Victory or a Lifetime of Regret–What’s Your Preference?

Robert Terson

By now regular readers of this site know how much I love poignant quotations; I use them all the time to, hopefully, inspire you, enlighten you, cause you to think. Here’s one from Sydney Smith I think is apropos for today’s blog: “Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”

Boy, is that the truth! It’s so much easier to get over something you’ve done that you wish you hadn’t, a glorious faux pas you’d give practically anything to take back, than it is to put behind you what you’ve dreamed about achieving for years but were too afraid to pursue, pull the trigger on. Regrets for what you’re unable to challenge yourself to go after have the power to haunt you for the rest of your life. It can eat you up like the E. coli virus. You’re forever left wondering if you could have pulled it off, won the great Victory.

John Greenleaf Whittier said it so well:

For all sad words of tongue and pen,

The saddest are these,

“It might have been.”

Reverend Robert H. Schuller said: “You can often measure a person by the size of his dream.”

My favorite quotation from an unknown source: “If you don’t have a dream that is so outrageous that you couldn’t possibly succeed unless God Himself puts in a personal appearance, you’re not alive.”

Somewhere deep within you is a great desire—a dream you just can’t let go of, but something is preventing you from pursuing it. That something is fear. You can call it whatever the hell you want to, but that’s what it is—fear. You’re just not sure you can pull it off. My God, it’s such a hugegoal, and you’re such an ordinaryhuman being, right? I mean, who are youto go after this mightygoal/dream?

From Reverend Bob Richards, Olympic pole-vault champion in 1952 and 1956: “Every day ordinary people do extraordinary things.”

Folks, this thing called fear of failure is the greatest evil around. It’s the number one reason you, and so many like you, aren’t fulfilling your destiny. That dream that beats so deeply within you is your destiny; it’s your Great Contribution to the rest of us; it’s what the Powers That Be want for you, why they put you here on Earth and gave you life. Please don’t disappoint them. Even more important, don’t disappoint yourself. Don’t give yourself a lifetime of regret.

More than likely you can do it, if you give yourself the chance. And if you fall short, so what? At least you’ll have no regrets about not trying, about not giving it your best shot.

Wayne Gretzky, hockey great: “You’ll always miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Here’s a great lesson I’ve learned: It’s far better to test yourself than it is to languish in fear. It’s far better to challenge yourself with mighty deeds than it is, after all is said and done, to achieve what is actually going to wind up being meaningless to you. This is your one life; make sure you live it so you won’t have any regrets.


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