Regrets we make in lifeBy Randell Tiongson on April 4th, 2010
I wrote this blog about 18 months ago… nice to be reminded.
Most people have a lot of regrets in life, albeit they may not want to admit it publicly or even to themselves. Most regrets stem from bad decisions. How often have we made bad decisions and wished we could have some sort of a “do-over”?
I have made a lot of mistakes in life that I later regretted. One thing I have learned is that getting counsel from people helps—just make sure that you chose the right counsel. As I am in the midst of a very big decision, I had a nice talk with the two best counsels I ever had, Pastors Dennis Sy and Chinkee Tan of Victory Christian Fellowship in Greenhills.
Besides giving me very wise counsel, they recommended that I read the book The Best Question Ever by Andy Stanley. I would say that had I read that book earlier in my life, I would’ve avoided making many unwise decisions that I would later regret.
What I am going to say will come as a shock to many of the readers: Most of my regrets in life are those that deal with personal finance. How can someone who claims to be a “personal finance coach and educator” have so many regrets on personal finance? Well, it is because of my many mistakes that I resolved to be one who can help people avoid the mistakes that I made and the regrets that I had to live with.
I’ll be borrowing the blogging style of my friend Raff Oca and do a list of my mistakes. Here goes:
§ Spending every peso I make: For some reasons I feltthat I needed to spend every single centavo I make; anyway, I’ll earn again. What a fool I have been.
§ Not saving early enough: If I could wind back time, I’ll set a certain percentage for saving no matter how ridiculously small it is.
§ Not buying life insurance early enough when I was much healthier and premiums were much cheaper.
§ Buying the wrong kind of life insurance.
§ Buying too many gadgets and electronic stuff; they really have no resale value.
§ Investing in the stock market when I should have avoided it and not investing in it when I should have.
§ Buying too many toys for my children; I really should have limited what I bought for them because they sometimes do not appreciate what they have and it teaches the wrong values.
§ Buying too many things on credit. Ouch!
§ Buying a piece of real estate too early, too soon.
§ Buying expensive watches and other jewelries just because it was the “in” thing to do. (Can I get anymore stupid than that?)
§ Eating too many times at too many restaurants.
§ Not starting a business earlier than I should have.
§ Changing cars too often and buying gas-guzzlers.
§ Not buying motor-car insurance; wrecked a car that had no coverage.
§ Not learning the value of giving tithes earlier (best investment there is!).
. . . and the list goes on.
While I did make a lot of mistakes in the past, I will have to say I am still blessed. Blessed? Yes, the Lord still blessed me. I may not be able to turn back time and have a do-over, but I am still blessed to realize my mistakes with enough time. . . time for me to make a life-adjusting course change, particularly in the area of personal finance.
Time remains to be one of the most valuable resources we have and it should be used properly for us to live a victorious life. In Job 14:5 (NIV), it says, “Man’s days are determined; you have decreed the number of his months and have set limits he cannot exceed.” With much time, much can be accomplished; with limited time, what can be accomplished is, likewise, limited.
There are many bad decisions we do in life; they do add up. I like what Andy Stanley said in his book: “Neglect has a cumulative effect.” We are where we are today because of the cumulative effect of our actions. If you are happy where you are right now, you can assume that you made more good decisions than bad ones throughout the years. However, if you are not happy with your situation today, you may have to face the fact that you have made a lot of bad decisions through the years.
I felt the desire to educate people so that those who listen can avoid the regrets I had to live with. While it is a popular cliché, experience is not really the best teacher. Make a list of things you regret; if the list is too long like mine, it’s time for you to have a self-realization and it’s also time for you to seek counsel. Sit down with people who can really help you, for, “The way of a fool seems right to him, but a wise man listens to advice.” (Proverbs 12:15 NIV).