Living a Life Without Regret

One of Mark Twain’s many sayings is:  “Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do…..”  And if you think about it in your own life, that’s probably true.  I know it is for me!  Of course, it is also how my daughter talked me into bungee jumping in South Africa.

I had been adamant that not only was I not going bungee jumping, but no one in our family was going bungee jumping.  In fact, I was so adamant, I had planned our route so we didn’t even take the road near the bridge for bungee jumping.  But we had so many people telling us what an amazing experience it was, I finally relented enough that I wasn’t going to tell other family members what to do.  So my husband and 20 year old daughter were ready to jump…and then my daughter came to me with the same pleading eyes that got her ice cream when she was little and she said, “mom when are you ever going to have a chance to bungee jump with your daughter in South Africa ever again?  Please do the jump with us!”

Well…a deep breath (and a shot of tequila) later, I did make the jump.  And you know what?  It’s probably one of the best things I’ve ever done in my entire life.  No, not the bungee jump itself – although that actually did turn out to be fun in an exhilarating, memorable, and I-have-no-need-to-ever-do-that-again kind of way.  But what made it such a fantastic, cool and really emancipating experience is what I took away from that jump.  Every time I think about it, it makes me smile; and it makes me proud…and it makes me know I can do more than I think I can.  It’s a reminder of how limiting my fears can be and what a joy it is to conquer them.  That one jump gave me confidence I didn’t know I had and a different outlook on doing things that look scary or risky.  And I know absolutely that if I hadn’t jumped, I would still be regretting that choice.  So it has also given me a new way to look at other opportunities and ask myself which choice I will be happiest with a month or a year or 10 years from now.

Jim Carey’s movie ‘Yes Man’ rather brilliantly illustrates a couple of points related to living without regret as well.  Jim plays “Carl” who attends a motivational seminar and reluctantly makes a covenant to answer “Yes!” to every opportunity, request, or invitation that presents itself. And say yes he does! And (spoiler alert) he gets himself out of the rut he had been in, meets a girl, and finds enjoyment in living.  He also discovers that the covenant was never a real thing where he should say yes to everything… but rather be open to saying yes and use some discernment before committing.  Discernment is definitely an important element and really means getting the facts and evaluating opportunities based on those facts rather than on fears and what may be misperceptions.

Jumping into business ownership can be kind of like bungee jumping.  It can look scary when you are just looking at the idea of business ownership without perhaps even knowing what kind of business or what the potential can be.  But exploring franchise ownership does give you the opportunity to explore the pros and cons and facts in detail before you ever make that leap into ownership.   And the pride and the joys and the rewards of ownership can lead to other opportunities as well.

By the way, the end to that Mark Twain quote is:  “So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”  Here’s wishing you smooth sailing, adventure, and a life without regrets!

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