7 Things You’ll Regret in Old Age

November 29, 2016
Sooner or later you'll realize that what you've been dedicating all your time to is not what's truly important and you'll regret not having spent more of it with your loved ones.

Many people spend their lives doing things that they don’t enjoy and neglect the things that are truly worth caring about. At the end of their lives, they look back and start to regret not having done things differently. This is quite possibly one of life’s greatest ironies.

This is more common than what you might think. Many people often regret not having spent more time with their family, working too much, or not taking the time to enjoy life more.

As you get older, you gain wisdom and you begin to understand that the important things in life are family, love, health, and happiness.

We invite you to take a look at this list of things that you’ll probably regret in old age if you don’t make changes now.

7 things you’ll regret in old age

1. Not having the courage to be your true self

Like most people, this is one of the things that you’re going to regret in old age. Fulfilling your family and society’s expectations of you may make you regret not having the courage to be your true self. Do what you truly want instead of what you are supposed to do.

When you follow your passion, you’ll always feel proud of all you’ve done and this will allow you to look back without regrets.

Also read: 5 Things You May Be Doing Today That You’ll Regret in a Few Years

2. Staying in an unsatisfying job instead of taking risks and following your passion

a man stressed out at work, something he will regret in old age

This regret goes hand in hand with the first one. More specifically, it has to do with the place where you choose to spend a large part your life.

A normal job usually takes up 40 hours of your time each week and you probably get two weeks of vacation each year.

If you’re spending most of your time doing something that you don’t like doing and it doesn’t challenge you to go further, then you’re cheating yourself.

Drop this idea of having to present an image to the world and think about what you truly want and are able to do. There’s no better feeling than being excited about going to your job every day.

3. Not spending enough time with family

If family is supposed to be one of the most important things in your life, why do we end up taking them for granted until it’s too late?

Say no to extra work and eat dinner with your family, call your parents or siblings, visit family on the weekends, or communicate via Skype if you live too far away to see each other in person. These are just some of the things you can do to spend more time with family.

There are many ways to stay in touch. Don’t put it off until you have more time because “later” may be too late. Don’t let yourself put important things like this off.

We recommend reading: The Benefits of Having a Pet in The Family

4. Not expressing your true feelings

a couple hugging

Not expressing how you really feel is something that you’ll regret in old age. As you get older, habits become harder to change, and this one is no exception.

As you start making an effort to say how you feel, express to your loved ones just how much they mean to you. Tell people how much you care.

You’ll notice how much better you feel about yourself. The worst thing that can happen is regretting that you didn’t do it sooner.

5. Not keeping in touch with old friends

This can be difficult, especially when you may live or work in a different city, state, or even country. If a long time has gone by, your lives are probably completely different.

It may not seem important to you since people tend to grow apart over time or you may be hoping for the chance to catch up in the future. If you keep putting it off for later in life, it could be something you really end up regretting.

Keeping in touch with old friends can be as simple as getting on Facebook or getting together for dinner or coffee.

6. Working too much

This is something everyone regrets when they’re older. While taking too much time off is perhaps not the best idea, set aside some of your time for the things that make you happy.

In many ways, a simple hug, feeling your toes in the sand, or even taking classes on a subject that interests you are all better than spending extra hours in the office or sitting on your couch watching TV.

Check out this article: Value Those Who Give You Their Time

7. Not traveling or taking enough vacations

 mother and son swimming on vacation

It’s not too hard to find a way to enjoy more free time. You can arrange for unpaid vacations or you can even find a job where you work from home to keep things from piling up on your desk.

Set time limits and stick to them. If your job can’t respect your personal needs, then you should start looking for a new job that will better allow you to manage your time.

Really start thinking about the things that you’re going to regret in old age and do something about them today. Don’t wait until you’re almost dead to start living!

  • Lombardo, Enrique. “Psicología positiva y psicología de la vejez. Intersecciones teóricas.” Psicodebate 13 (2013): 47-60.
  • Neri, Anita Liberalesso. “Bienestar subjetivo en la vida adulta y en la vejez: hacia una psicología positiva; en América Latina.” Revista Latinoamericana de Psicología 1.1 (2002): 55-74.
  • Postigo, José Miguel Latorre, et al. “Memoria autobiográfica, revisión de vida y emociones positivas en la vejez.” Psicología positiva aplicada. Desclée de Brouwer, 2008.