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How to Live Without Regrets (Failure Sucks, But Not Trying Will Haunt You) #8

Failure Is a Bummer But Not Trying Will Haunt You

Now that I'm an old man (I'm 31), I can tell you what you should do in your 20's so that you can be ahead of me when you enter your 3rd decade of existence. That's largely what our Success Principles are based on.

Most of us have heard the quote-

you-will-miss-100-percent

It's a decent concept.

We need to look beyond it to fully understand and appreciate it's significance, however.

In our recent podcast with Scotty and twice in the past weeks to two aspiring actresses (comedy), I mentioned a concept that I've been living by and sharing with others for years-

You will regret not trying far more than you will regret failing.

To some this might be profound. To others it might be old news.

Either way, let me prove it to you.

Think back to something significant you wanted to do in your life.

(Even if it's small, the metaphor can apply universally - especially to career)

Think about something that you got all excited about - but ultimately quit/moved on from.

You might be a bit embarrassed that you only achieved modest success.

You might even be a little ashamed that you quit.

Maybe your "failed" venture turned out to accelerate another area of your life and thus wasn't a complete failure.

Maybe it was a COMPLETE WASTE OF TIME.

Regardless of the outcome, even if you regret it, chances are - it seemed like the right thing at the time and AT LEAST YOU TRIED.

Trying and failing, no matter how humiliating the defeat, you can find peace with.

Not trying, however, you will ALWAYS WONDER -

What if?

This is especially true if you had a "PLAN A" but - without even trying - you opted for the safer, more predictable PLAN B.

Even if you are able to rationalize PLAN B - YOU WILL STILL WONDER -

What if?

That is the kind of stuff that keeps you up at night.

That is the kind of stuff that makes for a MID-LIFE CRISIS.

That is the kind of stuff that you will regret for the rest of your life.

This is the kind of stuff that I want to prevent from happening to you.
Regrets concept.

My Regrets?

I sat here for 30 minutes trying to think of the ONE THING that I most regret NOT DOING in my life.

Thankfully, yet frustrating for the purposes of this article, I have no major regrets and certainly none that were practical at the time.

That's not because "everything worked out"; it's because I've pretty much tried to do everything that I wanted.

  • I always wanted to do steroids and get as big and strong as I could - I did that.
  • I always wanted to start my own business(es) that generate a significant amount of passive income - I've done that.
  • I always wanted to move to the West Coast, go to the clubs and parties and sleep with some of the best looking girls - I did that too.
  • I always wanted to see if our original inline hockey team could win on the National Level - we won the National Championship in Summer of 2005.
  • I always wanted to try and play college football - so went through with my plan but got injured - no regrets.
  • I thought I wanted to go to Law School, so I got a scholarship and left after 10 days - mission accomplished - no regrets.
  • I always wanted to be a personal trainer with a high-society clientele - I did that.

When you Do What You Want - you'll usually have very few regrets - even if you make the wrong decision or "fail".

I've done a decent job at that. Even though I often moved at a snail's pace.

I wish I spent a few months as a bartender at an upscale Hollywood club, I wish I went to some more parties in college and I wish I settled certain confrontations with my fist but I don't have any significant regrets.

ice hockey player

My one "What if..." takes me back to age 15.

Between the summer of 9th and 10th grade, in my only second year of playing ice hockey, I was recruited by the Rochester Junior Americans to play Junior Hockey in what was formerly the USA-Ontario 'Golden Horseshoe League'. It was basically a Canadian league; Rochester was the lone American team, and it was just about the most competitive Junior hockey league in the world.

Even though I loved hockey and thought I might be playing in the NHL one day - the move wasn't really practical.
(perhaps I never really wanted it)

The move involved leaving my family, my friends and everything I knew to go live in Rochester.

I was very much a kid at the time, would have been incredibly homesick, would have left a great public school system and my parents were very much against it.

I don't regret not trying to play Junior Hockey but I do wonder-

"What if?"

I would have liked to have tried and TOTALLY FAILED rather than wondering, "What if?"

Since life has been more than good to me, I don't think about hockey too often.

Once in a while I'll dream about it though.

It's a reoccurring dream that always ends in the middle...  :-)

"It's not what you do that kills you, it's what you don't do."

What the Hell Are You Going to Do Instead?

(Your PLAN B is nothing but a distraction)

When someone is not sure if they should go "all in" on whatever their goal/dream is, this is what I ask them to consider-

What the Hell Are You Going to Do Instead?

Plan B?

PLAN B, is not only uninspiring but - it isn't a plan at all.

"PLAN B" is simply - 

  1. Not trying PLAN A.
  2. Sitting there thinking about PLAN A.
  3. Spending time half-assing something else that you are hardly excited about.
  4. Sitting there thinking about PLAN A.

Nice PLAN B.

Go get 'em tiger!

Rather than wasting time pretending that you have a suitable "PLAN B" - I encourage you pursue PLAN A and fall flat on your face.

Your future mental health will thank you.

noplanb"PLAN B is just a distraction from PLAN A" - Me

Your Roaring 20's

This especially applies to guys that are in their 20's.

Your 20's are a decade where you have very few responsibilities and commitments.

You can run with PLAN A - TOTALLY FAIL - and be just fine.

(if you REALLY dedicate time to something you want - you will at least be moderately successful and reasonably happy.)

At the very least-

If you get GOOD at something, can teach it to others and figure out how to monetize it - you won't "fall behind" if you aren't working a traditional job.

That's what we did and I'll teach you how to do it.

I've never had a real job in my life.

I made over $100,000 in my first year as a part-time personal trainer and more than triple that in my second year of "blogging" (and other online businesses).

Not to brag - but that's far more than everyone I know that got jobs after they graduated college on time and everyone that I met in my 10 days of Law School.
(believe me - I felt A LOT of pressure to follow them, even if I was only half-committed and not as smart or talented as they were)

It can be done.

It's all because I was ALL IN on my PLAN A('s) in my 20's.

"Nothing in Moderation," that's how I got insider experience in all the subjects we discuss.

PLAN A was always the correct decision since -

  • THERE WAS NO ACCEPTABLE PLAN B that would make me happy at the time or in the future.
  • There were virtually no consequences if PLAN A failed, other than possible disappointment, which I decided I could live with.

Make sure you "Define Success" but even if you "fail", you'll never wonder "What if..." or if you made the right decision.

vector businessman in various poses
Beautiful Insecure Aspiring Actresses

"You will regret not trying more than you will regret failure..."

is never so obvious when I have a deep discussion with girls that are trying to do the "acting thing" in Los Angeles.

The vast majority of them, even the ones that moved cross-country to pursue their Hollywood dream, aren't ALL IN with PLAN A.

In fact, some of them talk themselves out of it on a daily basis - only to realize, yet again, that there is no PLAN B that they can get excited about.

What they haven't yet realized is that they WILL REGRET not pursuing PLAN A - FOR THE REST OF THEIR LIVES - even if they become modestly successful in whatever else they end up doing.

They will be watching E! in their late 20's and think-

"What if..."

What they also haven't realized is that TIME IS LIMITED. 

DOING ANYTHING OTHER THAN PLAN A RIGHT NOW - PUTS THEM FURTHER AWAY FROM YOUR GOAL.

Woman with carnival mask

You Already Know Your PLAN A

If you are a part of the Good Looking Loser community - you should already know what your PLAN A is.

  • You might not know how to pursue it.
  • You might not know how to organize a long-term goal into several short-term goals.
  • Your motivation might be shaky.
  • You might battle or debate with the non-existent, no fun, "PLAN B"

... but you already know WHAT YOU WANT TO DO.

Your instincts are correct.

Follow them.

Be ALL IN.

Even if you fail miserably - you'll never regret it.

Promise.

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Comments (30)

  1. killtheSheep

Thanks chris, this really push me to follow my dream. I'm planning to resign at work to find a better opportunity in Singapore. btw, I'm from the Philippines. 23 years old.
I've been preparing for this for 2 years. A lot of things goes to my...

Thanks chris, this really push me to follow my dream. I'm planning to resign at work to find a better opportunity in Singapore. btw, I'm from the Philippines. 23 years old.
I've been preparing for this for 2 years. A lot of things goes to my head. Will I stay in my comfort zone and just stay in my current work, or pursue my goal even though the probability of getting a job in there is very minimal. Thanks thanks, no there is no plan B. I will face it. I might regret it in the future if i didn't do it.

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  1. G-Freedom    killtheSheep

Do it. Absolutely do it. My wife is Pinay and all her friends have done just that. You WILL find work, and if you don't, you can always create a job for yourself. Fortune favours the brave.

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  1. brandon

Good stuff Chris.

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  1. Dave

interesting post

ps: I am really excited about the "plan of attack" to get a girlfriend, that you metioned in one of your last posts

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  1. RO_Loser

Thank you for posting this, totally resonates with me. I am 19 and I already have some, I can't really call them regrets yet, but things I wish I would have done in a more boldly ME manner instead of going with Plan B(doing nothing,just being...

Thank you for posting this, totally resonates with me. I am 19 and I already have some, I can't really call them regrets yet, but things I wish I would have done in a more boldly ME manner instead of going with Plan B(doing nothing,just being worried/anxious) because of I dunno what to call it..Wondering what X-girl or even Y-dude would think of me...if I'm gonna come across as loser and shit... and sometimes I wonder 'What if..." and it's really killing me. But officially I'm not even in my 20's yet, I have some time to STOP caring what others think of me and really be myself A LOT more. This principle and having only one goal at a time is what I hardcore try to do right now.

Thanks again for all the passion you put into this GLL thing. One day hopefully I will have too something to be passionate about at the same level.

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  1. ssk08

Related to the subject:

It took a while (end of 2013) for me to learn this, but not asking your peers too much about "what you should do" and just do it EVEN if you fail, WILL improve your self-esteem noticeably. Self-esteem only sunk for me...

Related to the subject:

It took a while (end of 2013) for me to learn this, but not asking your peers too much about "what you should do" and just do it EVEN if you fail, WILL improve your self-esteem noticeably. Self-esteem only sunk for me when I made decisions based on other people 100%. Failure doesn't kill self-esteem, not following your inner will does.

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  1. littlehero91

Chris you are in your fourth decade and not third haha
first thing I noticed

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  1. Good Looking Loser    littlehero91

haha - yep, didnt count 0-10-- ill change it

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  1. Derrek

Good stuff - as usual. I agree with most things you mention

What I personal find the biggest hurdle is having to work 30-50 hours a week doing s shitty job because nothing is taking off yet and there is absolutely no falling back . Most people...

Good stuff - as usual. I agree with most things you mention

What I personal find the biggest hurdle is having to work 30-50 hours a week doing s shitty job because nothing is taking off yet and there is absolutely no falling back . Most people have parents who can support them in time of needs but when we take that out it becomes a very different story.

not making up excuses but it is something often overlooked I feel - almost every guy I know who has significant success with a business for example, had parents making decent coin to support them/lend them money if needed.

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  1. Dave

Hey Chris,
I recently thought about the fact that you havent made a post about music and impact on life.(Or maybe I just dont see it).
I think it can REALLY change the life of someone who is sad all the time or not really productive.
Chris...

Hey Chris,
I recently thought about the fact that you havent made a post about music and impact on life.(Or maybe I just dont see it).
I think it can REALLY change the life of someone who is sad all the time or not really productive.
Chris what kind of music do you listen to and did it change over the years?
During September 2013 I realized that I was much happier after a few weeks of not listening to as much heavy metal anymore. And the most important thing is I dont listen to music that makes me nostalgic and makes me think of people that arent available anymore. For someone who doesnt have a girlfriend but really wants one really badly its maybe good to not listen to any kind of romantic songs if he doesnt have anyone to kuddle with at the moment. To sum it up I really think it helps if you know that a song puts you in a bad mood, that you immediately switch the radio off if you begin to hear that song. And you shouldnt listen to music that fits your mood( if you are in BAD MOOD) and ONLY LISTEN TO POSITIVE MUSIC AND ALSO NOT NOSTALGIC MUSIC.

For instance I found a workout song (not extremely aggressive though) on youtube in a phil heath workout video and I find it extremely motivating and whenever I heard a song that I didnt want to hear by accident I immediately stopped and listened to the cool song instead for at least a minute and I was in a good mood and started to do something productive (like learning maybe) . I think it helped me during the last months.
Sorry if I made mistakes. I am from Austria)

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  1. Dirk

100% right on. I wish I had found this community in my 20's (just found it last week, honestly) because the idea of "all in" is the best advice for succeeding in life. I'm now in my mid-30's and for the last year have been working on my "Plan A"....

100% right on. I wish I had found this community in my 20's (just found it last week, honestly) because the idea of "all in" is the best advice for succeeding in life. I'm now in my mid-30's and for the last year have been working on my "Plan A". I still have a ways to go, but I'm sure a whole hell of a lot happier now than I was when I was living a life that I hated waking up to.

Also...wanted to give you a big thanks for taking the time to run this blog. I found the site after deciding to get in shape (something else I've wanted to do after falling out of shape since my high school days) and I'm on Day 2 of the GLL Diet. So far so good...ALL IN baby!

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Great post, having no regrets and attempting everything your set out to achieve is the way to go.

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