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“I Wish I’d Made That Change Later” -said no one

Here’s something to think about. It doesn’t require you to spend money or join anything. It’s just a thought exercise.

It starts with the observation that life consists of a series of choices. You can do this or do that, you can choose this project or that job or that person. You move forward in one area or backwards in another.

A great deal of life consists of making these decisions. You have to decide between competing paths, you have to commit to an exclusive choice, and so on.

Of course, the specific decisions you face might be different than mine. But there’s something I’ve seen to be true many times over: once you start thinking about making a big change, it’s either the right time or it’s overdue.

Afterwards, people will often say “You know, I wish I’d made that change sooner.” Almost no one ever says “I wish I’d made that change later.”

I try not to speak in absolutes or platitudes, so I’m sure there are exceptions. Still, I think the preponderance of evidence is squarely on the side of being pro-change. Just think about it!

It’s certainly true for me. Regret has been a powerful motivator in my life, especially starting in my late twenties. I went to every country in the world because I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t try.

I’ve made a lot of other changes over the past few years, and sometimes I’ve been afraid in advance of doing so—but almost always afterwards, I think, wow, I feel so relieved.

The relief comes from accepting that most things are outside our control. And that’s okay—don’t worry about what you can’t change! You find joy and purpose in focusing on the limited areas where you can make a difference, both for your life and for others.

Remember: almost no one says “I’d wish I’d made that change later.” If something’s on your mind, pay attention to it.

I hope you’re able to do something about that—sooner rather than later.