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6 Things You’ll Never Regret

One of the wisest things we can do in life is to live in ways that reduce our regrets. While it’s impossible to completely avoid all the “I wish I had or hadn’t” life experiences, it’s possible to build things into our lives we’re sure we’ll never regret.

I was thinking recently about some of my life practices that required

dedication and discipline to learn but have proven well worth it.

Here are six practical things I have done throughout the years that I don’t regret. (These are just a few!)

You’ll never regret:

  1. Improving your vocabulary.

Words are the way you navigate life and relationships. When you improve

your vocabulary, you automatically accomplish several things:

You get smarter. You can only learn new words by also learning their meanings. This makes you smarter. Getting smarter is always a good thing. You become a more agile and able communicator—the more words you know, the more communication tools you have. A better vocabulary better equips you to communicate.

You learn words and word patterns that give you an advantage in reading and understanding other unfamiliar words and concepts. You’ll be amazed at how many unknown words and their meanings you will be able to grasp as you increase your vocabulary and become more familiar with word patterns and principles.

You “stretch” your brain. Your brain is a muscle. It atrophies without use.

Language skills exercises are a significant part of your brain. Break out the dictionary and start studying! You’ll never regret improving your vocabulary!

  1. Learning to write and speak well.

Consistent writing is a habit I recommend to everyone. Whether it’s a devotional journal or daily diary, the discipline of regular writing is one you’ll not regret. It will add more to your life than you imagine. Put pen to paper and let your thoughts, ideas, and inspiration flow freely. Get the inside out. When you do, you learn a lot about yourself and your relationships.

When writing more formally, practice good writing skills. Check your sentences for proper word tenses, proper syntax, singular and plural consistency between nouns, pronouns and verbs, etc. Refuse the contemporary tendency toward sloppiness in writing emails, texts, etc. Be your own “English professor.” Good writing is all about content, ruthless editing, and high-quality style.

Add to this writing discipline a commitment to monitor your speech for content and correctness as well. This is a challenge but also well worth it. You’ll never regret learning to write and speak well!

  1. Establishing life patterns and rhythms.

Haphazardness in life patterns and rhythms creates dissonance and disorder in your life. Setting schedules is extremely helpful. Know what you’re going to do and when you are going to do it. Create a daily and weekly rhythm. A rhythmic personal life and work plan will make you far more productive. You will rise above average folks by doing this one thing. Expand this rhythm approach beyond work. Establish a similar flow in your spiritual life, your relationships, and your physical body. This, too, will return great dividends. You’ll never regret establishing life patterns and rhythms!

  1. Paying attention to lessons others ignore or overlook.

I would guess that 75% of the major lessons I learned in life came from informal rather than formal instruction. Somehow, I adopted a life orientation of observing, listening, and asking helpful, educational questions of people who were much smarter and more capable than me. The result was a great education and a lot of beneficial wisdom.

Not everyone appreciates this practice. I am amazed at how many times I have intentionally made a statement to someone meant to be educational, and perhaps even tactfully but constructively corrective, only to have the individual totally ignore and miss the point. My gift of knowledge or wisdom to them was completely wasted!

Remember, you always pay for an education. The least expensive way to get an education is to “pay attention!” Many people are missing promotions, opportunities, or personal development because they are too stubborn, resistant, rebellious, or blind to the information and opportunities informally offered to them. They overlook the rich nuggets of wisdom lying along their path.

Remember, no one else is responsible for educating or developing you. It’s your responsibility to get an education. Much of what you need to know for your growth can be found in the wisdom and examples of the people around you. Wake up. Pay attention. Stop ignoring and overlooking what’s in front of you. You’ll never regret paying attention!

  1. Taking responsibilities seriously.

Every responsibility is an opportunity. You will do something with it. It will get better or worse under your care. It will not stay the same. If you belittle, complain about, or underestimate the importance of what you’ve been given, there’s a great chance you’ll never be given anything more to do.

People who succeed in life take their responsibilities seriously, no matter how mundane or “unimportant” they may seem. This kind of person understands their duty to their organization or business.

If involved in an organization, they understand their assigned responsibility is to advance its mission. If working in a business, they are responsible for contributing to its profitability and growth, adding value to the bottom line. (Interestingly, according to a recent study, a business employee needs to make a company five times their annual salary in profit for the business to succeed!)

Being responsible involves things like:

  • Preparing in advance for assignments and duties.
  • Completing assignments on time.
  • Completing assignments with a “second-mile” attitude and contribution.
  • Showing up early when responsibilities require it.
  • Staying late when responsibilities require it.
  • Communicating progress on assignments regularly and proactively with supervisors and overseers without being asked.
  • Responding quickly and cooperatively to supervisors’ and overseers’ requests.
  • Demonstrating teamwork and effective communication with peers.
  • Contributing to positive organizational or business morale.
  • Contributing to the “bottom line” of mission advancement or business profit.
  • Being a positive culture carrier.
  • Developing a reputation as a “can do” and “go to” person.
  • Becoming a problem-solver, not a problem-reporter or a problem-creator.
  • Growing people under their care.

These are only a few of the things associated with responsibility. You’ll never regret taking your responsibilities seriously!

  1. Accepting personal ownership for excellence and improvement.

There are two types of people when it comes to pursuing excellence and improvement. The first type is the externally driven. This person operates on standards given to them. They only do the minimum to meet goals and expectations for excellence or generate improvements. Often, they look for the lowest level of accomplishment necessary for “meeting the basic requirement.” They do little or no personal inspection or monitoring. They depend on others to check that standards are or are not being met. Passivity describes this person.

The second type of individual is self-motivated. They have internal standards of excellence and improvement. They also internalize the values, goals, and expectations of the organization or business where they work. They eagerly and consistently think about and actively monitor the quality of their work processes and products. They are proactive. They exercise agency by making better anything placed in their care and under their responsibility.

This kind of person is a great treasure. They’re like “cream that rises to the top!” You’ll never regret accepting personal ownership for excellence and improvement!


Some of you may read and forget these six things. They may not impact you at all. However, some of you will take them to heart and diligently add them to your life. For those who do, 10, 20, or 30 years from now, I am confident you will say, “I don’t regret it!”