7 biggest regrets people have in their golden years

Begin With the End in Mind

Dr. Stephen R. Covey, who died in 2012 when he was almost 80, wrote that in his popular book ”The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

What Dr. Covey meant by saying “Begin with the End in Mind” is that we should start each day, task, or project with a clear vision of your desired direction and destination, and then continue by flexing your proactive muscles to make things happen.

We also save ourselves from a lot of regrets whether it be at the end of a project or of life. Elderly people have a lot of regrets in life, as they realize what they should have done when young. This article has 7 biggest regrets that people have when they are old.

You promise yourself to have no regrets as you move forward in life. However, your day-to-day life, may cause you to wonder: Am I making the most of my time while I am here?

Whether you accept it or not, all of us have regrets in life. Instead of evaporating with age, regrets tend to accumulate—in a 2016 poll conducted by the life insurance company Allianz, 32% of respondents said they regretted key life decisions they’d made.

We have taken the help of mental health experts, to round up 7 biggest regrets of old people.

  1. Regarding their role as a citizen of this world people regret not doing more for others.

You are living in a global village, and as a human being you are not just and Indian or American but a citizen of this world. When it comes to preventing regret later in life, a little altruism can go a long way.

According to Patricia Celan, MD, a postgraduate psychiatry resident, “contributing to society by volunteering, supporting important causes, or making a difference to the community or state of the world is widely valued,” but “realising they did not do anything significant with their lives is a very common regret.”

  1. Regarding relationships people regret not nurturing good relationships or ending abusive relationships sooner.

Relationships do not always work out, and they are rarely easy for either partner. Unfortunately, many people learn too late that they could have done more to maintain the health of their relationship.

According to Celan, people regret how they treated their spouse, parents, or children, whether it was inattentive and dismissive behaviour or abusive treatment in any form.

People also bemoan the fact that they did not exit violent relationships sooner.

Of course, not every relationship is a good one, and many individuals regret the time they wasted with partners who didn’t value them or were abusive.

Licensed therapist Eric Patterson, LPC, says, “Many feel remorse for allowing the relationship to go as long as it did. If they had to do it all over again, they would call it quits at the first sign of difficulties.”

  1. When it comes to their careers, many regret not taking enough risks.

The elderly people were far more supportive of career risk-taking than you might think.

Many people regretted letting go opportunities to better their career because they were frightened of taking a risk or were felt safe in their comfort zone.

Jeremy Bloom, the founder of Wish of a Lifetime, an organisation that grants wishes to the elderly, says, “Our oldest generation is reminding us that we need to live a life with a predisposition toward yes.”

You are far more likely to regret a professional decision you did not make than you are to regret trying and failing miserably.

Unless there is a compelling reason to deny a job opportunity, always say yes.

  1. People regret not taking care of their bodies when it comes to their health.

People in their golden years wish they had taken better care of themselves. Most people believed that if they had eaten better, rested more, and taken better care of their health and well-being, they would not have become ill. They wished they had prioritised self-care more.

Every day, take time to go for a walk in the woods, nap, or meditate.

  1. People lament not spending enough time with their parents and children.

You’ve probably heard the parenting proverb, “The days are long, but the years are short.”

One of the most common regrets parents have is that they did not spend more time bonding with their children when they had the opportunity.

According to Elisa Robyn, Ph.D., a Colorado-based psychologist and life transitions expert, “many adults regret spending too much time at work and not enough time with [their] children. We typically focus on providing or prospering, but we forget that our families will not always be with us.”

People also regret not spending enough time with their parents with whom we only have a small amount of years. Unfortunately, people take relationships with their parents for granted and even neglect them while they are still alive. But, they regret it once their parents have died. According to Robyn, many people afterwards question what else they may have learned from their parents.

  1. People regret not being more romantic with their partners. They also feel bad about being a careless partner.

Relationships end for a variety of reasons, but few individuals will admit that, when all is said and done, they wished they had been less romantic. People regret passing up those small opportunities to show someone how valuable they are to you with a romantic gesture.

When you’re in your 60s, 70s, and 80s, it’s unlikely that you’ll remember those nights spent toiling away at work as your partner attempted to connect with you warmly. We can’t turn go back in time and develop better relationships, says Robyn.

  1. When it comes to money, people regret not saving enough.

It may not be flashy or entertaining in the present, but putting money aside now may help you avoid regrets later in life. Money concerns, like not saving enough for retirement, turn out to be among the most common regrets people have later in life.

My advise is to the same as Dr. Covey gave in his book: Begin with the end in mind. Doing so will not only keep you on the right track but also save you from all the regrets that people have at the end of their lives. It will also save you from any regret when we will be raised from the dead by the One Almighty God in the after life.