What could possibly be the most arduous and excruciating thing you might have gone through? It’s not the pain of execution, rejection, failure or discipline.
I’ve served in the military for 2.5 years, finished 2 full marathons and 1 ultra-marathon (50km), did a 100km hike in 35 hours and experienced countless job rejections from being unemployed for 1.5 years. And it still doesn’t come close to this pain.
Before I go into the answer, let me share with you my recent visit to the land of the dead.
The Melbourne Cemetery.
According to Wikipedia, the Melbourne General Cemetery is a large (43 hectare) necropolis located 2 km (1.2 mi) north of the city of Melbourne in the suburb of Carlton North.
So how in the world did I end up in the cemetery?
I usually do my morning runs in Princes Park, which is not too far away, so I thought I do a little wander to have a look at this place.
The scariest thing about a cemetery is not about the dead coming back to life or that you’ll see a little girl with long hair dressed in red at midnight sitting under a particular tree.
Not really that!
The most terrifying thing about a cemetery is the countless bodies buried together with their untapped potential, underused ambition and unfulfilled dreams.
I’ll bet with you that many who went down into the grave had things which they should have done, could have done, and would have done.
Should-have, could-have, would-have.
“If only I had the time…”
“If only I had more energy…”
“If only I had the chance…”
“If only they didn’t…”
“If only I did something about it…”
Sorry honey. It’s too late!
Hence, let me reveal to you the biggest pain in life.
It is the pain of regret.
At the end of the day, according to Mark Twain, what we will regret most are the things which we wished we had done but didn’t do, rather than the things which we actually did.
Hence, it’s better to try and fail, than fail to try.
What is one thing which you really wanted to do, and you know deep down that if you didn’t do it, it will be one of the biggest regrets in your life?
I’ve thrown this challenge to several attendees at my workshops and they mention things like:
- travelling the world
- writing a book
- getting closer with loved ones
- building houses and digging wells in developing countries
- learning a new language or musical instrument
- being more empathetic and spiritual
- learning how to become a yoga teacher
- starting their own business
Remember, the clock is ticking and we aren’t on this planet forever.
So seize the day, seize the opportunity and seize the bull by its horns.
You’ve got this!