Regret is the worst. Don’t let life pass you by with regrets. Regret is why I have a motto: Never fail due to a lack of effort because effort requires no skill.
Despite perpetual failure, I have continued to put myself out there. As a result, at least Financial Samurai has turned out to be one of the largest personal finance sites in the world with 1 million organic visitors a year.
All it took was diligently publishing three articles a week every week since 2009! You’ve got to have grit and consistency if you want to succeed.
Don’t Let Life Pass You By With Regret
Once a quarter, I try and learn a new song on my trusty 12 year old Martin acoustic guitar. I’m already behind. Some are impossible to play, and others are impossible to sing. This time around, I stumbled across a song that not only is easy to play, but also possible not to butcher. The song is called “Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town,” by Pearl Jam.
I’ve probably listened to this song a hundred times since it first came out in 1993, but I never really understood the meaning until now. Isn’t it weird how one can be so oblivious to a great tune, even memorizing the lyrics without ever understanding the message? Again, we don’t slow down and stop to consider, and as a result we go forward only scratching the surface of so many wonderful things.
“Small town,” is about a middle-aged woman stuck in a dinky, dusty old town. When she was young, she struggled like hell to get out, but now she’s given up and has accepted her fate. There’s no escaping anymore. She’s working at a small store, and in comes a nice looking man in fancy clothes with a nice car parked outside.
He must be from a big town, she thinks to herself. At first she doesn’t recognize him, but after a while she finally begins to recall that he was her old flame from long ago. She’s too embarrassed to say “hello” because nothing about her has changed excepted her age, so she let’s him come and leave without saying a word.
On she goes with her business as she wonders where he’s off to. She thinks about all the things she could have done. She thinks about the life she could have had with him.
Really listen to the lyrics and think about the description above to soak in the meaning. It took a couple hours of practicing and re-recording to understand every line. I never want to look back and regret the things I didn’t do.
I want to go on a great adventure and keep pushing forward. Don’t you? It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, doing the same thing over and over again. You wake up, check your e-mails, cut the grass, make some lunch, watch TV, take a nap.
Before you know it, life has passed you by. I hope life doesn’t go by too quickly. Before you make any decision, go through a regret minimization exercise to help you make better choices.
Readers, do you feel that life speed is accelerating? Are there things that you have longed to do, but have never gotten around to it? What’s stopping you? Do you ever try and understand some of your favorite songs?
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