Looking back from 70

Maybe you’ve seen those motivational posters that say, “One year from now, you’ll regret not starting today”.   I don’t know about you, but that definitely motivates me to do something.. anything.   And so it starts; “What do I want to do?”.

I saw something recently that was fun, and made me smile.   It was a guy in sparkly spandex briefs with an enormous boom box on the walk way at the ocean.  The music was “I’m sexy and I know it” by LMFAO and this kid was jammin’.   Of course, I’m talking about Spandy Andy and you can see the video right here.

This kid, with his goofy rainbow colored glass, awesome dance moves, skinny, white curly-headed body and smile totally rocked this crowd.. and they loved him.   He took the stage. People wanted to get their picture taken with him and almost everyone had a good time – all smiles.   His risk paid off, he got out there and he did it and he succeeded.

Then something else caught my eye.   In the comments section on of the videos, a woman commented, “He’ll be happy he did that when he’s 70”.

That caught my eye.

When Spandy Andy is 70, he’s going to look back at what he’s doing there in the video and he’s going to smile and be glad he didn’t shy away.   

He won’t have any regrets.

I’ve heard about this before.  It was on a TED talk with Jane McGonigal.   (I seriously recommend you watch this one).   The top five regrets of the dying go like this:

  1. I wish I hadn’t worked so hard
  2. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends
  3. I wish I had let myself be happier
  4. I wish I’d had the courage to express my true self
  5. I wish I’d lived a life true to my dreams and not what others expected of me

We could unpack each one of those, and it would be profitable to do so, I think, but there’s no need.   They stand alone as they are; stark warnings and hushed wailings of regret born across the generations and on the whispering wings of time herself.

Be my brother on this journey.  Be my sister.   Help me to overcome the fears that hold me and maybe I can help you too.   Let’s all be better than we were the day before.   Let’s start each day with a clear conscience and a beaming smile.   And when we recognize the threat of failure, the anticipation of pain or embarassement, let’s grit our teeth and with a determined smile say, “I am NOT going to regret this when I’m 70!”.


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