I just finished the book "30 Lessons for Living: Tried and True Advice from the Wisest Americans". It was wonderful. I have always said that there was a cruel life trick played on us; When we are young we have time ( in most cases) to explore and make many mistakes and errors. When we are old, we have made the mistakes, but now time is short. That is destination thinking, not journey thinking.
When I saw the book or read about it some where, I cannot remember which, my thought was "wow, here is the book to answer the questions without the pain". To some extent it was. There were some moments and wisdom that I latched onto. But the main thing I learned is a life looked back on with regrets is something I fear the most. How much it would suck to be near the end and say "I wish I had...."?
So with that thought in my head I decided to look back at things I have regrets about in my career that I would do differently had I known what I know today.
- Not realizing that relationships are key. This took a while, but I finally got it. Still working on it also.
- Not saying yes more. I stuck to what I knew so I would not fail as much. Insecurity was the root of this. Ego was the driver. Who wants to fail after all?
- Overcoming failure and not retreating. I had a bad experience early on. I needed to be tougher, but I was not. Lesson learned? Press on through adversity.
- Thinking I knew it all. Enough said.
- Learning humility. See above and still working on this.
- Having career discussions with my wife. While we both had and still have a general sense of where we are going, more specific plans would have helped navigate a two career marriage more easily.
- Let it go (straight from the 30 lessons book). Not getting wound up over stuff and people.
These are few key ones that came easily to me. I hope to be even more self aware of what choices are put in front of me, how I will act on them, how I will look back on that action. Regret? Yes or no.
What about you? What do you regret in your career or in life?
I would love to know.