I learned that if you spell out and share what’s inside you, be it ambition or pain, it helps to muster forward or heal them, sort of closure of an old chapter and an opening of a new one. Today I decided to jot down my top 2 regrets, hoping by doing so I will bring it to closure.
Read time: 1.30 min.
Spending time with parents
This is by far the deepest regret of my life. Growing up, and as with most teens, spending time with friends was more important for me than spending time with my parents. Not that I didn’t like or didn’t care to, I somehow believed my parents are there for me always and although I spend more of my waking hours with my classmates and friends, I did come home to them, so it’s fine to spend more time away, I would deceive myself.
Years later, when I started working, ambition took me away from them as I was then spending more time at work. Later my work travel added more miles to my reward card and more distance between us. Shortly after that, I got married and decided to make Canada our home, and I left a vast chasm wider than the oceans between the continents. I was always in touch with them, and still, am (with my mom), but I feel I wasn’t there when they needed me the most. Not only did I got far from them, but I also took away their share of happiness with my children. Realizing that parents do grow old came to me when they started visiting doctors to take care of themselves. I wasn’t there for them, holding their hands and taking care of them. I didn’t come to this realization until my father’s bi-pass surgery and his final 52 days in the hospital. My father was no more, and I was not there for his final rites.
My mom is still back home and bravely managing her life all by herself. I try to spend time with her and comfort her as much possible, but I know deep inside that it’s not enough. It will never be enough.
Courage to start again
I barely finished University when I began Goldmine, my very first import and export venture. It did reasonably well in the beginning, but slowly it started its descent. Call it lack of experience, knowledge, tunnel-vision or pure over-confidence; it had to be shut down in 15 months. I lost more than just money in this business; the biggest loser was my confidence and motivation to move on. It was my first setback and wasn’t sure how to deal with it. I blamed everything else that I could, but myself.
I am grateful that I continued studying, which helped shape my career in the corporate world when the Entrepreneur bug bit me once again. This time it was bottled mineral water – Silver Springs. This market was maturing in India and had room for other players. A small group of friends and colleagues got together and did all the prep work – agreement with suppliers, packaging, branding, distribution, etc. And within months of our preparation, Pepsi and Coke introduced their own bottled water. We know of the David who won over Goliath, but it was then. This David was no match for these lofty giants. We folded. All our ideas and hard work never saw the light of the day.
I regret that rather than folding, we did not persevere in the direction we chose, although at times I feel (my consolation) that I would not have learned all the valuable lessons I gained in the corporate world.
I have several others, but I am not ready to reconcile with them yet. I have picked myself up a couple of time, but every time I felt it was the end of the world, there was something that kept pushing me to move forward. It’s like when you hit your bottom there is only one way to go – up. I don’t know how it would have affected my character, thinking and maturity if things had turned out the way I wanted. Perhaps I would have been a different person. Better? Who knows.
Maybe there are no regrets in life, only lessons learned.
What about you?
Share your thoughts.
Success to you!