What you will regret by the age of 68

Few days ago I talked to my father who is 68 years old now. I was curious about why he chose the job he was/is doing now. He graduated as an electric engineer but later became a translator. When the company he worked for went bankrupt, he and my mom opened a store in the market selling clothes. Later they bought a proper shop selling snacks, coffee, beverages. After more than 10 years they closed the shop permanently and my father became a translator again. After talking about his career for a while I asked:

“If you could start your life again, would you still live like this?”

Work effective

“If I could start again, I wouldn’t spend all of my time doing only one work. That time I spent all my time working in the shop. I couldn’t do anything else or learn anything new because I had to be in the shop. Therefore I couldn’t find another opportunities to have more income. I worked all day. Other people worked much less but they still earned more. I realized I was working up to point I didn’t even have time to earn money.
So if I could start again, I would work less and spend more time to explore another opportunities where I can have more freetime but earn more.”

This means we might work hard in whatever we do. But we shouldn’t limit ourselves to only do that one work. Instead we should always find a new opportunity or new method to work less but more effective.

He added:

“You might earn well by doing this job. But if you search you will find another method which brings you even more money. Once you find it, be courageous enough to let the old one go. Be determined and focus on the new work!”

The best way to earn money doesn’t exist. Because there is always a better way. Once we are lucky enough to find a better way to increase our income we should spend more energy to maximize it. If we realize it works, we should stick to it more. In case our previous work doesn’t bring us more profit, we should be brave enough to let it go. That’s how our life can improve.

Then he continued:

“If you want to find a new opportunity, socialize more. Talk to people, join a sport association, network when you are at an event. You never know if a conversation can give you new idea to be better. So be opened to new opportunity!”

Take care of your parents

“I emmigrated from Vietnam to Hungary. I worked and earned here. But for many years I didn’t go home to visit my mother. I barely went home once or twice and the next time was already her funeral. I buried myself into the work too much that I didn’t realize time was flying and my mom was aging. If I could do everything again, I would fly home more to visit my parents.”

It’s never easy to lose our parents. But it’s even harder to handle when we realize we didn’t treat them well while they were living. Let’s just think about how they gave birth to us, brought us up, fed us, spent their hardly earned money on our education, clothes, food. They took care of us much more than themselves. But then when we grow up we get our job, move out, get married and then we mainly care about our work and our own family. We go home to visit our parents once or twice a week. It is all understandable.

However, we also need to ask ourselves:

  • Do we spend enough time with our parents?
  • Even if we do, do we talk and listen to them?

One day all of us will die. So our parents. We won’t have them until the end of our life. Usually we only realize what is important after we lose it. So in our parents case, let’s appreciate and take care of them until we can.

Prioritize what is important

This conversation made me rethink again and prioritize what is really important. The main point is we don’t have to regret for doing or not doing something. Whatever we do, we see the sense in it, enjoy it and have profit from it. That profit doesn’t need to be money, but can be love, value or respect.

In case of my parents I’m working hard to pay more attention to them. In terms of my career, the goal is to have freedom. Which means I can travel, do my own thing and at the same time making money. In order to do this I’m making a list of the things I’m doing now. Then I check which one is the most important. I will have my focus on it first. For the rest, if they can’t be postponed, I divide my week. For a few days I only do one work and the rest of the week I do the other task.
It’s hard to keep pushing ourselves to work and study. However, result only come after we invest a decent amount of time in it. Moreover, I know I will thank myself for working hard now.

Like I mentioned above, one day we all are going to leave the Earth. The main point is what we do with our life while we are living. Once a coach asked: “If your life is made into a movie, do you want to rewatch it again?” Make sure you live your life in a way you want to watch it again without any regret.

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