08/05/2014 12:48 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Live In a Way That Leaves No Regrets


There's a struggle going on. It involves you and who you think everyone else wants you to be.

This struggle runs deep and pulverizes your dreams and aspirations. It leaves you feeling like a drone, trapped in your well-worn fear.

Maybe someone told you you'd never amount to anything or be anyone worth talking about. Maybe someone told you you weren't that good at math or science even though you loved numbers or bugs or string theory.

It's time to poke holes in the struggle. It's time to break through the cocoon you weaved around your heart. It's time to insert the key and unlock the cage you put yourself in.

It's time to live in a way that leaves no regrets.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Travel often. Love with abandon. Set boundaries. Enforce your boundaries. Never mistake loving someone with abandon as being reckless with your heart, your soul, your body, your emotions, or your bank account.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Seize the day. Seize the night. Carpe the hell out of the diem. Smile more. Give hugs.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Say 'no' when you mean no. Say 'yes' when you mean yes. And if you say 'yes' when you really mean 'no,' suck it up cupcake because yes means you are in agreement with whatever you said yes to. What I really want to tell you is that when you say 'yes' when you really mean no, you create drama, trauma, resentment, anger, frustration, and a whole lot of negative crap that no one thinks could possibly reside in a three letter word.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Saying 'yes' when you really mean no doesn't make you nice or kind or loving. Don't get yourself caught in the people-pleasing "yes girl" syndrome. You may look nice on the outside but inside you're a steaming hot mess of poo and you'll end up complaining about your life from sunup to sundown.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Never mistake obligation for choice or choice for obligation. "I have to" is an obligation. "I choose to" is a choice. "I have to" is an obligation. "I get to" is a choice. "I have to," is an obligation. "I'm allowed to," is a choice. Notice the difference?

Say it out loud:

"I have to go to work."

How do you feel? What came up?

Now say:

"I choose to go to work."

Did you feel that ever so subtle but awesome shift in energy? What I'm really want you to know is that in every situation, except death, you have a choice. And the icing on the cake is that you get to do the choosing.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. You don't have to stay in a dead in job. You don't have to stay in a soulless, gutless, emotionless relationship. You don't have to do a gosh darn thing. Up to this point all those obligations you say you have or you think you have are really choices you made by saying 'yes' to something.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Stop woulda, coulda, shoulding on yourself and others. Especially the shoulding. The word "should" means to suppose. And "to suppose" something means to have a theory about something. A theory is nothing more than a hypothetical expected outcome.

A hypothetical expected outcome isn't real.

It's an illusion. When you should on someone or yourself, you're actually throwing a hypothetical expected outcome as if it were real. And then your knickers get all bunched up when your hypothetical expected outcome proves to be the illusion that it really is.

What I really want you to do is erase "should" from your vocabulary. Trust me, you'll add years of happiness to your life when you end your shoulding war with the wholesome what is so.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Release those you love from your expectations and assumptions. Ask more questions. Tell that lover of yours what you need, what you want, what you desire. Last time I looked, neither you nor me passed mind reading, palm reading, or magic 8 ball class at Magic School. If you can't read your lover's mind, why do expect him (or her) to read yours?

"Well," you say. "He should know to buy me flowers for my birthday."

Uh. No. He can't possibly know unless you tell him.

What I'm trying to tell you is SPEAK UP and ask for what you want.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Mind your money. And if you don't know how to mind your money find someone who does and ask for help. I know someone who once racked up over $4,000 in overdraft charges. I don't know about you but I could go on a damn nice vacation with that amount!

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Get plenty of sleep (note to self on that one!) Make better food choices. Use smaller plates. You don't have to clean your plate or make your kids clean theirs either (unless you want them to wash the dishes... good luck) Reduce the amount of white processed crap you put in your body. Eat your veggies.

What I really want you to know is what you already know: when your insides are chugging along efficiently and things are working in harmony and balance you feel better. And when you feel better on the inside, your outside shines even brighter.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Dance. On the beach is preferable, but if your lover turns up Van Morrison's Moondance in your kitchen -- well, you know. Just dance.

Live in a way that leaves no regrets. Stand tall. Roll your shoulder blades down your back. Raise the corners of your mouth to your ears. Go do that thing only you are meant to do.

You got this.

Peggy Nolan is a self proclaimed vanquisher of fear, slayer of self-doubt and she's determined to help others rock their fab. Peggy lives in Derry, NH with her husband, Richard.