KC10: How To Not Live A Life of Regrets Episode

In this episode, we’ll look at how to NOT live a life of regrets.

It is not intended as an exhaustive how-to guide to living a life of no regrets.

Rather, it’s meant to get you started thinking about what’s TRULY important to you and to begin moving towards it.


The word regret was first used around 1530s. It meant “pain or distress in the mind at something done or left undone”. The dictionary defines it as… a sense of loss, disappointment, dissatisfaction, etc.

Sometime in the 1st half of 2017… I remember speaking to a VERY respectable 60 year old man who said… he knows he was born for greatness and yet the gap between his reality and his vision is way too wide. And at this point in his life, he is extremely desperate and quickly running out of time.

Now one of my ALL TIME favorite quotes is by Henry David Thoreau…

He says… “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

And I know that to be ABSOLUTELY TRUE from speaking at length with people all over the world.

As an Australian nurse, Bronnie Ware has recorded the top regrets of the dying.

Here are the top 5 which will provide valuable insight to you and me…

#1 – I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me

On this note… if you’re constantly living to please other people… that’s a surefire way of having a poor life with regrets.

#2 – I wish I hadn’t worked so hard. (Particularly true for men!)

#3 – I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings

Hey… if you hadn’t express your love towards your loved ones for some time now… go do it!

#4 – I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends

#5 – I wish that I had let myself be happier
Interestingly, this is one of the top goals when I speak to people.

So how can we choose a life of no regrets?

Here’s one approach… and it’s by Jeff Bezos of Amazon who calls it… The Regret Minimisation Framework.

Sounds geeky eh? 🙂

But the idea behind it is actually pretty simple…

You project yourself forward to the age of 80. The average human lifespan being only 69 to 71.5 years old by the way.

Looking back on your life… you want to minimise the number of regrets. When you “time travel a little” to the age of 80 and consider your potential regrets… things tend to get a lot clearer and you’ll have a lot better of a perspective.

In Jeff Bezos’ case… the decision became simple. He knew he would regret at 80 for not trying out his idea of selling books online. Though he was having a well paying job at that time. He knew he wouldn’t regret failing but he would definitely regret for not trying.

Well… he quit his job, founded Amazon and as they say… the REST is history!

At this point… I’ll give you some ideas for what might be important to do… so you live a life of no regrets.

Could be pursuing a “more” spiritual path… or even joining the mission field.

Perhaps opening yourself to a new love relationship.

Embarking on a completely different vocation which you intuitively know will fulfill you.

Starting a business around your passion.

Taking substantial time off from your work to build homes & schools for the less privileged.

Developing your interest – e.g. Singing, dancing, arts, cooking, etc.

Or even migrating to a completely different country to begin a new life.

And the list goes on and on and on.

Some Powerful Quotes

As we wrap up, allow me to share some quotes with you…

Someone once said…
The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.

A Yiddish Proverb says… “A man is not old until his regrets take the place of his dreams”.

Mark Twain said… “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do… So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

And the late Steve Jobs said…

Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose… You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

So love yourself enough to take ample time and ask what you would regret if you did not do in your life…

Go ahead… have fun… stay childlike…

You only have 1 life… live it fully…

Meantime, I’ll love to hear from you at KelvinChan.org.

Till the next episode… stay WILD at heart & don’t live to regret! =)