10 Choices That Will Haunt You 10 Years From Now

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In 10 years time, do you want to look back and be swallowed by a feeling of regret, or do you want to rejoice on a decade well lived?

If you chose the latter option, you must try to stop the following 10 behaviors from ruling your life. Each one is eating away at your level of happiness and contentment, so the sooner you say sayonara to them, the better.

So, in no particular order, you need to stop…

1. Accepting Society’s Model Of Success

Do you feel successful in your life right now? If not, why not? Could it be that you are letting society dictate what success looks like?

This is not unusual; in fact, the vast majority of us look to the wider world to understand what success is. This is not healthy, however, because the definition of success is different for each and every person.

You are most likely being taught that wealth, fame, or physical appearance is synonymous with success. The thing is…you shouldn’t believe everything that society tells you.

Success can mean whatever you want it to mean and your job is to figure out what is important to you, what experiences should be valued and which principles should be honored.

2. Hiding Your True Self To Impress Others

While you may not realize it now, in 10 years time you are going to wonder why you spent so much time trying to be someone you’re not.

It may feel like you need to wear a mask and hide your authentic self if you are to ever get ahead in life, but this is a lie. In fact, it is those who allow their true self to shine through that often find themselves at the head of the queue. They may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but their honesty is palpable and the right people will recognize and reward it.

By being yourself, you not only build trust and loyalty, but it’s also a great deal less draining; holding back or faking your personality is as tiring as it comes.

3. Being All Take, Take, Take

Life is all about your interactions with others. Many of these will have an element of give and take in terms of time, energy, money, and affection.

While it might seem tempting to try to be on the receiving end all the time, this approach will ultimately leave you isolated and emotionally malnourished.

You see, while taking from others gives you short term satisfaction, it is only through giving back that you find lasting joy. Being there and helping someone else is immensely rewarding and no matter how small the gesture, you’ll feel better for it.

4. Suppressing Your Feelings

You might think that your feelings are just in your head and that they don’t reflect reality, but you’d be wrong to do so. Feelings are actually a representation of your own reality and by trying to ignore them, you are missing out on extremely important feedback.

Your feelings can tell you something about how the world around you aligns with your beliefs, your morals, and your underlying desires. Whether you are feeling good or bad about a situation, you should listen to what message is being delivered and act upon it.

By ignoring your feelings, you are swimming against your inner tide and this will eventually lead you to a place of remorse.

5. Believing That Work = Life

What you do as your job or vocation is undoubtedly an important aspect of your life, but it is rarely ever your whole life. For the vast majority of people, work is primarily a means to an end, but we often let it dominate our existence.

Even outside of the working day, we talk about it, we worry about it, and we let it linger in our minds. This may be because job satisfaction is generally quite low and we feel compelled to moan about how unhappy we are and how we wish we could quit.

On the flip side, there are those workers who put in so many hours in order to chase riches that they neglect their own free time and the people in their lives.

In an ideal world, we would all get paid a good salary for a job we enjoyed doing, but since this is not the case, we should try to remember that, yes, work is a part of life, but it should be confined to as small a part as possible.

Life is so much more and the older you get, the more you come to understand this.

6. Not Following Your Dreams

From a very young age, we all have dreams about what we’d like to achieve in life. Despite this, a relatively small number of people ever chase their dreams and follow them through to fruition.

You may believe that your dream is unrealistic or simply too risky to try to attempt, but every time you sideline your dream, you only serve to make it harder in the future.

Whether it is starting your own business, travelling the world with just a backpack, or seeking your 15 minutes of fame, you will be far more content in your later years having given it a go – regardless of the outcome – than if you never even tried.

7. Running From Change

Tying in closely to the previous point on dreams, you ought not to shy away from allowing change into your life now and again.

People grow and situations evolve; ignoring these facts and attempting to maintain the status quo will only lead to disappointment. Don’t resist change, but feel your way into it as it happens. Listen to your feelings because, as was discussed earlier, they are your best guide to navigating your way through a period of change; they will let you know which direction your life ought to take at any given moment.

Change can be scary and it won’t always be pleasant, but attempting to prevent it from happening is like trying to stop the sun from rising and setting – it can’t be done. Instead, you have to face it head on and take charge of it rather than running from it.

8. Trying To Control Every Little Detail

If you think that you can go through life and remain in control of everything that happens to you, then you are sorely mistaken. As much as you may wish to micromanage the world around you, there will always be things that are beyond your control and those that you can’t foresee.

So loosen your grip ever so slightly and let life unravel in a natural way and you might be pleasantly surprised at what it brings you. By not strangling it with your desire for control, you will allow things into your life that you might have otherwise deflected away.

Life is there to be lived and enjoyed, not squeezed into a mold of your own making.

9. Taking Friendships For Granted

A good friend is something that has value beyond measure and they should be treated as such. If you neglect a friendship or take the other person for granted too many times, you may find that they begin to drift away from you.

While friendship circles almost always shrink as we get older, it is vitally important to cherish those who mean the world to you. Make them feel appreciated, take the time to keep the bonds strong, and you will have a companion for life.

10. Not Living In The Present

There is an unfortunate trend among people these days and it is one that is suffocating our joy and happiness. It is the way we allow our minds to dwell either in the past or the future and how this restricts our enjoyment of the present.

While we can learn from what’s gone before, and we can plan for what’s ahead, there is only one time in which we can actually live our lives – the present moment. We are the now, the world is the now, all things are the now. This is when life happens to us and if you fail to recognize this early on, you may find yourself wondering, in 10 years time, where your life went.

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About The Author

Steve Phillips-Waller is the founder and editor of A Conscious Rethink. He has written extensively on the topics of life, relationships, and mental health for more than 8 years.