As we bid farewell to another year and welcome in the new, it’s natural to reflect on the past and consider the lessons we’ve learned. For me, the past decade has brought both incredible highs and difficult lows, and through it all I’ve learned the importance of trusting my own judgement and embracing the power of regret. In this post, I’ll share some of the key insights I’ve gained over the past ten years and offer some tips for making the most of your own journey through life.
I’ve spent a little of my Christmas break making better use of my own webspace, shuffling things around and grouping a lot of my work into categories of impact. This is based on feedback from job interviews and discussions with colleagues in 2021.
I was adding new categories to some blog posts and spotted an entry from exactly 10 years ago: https://blog.csteach.uk/no-regrets-trust-your-own-judgement-in-2012 – so much has changed in those ten years and yet many things have ended up staying exactly the same.
We moved on from our impulse buy as our family outgrew the space but remained in the same town. We found a house that worked for us, again slightly more heart than head led, but with a more reasoned and informed decision behind why we wanted the house. We’ve stayed here since, albeit except for a few years of adventure, and I think we might be here in Stonehaven a little longer.
There was a sharp intake of breath as I read the 2012 post title. I’m not scared to admit that I have had a few moments of regret in the last ten years but I have used them to guide my judgements moving forward.
There has been some amazing moments in the last decade that I could not have anticipated and new friends that I will always treasure. However I have regretted:
- not making the most of our two years as a family in Milan. I was naive about moving to a new country and didn’t ensure that we enjoyed every second outside of work hours. I threw my energies into changing everything possible related to my role and forgot why we moved there in the first place.
- working in London but commuting from Scotland. The weekend was spent travelling and I wasn’t rested enough to enjoy time with the family when I saw them.
- losing or diminishing a few friendships through my own lack of attention or heart over head decisions.
I think – at this point anyway (who knows what I’ll have experienced in the next ten years!) – you need some regrets in order to grow but once you have learned from that experience you have to let the regret go.
I have learned:
- keep in touch with friends and family as often as you can, in whatever way possible.
- that if your heart is telling you to jump take a few days to consider and really think about the consequences. Don’t agonise for weeks before making a decision but get some perspective.
- job changes need a spreadsheet of doom – how does the potential new salary, benefits, etc match up against your current role when you factor in cost of living, travel, etc. It also needs to include input from the entire family as the decision will affect them too. Just going through the process of making this helps you with the first point.
- remember why you made the decision in the first place: was it for your own development, for the family, for love, for adventure, for your health? Remind yourself of the decision regularly and have a word with yourself if you veer from the path.
Happy New Year everyone! I’m looking forward to updating this again in 2032.