The number one way to avoid regret

I have been doing very well for the last month. I have been controlling my food, I have been exercising and I have lost four pounds.  That is good. 
I have also been listening to one of my favorite motivational speeches over and over and over again.
It's by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
 It's a speech which contains his rules for success...
And every time I listen to it, there is one rule that makes me tear up.
It's rule number 5.

Work your butt off...

Live leaving no stone unturned.


That's it, isn't it?

That is where nearly everything we ever regret has come from.

It isn't failure.

It's what we have failed to even attempt.
And if it is a failure, it's the lack of effort in the try.

Who regrets giving it their all and falling short?

I have never heard a person say: "Boy, do I regret giving it my all."

I HAVE heard people say..."If only I'd have tried harder."
"If only I hadn't  quit when I did...I might have made something of myself."

Whether it was the military.
or college
or a run.
or a marriage.

Or a more recent, personal example...

I have made a good friend who is an optimist.
I have always considered myself a 'realist'.

Well, we were at a water park...waiting in line for a water slide.
It was a very popular water slide..and when they closed it down because of lightening-
a bunch of people left (realists most likely).
Leaving us very near the front of the line.

We waited...and waited...for nearly 30 minutes.
The storm didn't look like it was going anywhere.
I advised us to leave and look for a different ride.
She wanted to stay, so we stayed..along with 5 kids.

In 15 minutes it opened..and we were at the front of the line.

How many times had I done that to myself?
Told myself that I was being realistic...when in reality I was simply quitting?

That little nagging voice in the back of my head...
"Did you really give it all you had?"

IF you have that voice and you can't give a declarative YES!...you didn't.

Because when you have given it all you have...you KNOW.

When you leave everything right there.
you know.

When you have lived leaving no stone unturned...

tried every avenue..

Gone to muscle failure.

Gone after your dream.

Gotten to the end of your rope, wove more rope...then got to the end of that rope as well...In an attempt to save your family, your business or your own life.
You know.

The tragedy is not giving it all you have and failing..

The tragedy is  failing to try, and then attempting to excuse it,
 and in the end knowing, ultimately, that you have failed only yourself.

Live leaving no stone unturned
and regret will just be a word in a dictionary.
Not your reality.

That is what I am doing.
Chris out.


E. Jane said...

Good for you taking some time to think. We all need to do that at times in our life. Glad that you're back!

Retta said...

Absolutely love this. Totally. If I ever do get my tattoo, I might just put that on it! "Live leaving no stone unturned."

But... where can we find that speech? Is it on youtube?

Roxie said...

I love this, Chris. I certainly needed a little boost this morning.

Joy said...

Powerful post Chris! I am learning to push through and try my best. No matter what!

Keep focused!

Candi said...

Great post!! Thanks for those words.

Morgan said...

"Told myself that I was being realistic...when in reality I was simply quitting?" Ugh, this one hit home with me. We are currently in the midst of trying to move our family down to Southern Ca because my husband was accepted at Cal Poly Pomona and we believe that this would really improve our lives in the long run. But the reality of trying to find a job and a home we can afford to rent from 6 hours away has been really hard. And a lot of days I am ready to believe that it isn't meant to be, and that there isn't a way to make it work, while my husband fully believes it will work if we just keep trying. This path could lead us to his dream, and I shouldn't be ready to call it quits until we have done absolutely everything we can. Fear holds me back. Thanks for this.

Robin said...

Live leaving no stone unturned. Powerful message there.

So glad to see you blogging again. You have really been missed!!!!

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Timely as always! Christine, you have such a knack for reaching out and touching others just when they need it most.
I just blogged about doing something that definitely rates right up there as truly giving my all. And that was before I read your post!
I too have joked many times that I am just a realist and it has given me plenty of excuses to be other than an optimist. I do so enjoy optimism and I love your water park story. Anything good can happen if we give it a chance!

Clydesdale Jogger said...

An absolutely brilliant post. Thank you.

Gigi said...

Powerful words and so true. I absolutely know when I've given it my best and even if what I wanted wasn't achieved, I could still walk away knowing I threw everything at it I could. Failure can be noble if you've done everything you could. Not trying is the ultimate failure.

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Helen said...

I've given that advice to friends who were contemplating divorce. Said as, "Don't do it until you're sure you've done everything you can." Ironic I'd never thought to apply it to my life, in general. Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...


Putz said...

if i ever get a tatoo it will be of you<><>>i do things half asased and do get some success and satisfaction and that is the way i live life<><>if it is a big effort then i shrink from it zan all the things you say come to light ,.,..,so lead me my dear, i don't have much character and that will probably be my downfall in the end><<><>unhappy with myself, but everyone around me lets me get away with it

April said...

You are so right on with this!!! I had been thinking this weekend of all things I wished I had done and I was annoyed, so annoyed with myself. This helped me change my outlook. Thanks so much!