At different stages of life, we may ask the question could I have done more? Have I wasted my talents? Could I have been a Nobel scientist, president or prime minister?
We can look back at see opportunities missed, the wrong decisions made, how we were led astray …
This may happen at any age. In our 30s and 40s there is time ahead to rethink our lives and refocus our direction.
In our 50s and 60s and 70s … people ask me if it is too late.
One answer is that if you are still alive it is not too late. But at 60 would you be able to train to be a doctor, become an Olympic winning athlete, run the world?
So do you ignore the voice in your head that says you messed up, it’s too late.
But there is always a way. If you can’t do one thing, what can you do?
And it may not be just work, it could be in your personal life. You think of failed relationships, how you could have spent more time with those close to you.
How you wish that you had read more, or prioritised your health or spent more time on a hobby. Any of these things you could start now. It’s not too late.
So, let’s look at some practical ways to address this
With your career and work path … are there unfulfilled dreams. Why not write them all down and see if there is an alternative.
It may be too late to train as a doctor but could you become a first-aider, volunteer with St Johns Ambulance, move your talents in marketing or finance to a role in a medical based organisation.
If you have become estranged from a family member what is one step you can make to reach out.
Wish you’d learned a musical instrument, why not buy one and take lessons.
Today you can create a plan to move towards some of the things you want to do.
Don’t forget what you have achieved
Yes, we all could have done more, but don’t forget how much you have done. It can be helpful to keep a list of your achievements, both work and personal and then when you get the feeling of you could have done more you can remind yourself of the project you successfully completed when others had failed, how you have kept 5 stone off even though you put 2 back on, how you learned to dance enough to get by on the dance floor, the praise you got from a customer and how you took time to listen to the lonely person in the coffee shop who wanted to talk.