If you were to die today, would you be happy with the life you have lived? If the world would end in a few days, do you think you have done enough?
Thinking about the things we have done, events we have attended, and accomplishments we have made in the past are quite easy to enumerate. However, the challenging part is weighing whether or not you have lived a life worth living.
Who Are They?
In a documentary I watched just a few days ago, it featured people living over a hundred years old, which were called centenarians. If you think about it, to live that long may either be a blessing or a curse. Why?
When you’re older, you have more experiences in life. Thus, you have more to look back to. When you’re that old, you’re either full of fulfilment or full of regret, making the situation very crucial.
In the documentary, the centenarians were interviewed and ask a variety of questions. These questions went something like “What’s life like over 100?” or “What are the limitations of being 100-years-old?” and more.
What Should Have They Done?
When the centenarians in the documentary were asked about the biggest regrets in their life, the group of people looked back and had a variety but not so different answers:
Top 5 Regrets of Centenarians
- “I wish I set the bar higher.”
- “I wish I lived life more for myself, and not for others.”
- “I wish I was more expressive of myself & got in touch with others more”
- “I wish I allowed myself to be happier & let go of others’ opinions”
- “I wish I took better care for myself, and didn’t worry too much”
They said that one of their biggest regrets was not being able to set the bar higher. What does this mean?
Well, to simply put it, this means that they wished they did things differently if they pushed themselves more to reach better goals. For them, in the life that they have had, they have achieved a lot of things - big and small, but the bar was set too low making everything attainable and achievable. For them, they could have achieved far more significant things, if they aimed higher and set the bar at a better standard. But for them, it’s already too late given their limited abilities at this point.
Why Does It Matter?
Why does it matter to set the bar high? The centenarians who were interviewed emphasised this one thing when they answered the question about their regrets: taking risks. To take risks means to be open to all the possibilities that could happen after a situation. You can either be successful or fail in it, but both ways are still learning experiences.
Based on the centenarians’ answers during the documentary, they regretted not setting the bar high enough. For them, the centenarians know they could have done better, and they could have been better. Now that they look back, there are a lot of things that they wish they have done, and they wish they have tried, only to be blocked by the power of fear.
Fear is usually the common obstacle for us to achieve our goals and aspirations. But to be brave enough means that you are willing to go out of your comfort zone and take in opportunities that could change your life forever. Taking opportunities and risks is crucial because regardless of the result, you know that you tried. Irrespective of the outcome, you know that you took the chance, and you don’t regret anything.
What Is Its Impact?
Regret. Regret is generally defined as a feeling of disappointment over something that has already happened. Do you wish to regret things in the future?
To live a life without regrets revolves around one question that you can ask yourself every time you feel fear kicking inside of you: “How often do you go out of your comfort zone?”
This question becomes the basis of your ability to be fearless and live without regrets. Why? Once you’ve learned how to live out of your comfort zone, you learn to become a risk-taker in the opportunities that you wish to partake in. It’s important to take chances because these could lead to the best moments of your life - things you do not want to regret in the future.
What Do We Do Now?
Personally, when I live to over a hundred years old, I want to look back at my life and remember the good things that I have done and achieved. This includes things I have done for myself, and even for others. When I look back in life, I want to get to a hundred and say that I lived my best life!
I don’t want to reach a hundred and have regrets in life, and I know that I can do this by being fearless in taking risks and setting the bars high. For me, I know that setting the bar high will help me in bringing out the best in myself, improving my resiliency, and help me live a life with no regrets.
Now, it’s all up to you. Are you ready to set the bar high?