Top 37 Regrets People Have As They Grow Older (Pay Attention To #15)

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When people look back and reflect on their lives, what are some of the most common regrets reported as they grow older?

When people look back and reflect on their lives, what are some of the most common regrets reported as they grow older?

1. Not traveling when you had the chance.

Traveling becomes infinitely harder the older you get, especially if you have a family and need to pay the way for three-plus people instead of just yourself.

2. Not learning another language.

You’ll kick yourself when you realize you took three years of language in high school and remember none of it.

3. Staying in a bad relationship.

No one who ever gets out of a bad relationship looks back without wishing they made the move sooner.

4. Forgoing sunscreen.

Wrinkles, moles, and skin cancer can largely be avoided if you protect yourself. You can use Coconut oil!

5. Missing the chance to see your favorite musicians.

“Nah, dude, I’ll catch Nirvana next time they come through town.” Facepalm.

6. Being scared to do things.

Looking back you’ll think, What was I so afraid of, comfort zone?

7. Failing to make physical fitness a priority.

Too many of us spend the physical peak of our lives on the couch. When you hit 40, 50, 60, and beyond, you’ll dream of what you could have done.

8. Letting yourself be defined by gender roles.

Few things are as sad as an old person saying, “Well, it just wasn’t done back then.”

9. Not quitting a terrible job.

Look, you gotta pay the bills. But if you don’t make a plan to improve your situation, you might wake up one day having spent 40 years in hell.

10. Not trying harder in school.

It’s not just that your grades play a role in determining where you end up in life. Eventually you’ll realize how neat it was to get to spend all day learning, and wish you’d paid more attention.

11. Not realizing how beautiful you were.

Too many of us spend our youth unhappy with the way we look, but the reality is, that’s when we’re our most beautiful.

12. Being afraid to say “I love you.”

When you’re old, you won’t care if your love wasn’t returned — only that you made it known how you felt.

13. Not listening to your parents’ advice.

You don’t want to hear it when you’re young, but the infuriating truth is that most of what your parents say about life is true.

14. Spending your youth self-absorbed.

You’ll be embarrassed about it, frankly.

15. Caring too much about what other people think.

In 20 years you won’t give a darn about any of those people you once worried so much about.

16. Supporting others’ dreams over your own.

Supporting others is a beautiful thing, but not when it means you never get to shine.

17. Not moving on fast enough.

Old people look back at the long periods spent picking themselves off the ground as nothing but wasted time.

18. Holding grudges, especially with those you love.

What’s the point of re-living the anger over and over?

19. Not standing up for yourself.

Old people don’t take sh*t from anyone. Neither should you.

20. Not volunteering enough.

OK, so you probably won’t regret not volunteering Hunger Games style, but nearing the end of one’s life without having helped to make the world a better place is a great source of sadness for many.

21. Neglecting your teeth.

Brush. Floss. Get regular checkups. It will all seem so maddeningly easy when you have dentures.

22. Missing the chance to ask your grandparents questions before they die.

Most of us realize too late what an awesome resource grandparents are. They can explain everything you’ll ever wonder about where you came from, but only if you ask them in time.

23. Working too much.

No one looks back from their deathbed and wishes they spent more time at the office, but they do wish they spent more time with family, friends, and hobbies.

24. Not learning how to cook one awesome meal.

Knowing one drool-worthy meal will make all those dinner parties and celebrations that much more special.

25. Not stopping enough to appreciate the moment.

Young people are constantly on the go, but stopping to take it all in now and again is a good thing.

26. Failing to finish what you start.

“I had big dreams of becoming a nurse. I even signed up for the classes, but then…”

27. Never mastering one awesome party trick.

You will go to hundreds, if not thousands, of parties in your life. Wouldn’t it be cool to be the life of them all?

28. Letting yourself be defined by cultural expectations.

Don’t let them tell you, “We don’t do that.”

29. Refusing to let friendships run their course.

People grow apart. Clinging to what was, instead of acknowledging that things have changed, can be a source of ongoing agitation and sadness.

30. Not playing with your kids enough.

When you’re old, you’ll realize your kid went from wanting to play with you to wanting you out of their room in the blink of an eye.

31. Never taking a big risk (especially in love).

Knowing that you took a leap of faith at least once — even if you fell flat on your face — will be a great comfort when you’re old.

32. Not taking the time to develop contacts and network.

Networking may seem like a bunch of crap when you’re young, but later on it becomes clear that it’s how so many jobs are won.

33. Worrying too much.

As Tom Petty sang, “Most things I worry about never happen anyway.”

34. Getting caught up in needless drama.

Who needs it?

35. Not spending enough time with loved ones.

Our time with our loved ones is finite. Make it count.

36. Never performing in front of others.

This isn’t a regret for everyone, but many elderly people wish they knew — just once — what it was like to stand in front of a crowd and show off their talents.

37. Not being grateful sooner.

It can be hard to see in the beginning, but eventually it becomes clear that every moment on this earth — from the mundane to the amazing — is a gift that we’re all so incredibly lucky to share.

Sources used:
Simple Capacity


  1. ” Art is individualism and individualism is a disturbing and disintegrating force. There lies its immense value to acknowledge, for what it seeks is to disturb monotony of type, slavery of custom, tyranny of habit, and the reduction of man to the level of a machine.” Oscar Wilde

  2. #38. Wasting my time reading garbage like this.

    After the way people treat me and looking back at the way they treated me I have no regrets anymore. Agonizing over the lack of women in my youth, the constant desire emptiness lonely nights is now a joke. I wouldn’t want to be a young idiot for a million dollars. I wouldn’t trade my life for youth in a million years. I’m happier now then I’ve ever been. I have no desire for women at all. They just aren’t worth it. The freedom of not having to be Mr. wonderful and the phony personality that goes with it is relieving. Nobody cares for me now and nobody cared for me then.

    • Harry Harry Harry……what do we do with you now. Just joking. That was one bada** awesome rant you just had. I read the whole thing and I’m on board with you for the most part. I don’t want to be the person that gets tooled by woman after woman leaving me and taking half or more than half of what I have. Lol…..even though I don’t have squat anyway. When you have almost nothing……..women won’t want you anyway. You can see all of them for exactly what they are……..they love things and money. I drive around in a beater on purpose. I’m not joking. I’m completely comfortable doing so and I love it. I could get something nicer, but what’s nicer? I’m telling all of them I don’t give a darn (switch out rn for letter m). I’ve had countless people make comments about my “raggety-blank ride”. I had this guy today tell me I should drive for Uber. He looked at my vehicle and said “You won’t be able to drive this though.” I laughed and said, then Uber doesn’t deserve a bad-blank person like me driving there chumps around.
      If there is one thing I’ve learned in life, it’s how fake people truly are. That should be #39. People are fake. So frack them. Live your life however in the hell you want to. Who cares how much money you have, how many fake people you knew, how much wasteful time traveling around you did, etc. etc. etc. Do what you want. Who gives a darn what it is. Just do what inspires you. The rest of it can be thrown down the toilet. Live with your own code and your own principles. Not because your parents told you too, or someone else did……….but because you think it’s the way you should live. Screw society and there retarded rules.

  3. Who wrote this crap? As a 55 year-old with absolutely no regrets (And if I had the opportunity to do it all over again, I’d do everything exactly the same way) the thing about “gender roles” made me ROTFL (after I puked)- Indulging mental illness and rebelling against the conventions which have worked just fine throughout the history of human existence, and which created stable families and societies; and exchanging that for the selfish dysfunctional popular indulgences which are destroying societal and familial stability, will not make you nor anyone else happy or fulfilled….but it will shorten your life and make you and those around miserable. Those who refuse to learn from the past; who feel the need to reinvent the wheel, will learn in short order that there is usually a good reason for things being the way they are for millennia; and when the popularity of the sick fad ends….so will they.

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