested in you too? Would you rather quit your current job and struggle to pay your rent on time — or would you rather continue working a job you hate, never knowing whether you could have made a living doing what you love?
You can’t allow fear to stop you from living your life. No matter what path you choose, there are always going to be things that could go wrong. Even if you end up taking the safest route, there are no guarantees. There is always a chance you aren’t going to get what you wanted.
In a viral commencement speech given by Jim Carrey, he talks about how his father chose to be an accountant instead of a comedian because he wanted to make a more conservative choice, but was eventually let go from the position. Jim Carrey wraps up the story like this: “I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which is that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”
The next time you’re stuck making a big decision, you should keep his story in mind. You should remind yourself staying in your comfort zone isn’t always the wisest decision. Sometimes, you should take a risk. Sometimes, you should dive into the unknown.
You might be hesitant to tell someone how you feel right now because you’re worried they’re going to break your heart. But you might break your own heart by avoiding them, by assuming you know how they feel, by sabotaging the relationship before it has a chance to begin. Or you might be worried about leaving your current position in order to chase your dreams. But, like Jim’s father, you might get fired from this position anyway.
There’s no telling what the future holds, which is why you can’t worry too much. You should always plan, and you should always think through your options, but you should never assume life is going to go the way you expect. Anything could happen. If you play it safe, you could suffer. If you take a chance on yourself, you could succeed.
The next time you’re faced with a big decision, your best course of action is to ask yourself what you would regret the least. Ask yourself which rewards are worth their risks. Ask yourself what kind of future you would rather live.
All in all, you can’t stop yourself from having regrets, but you can make sure you have the right regrets.