What To Do In 20’s And 30’s To Avoid Regrets In 30’s And 40’s : Ask To Answer

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The Regrets Of 20’s – 30’s

This was a very interesting question we came across at Quora and we thought why not actually write a post here. I think it is a multi phased answer to be written by people between 20’s and 30’s which can later be complemented by people in their 30’s and 40’s and so on. It is a pretty simple way right – at least theoretically.

regret, avoiding regrets, regrets in 20 and 30s, self improvement, Well maybe me being right at the 30’s can probably talk about the regrets aspect and the things we can look forward to.

To give a small intro about myself, I did my engineering in a decent school and later went on to work with Analog Devices as an engineer. I kinda really enjoyed the big fat pay package until I was thoroughly bored with the job. I hated everything except the money part. So it didn’t quite seem to make much sense.

So I thought I would step into doing something differently. So took up the civil services examination and went on to prepare for the coveted IAS exams. And I even went on to give the dreaded interviews in the first two attempts and very luckily nothing good came out of it :). And finally the tryst ended with my stint at entrepreneurship which is perhaps the most enjoyable thing I’ve done in my life so far. And I can proudly say that we were able to create an idea and make it into something more physical and something thoroughly enjoyable. And perhaps one of my most exciting and successful endeavours so far – none of the degrees or high scores in exams would even come close to that.

The Regrets

Well I’ll quit my boring story now. So lets talk about the regrets.

1) Ideally I should regret not going ahead with my previous job. I missed out on a regular paycheck and probably a couple of on site visits and stamping my visa a little more. Maybe earn a little money and feel very secure about the future. That way I wouldn’t have to go through the turmoil and would rather enjoy a calm lifestyle

2) I should probably regret not going ahead with my IAS attempts and taking the journey further. Maybe I should regret not being in the power circles and the ‘coveted govt jobs’ of the country. But then I realize I never really belonged there and it never did make any sense in life

3) I should probably regret taking the entrepreneurship front cos I chose to do something different and try develop a walking tour company. Talk about venturing into risky sectors!

The Solution?

But then I realise if I even think of regretting all these I should probably regret every little thought I’ve had so far. Honestly if I need to find any regrets maybe I can. But I think eventually all we do is a simple choice, a choice to stick to our decisions and make them work. A choice to actually go ahead and do what we think is right and a choice to actually give up a few unimportant things for the important ones.

As for the regrets we really can find a few if we want to. But then I remember the quote – what hurts more – the fear for not doing something or the regret of not doing something. And from that point the decision was pretty straightforward 🙂

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8 thoughts on “What To Do In 20’s And 30’s To Avoid Regrets In 30’s And 40’s : Ask To Answer

  1. Hello Vinay!!
    As you have prepared for the prestigious IAS
    exam and in both the attempts you were able to
    reach till the Interview stage!! It would be really
    great if could write a post on the strategy you
    followed. Currently I am in MCA 2nd year and I am planning to appear for the exam next year. Thank you for all the sensational motivation you have delivered so far 😊

  2. Regrets are born from not being able to appreciate the present and also from seeing the positive aspects of what we left behind…that said, the fact that you reasoned why the things you regret aren’t regrettable after all, is the crux of your fascinating article.

  3. 🙂

    Having regrets about past decisions ruins the present. We all take ‘right’ decisions at a given point of time based on our understanding (वकुब), knowledge, set of beliefs, and under some (lesser or more) external influences. As the time passes our understanding deepens, knowledge widens, and beliefs change. And so what felt ‘right’ at that time doesn’t feel ‘that much right’ today, or worst feels ‘wrong’. Exactly at a point when we start feeling so, I guess we need to see if those feelings are realistic. May be some decisions and choices were wrong, may be some were right but not ‘that much right’, may be some were excellent. But even the so called wrong decisions help us learn in every possible way and that is what is important. Had we not taken that wrong decisions, we could have lost opportunity to learn. So … why to regret ? 🙂

    If we look at all our past regrets, what I felt was, there were hardly any TRUE regrets, most of them were incidental things and although they might have not been the best decisions but they gave me invaluable experience and insights in various things in life.

    Past is something that we cannot change … so having a policy of – Having no regrets – works quite well 🙂

  4. Hi Vinay,
    A good post! I am in my mid-twenties and one thing I learnt (other than regret) was never feel guilty for your decisions. Be it career, relationships, life in general. And never think twice to try something you love. Especially in your 20s, it doesn’t hurt to lose a couple of years. You took entrepreneurship and you stuck to it but if you did not want to , you could always move back to being an engineer. Something that is very hard to do in your 30s or 40 (I guess!).


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