Failure Over Regret

Treat Thompson



This is a republishing of The Steady Fella Newsletter. Every week readers use the timeless insights on passion, productivity, philosophy, and happiness from this newsletter to build towards the life they want.

If you'd like to receive it in your inbox every Sunday, you can subscribe here:

Hey there! Welcome to the first Steady Fella Newsletter issue!

This newsletter results from me making what I wish I could've found for myself but never did - a subscription for people who want to grow.

Choose failure over regret

The first-ever topic is choosing failure over regret.

It comes from the idea of reflecting on your life and choosing what you'd rather have: memories of you chasing your dreams and falling short sometimes, but nailing it others; or thoughts of how your life could’ve turned out if you didn't play it safe. The latter is scary to me.

Wanting to live with failure over regret is a long term mindset of not wanting to leave anything on the table in life. It comes down to squeezing everything out of your time on Earth.

Why I have this mindset

This mindset was instilled in me because of these two things:

1. An article titled “The Most Powerful Lessons People Learn Too Late in Life”:

The article had a list of things you're NOT going to care about when you reflect on your life.

These two stuck with me:

  • How safe and practical you were: You're not going to look back and be grateful that you didn’t try starting a business or travelling the world. You won’t be proud that you simply played it safe and saved up a good retirement after working for 40 years.
  • How much embarrassment you saved: You're not going to reflect on your entire life and be glad you never risked being laughed at for having an idea that's outside the box. You won't value the comfort of NOT taking a shot over the feeling of your ideas coming to life.

2. A grid of a 90-year human life in weeks by Tim Urban:

This image is of a typical American life. Each box is a week, each row is a year, and in total, it shows a 90-year life (which is a pretty lucky age to reach).

This image takes life - which can seem endless at times - and made it VERY finite for me. We lose a big chunk early for school, then we're influenced to give a bigger chunk (and 50% of our days) to work for a small chunk of free time in the end. Each week that goes by is one box checked that we can't get back.

This isn't meant to be scary or morbid though. It's meant to spark a little bit of action in you and serve as a reminder to not live on autopilot so much. Don't let weeks pass without trying to bring your dreams (of any size) to life. Live with intent.

Regrets sting more than failure because, in failure, you got to see how the idea played out. With regret, you're left wondering for an eternity.

What does this mean for you?

It means stop using words like "one day". It means don't be afraid of what others might think. It means don't let time slip away without trying to get what you want.

Because you might regret it one day, you might wonder what could have been.

This weeks discussion

Which piece of content has created a paradigm shift in your life?

A paradigm shift is a fundamental change in a way of thinking.

Mine was an episode from Joe Rogan's podcast a few years ago. In it, Dr. Rhonda Patrick explained what refined carbohydrates are and how severely they affect our bodies. This changed how I look at food and health because it's something that's so familiar in most of our diets.

Let me know what yours is on Twitter or by replying to this email. I like taking people's recommendations, and if it strikes me, I can share it with my followers!

This weeks quote

"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now." - Chinese Proverb

Trees take a long time to grow. If you wanted one today, the best time to plant it would've been 20 years ago. Since you didn't plant the tree then, the second-best time is now.

Your dreams take a long time to achieve. If you wanted the success today the best time to start would've been 20 years ago. Since you didn't start back then, the second-best time is NOW.