Live Fully, Regret Less

The biggest mistake I made in my twenties wasn’t that I lacked focus, ambition, or hard work – none of that. My biggest mistake was that I took life too seriously.

I worried about too many things, cared too much about what my bosses thought (including the ones I did not respect), compromised health for work, and generally, I did not live mindfully.

When I was serving in the IPS, if my bosses called in the evening, they would often ask, “Where are you?” Whenever I was at home, I felt guilty and embarrassed admitting that I wasn’t in the office. I did not want them to think that I was slacking off (in fact, I used to work extremely hard).

I worried about things that could go wrong, often catastrophizing unnecessarily. Surprisingly, those worst case scenarios rarely came true – most of the time, things turned out to be ok.

I compromised on my health, spent too little time with family, and even when I did, I was not fully present – I was distracted by work.

Those are the things I regret.

If you are early in your career, try avoiding my mistakes. Find time for exercise, running, games, or whatever keeps you fit. Find time for meditation and reading books. Take time out for friends and family.

And don’t care too much about what others think – including your bosses. Let your work speak for itself.

Most importantly, remember that life is a passing show. Everything that feels so urgent and serious will soon be a distant memory.

So don’t always be lost – be mindful, be present, and experience life fully. You won’t regret it.

– Rajan

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