While making large life decisions, I often use regrets to guide the decision. I'm not talking about past regrets, instead I'm basing my current decision on preventing future regrets. As in, "which path would I most regret NOT taking?" Making sure that future me will be happy with my decision. I'm sure all of us do this to certain degrees, but this tendency in me was strengthened by a book many of you have likely read. Walden by Thoreau, easily the most dense book I've ever read, and while frustratingly dry at times, is scattered with gems of wisdom and inspiration. The most profound quote for me, and easily the most popular, lives in my mind. And while the first part of the quote is his most well-known, the rest of the quote, although lesser-known, contains wisdom as well. I'd be honored if you read it below and shared with me what this quote means to you.
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion."
-Henry David Thoreau