This is quite a difficult post to write today. Why? because I have blogged before about not holding regrets as they don’t do you any good whatsoever. And this blog is about if I could live my life again…and the last thing I want it to sound like is that I am full of regrets or have ill feelings festering inside.
And I don’t even know if this blog will make any sense or resonate with anyone. Today I guess I must be venting or rather expressing, pent up emotions?
But maybe, just maybe, by writing this someone younger may read it and take heed. Who knows?
So I write this post from that old chestnut of, “If I knew then what I know now…” things would be different.
Firstly, how can I put this…words kind of escape me…but I will give it a shot…I am kind of envious, but not green with envy…no inner rage sort of thing…but envious when I see people who have been married for 25 years or more. And it is more emotional if they are married to their childhood sweetheart.
Those people, in my rearview mirror that I glance in from time to time, are so fortunate.
If I could live my life again I would most certainly have stuck at, and worked at, relationships better than I have. I would like to have stayed with the same woman and had all my kids with just one woman (Does that sound bad?).
One of my ex step-children has managed to do just that. And it really pleases me. She has been with him since she was 14 and they have 3 wonderful children together.
I missed my kids growing up so much, being apart from them. And it hits home more when I see how good and wonderful they all are with their own kids. But it also sort of hurts too. Why? because it isn’t because of me they are like that; it is because of their wonderful Mothers.
But because of my marriages, no I cannot regret them. I have wonderful step-children I would never have met. Charlie, Luisa, Kila, Kieran, Jessica, Tristan and Ayden (And my ‘adopted’ son Ryon) and I still love them too.
But sure, I would liked to have done things differently with family.
Life is not just about the money…
I was money hungry when I was younger. And a workaholic. All those weekends I worked, bank holidays and festive times too. Yes, I even worked Christmas day one year! Looking back as somebody older, I very occasionally ask myself, was it worth it?
I can tell you now: NO.
Family is far more important.
And by family, I am also including extended family. Like uncles, aunts, nieces and nephews. I never saw mine. I only saw my Mother for 3 days in nigh on 17 years. Half the time she didn’t even know where in the world I was.
I missed family outings. Simple things like family BBQ’s, going to a panto, the cinema or just for a walk on a fine sunny day. Sure I did have some fun times with family. But nowhere near as many as I would have liked.
Yes you have to make money. And the more you can make with the talents and skills you have the better. Good for you. I am not saying don’t push that. You should. But not at the expense of what really matters in life.
The growing trend…
There seems to be a trend today that you must be different; you must look different and act differently. You must be ‘disruptive’ almost. You must be constantly ‘out there’ for all the world to see, shouting from the roof tops about how great you are.
These seem to be the prerequisites for success these days. You must be a ‘somebody’ or you are a nobody is the modern message.
And the self-help industry (My own industry) is one of the worst culprits for this (I only blogged about what I detest about self-help the other day)
But it is all a fallacy; an illusion.
You can be different and make a difference for other people, your community or the planet without being world famous or being the most popular or gregarious person out there. And you certainly don’t have to look different.
You can still play your part by just being the best that you can be and then raising your own standards. Because that is all there is. No point in pursuing something that isn’t really there anyway. Conformity and normality are actually okay.
By thinking this way and not being so fixated with it, you are more likely to achieve more. That’s the paradox.
If I could live my life again, I would take my eye completely off being or rather trying to be, a world expert or world renowned or wanting to walk the world stage, however you want to view it. That hasn’t ever consumed me like money once did, but I took pride at the fact I achieved world records within my industry once upon a time (I was working all hours to get that).
So if you are reading this with goals like that in mind, pursue them for sure and see how far you can go. But try not to do it at the expense of what really matters to you. I certainly do my utmost to get that message across to my clients who I coach.
And I read that survey not so long ago about happiness. It was the longest study ever done. The conclusion? Family and meaningful relationships with friends was the outright winner that made people happy with their life.
Not work. Not money. Not being world famous. Not being different. Not 10,000 Facebook Likes.
Family and meaningful relationships.
Remember, you can still be your best or get back to your best; work your best, perform your best and do your best, without sacrificing what really matters to you. It is just a matter of getting the balance right.
When you get older, guess which you will want to have done more of and which you will want to have done less of?