Twenty years fr…

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

I love this quote. I use it as an excuse whenever my Dad tells me off for getting another tattoo or piercing, or from when I do something that I know I’m going to get in trouble for later. To me what this quote means is that in general people are afraid to do what they really want to do. They’re afraid to take a risk for fear of failing, or being judged. So they play it safe, but in twenty years time, they look back and think of all the things they had wished they’d done. I’m only twenty two and I’m already doing that!

This quote is mostly associated with Mark Twain, though there is no evidence he ever said this. I hope he did, just because I love Mark Twain so it would make this quote mean even more to me than it does already.

I hope this quote has the same effect on you as it does on me. By that I mean, I hope it makes you want to go out and take a risk. Do something that you’ve always wanted but haven’t. Change your hair, tell that person you like them, get a new job. At the end of day, what is the worst that could happen? You might actually find what you’re looking for and, be happy.


3 thoughts on “Twenty years fr…

  1. I like this too and your analysis and am going to post it on my site which as you know is http://johndwmacdonald.com Perhaps there is another side of it and that is some people go to the other extreme and take too many risks – this is particularly the case with some people who have had a lot of childhood trauma – when you have this background you need to slowly learn to reverse it – in fact the biggest risk you need to take is to live without taking lots of risks – it feels scary to do this because you are faced with your real agony rather than all the externally derived agonies resulting from the risk taking!

  2. Jackie Saulmon Ramirez says:

    To live safely, to never take risks or to desire change in one’s life it is nearer to a kind of death than living at all. But, playing the devil’s advocate I must wonder, though, how many do take the life challenge and then wonder, “What if I had not taken this ‘stupid’ chance, then I might be happier today.”

    My husband once had an opportunity at a better job but was fearful. I told him if he did not take the chance he might regret it later on. He took the job and has done well. A few years ago he was offered a dream position with another prestigious company making a hefty sum better. I left it entirely up to him. Having wet feet, he decided not to take the offer. A few months later, several who did take the offers were let go, part of the company failed. My husband had made the right decision.

    In life we must all make decisions based on what we know and what we are willing to risk. We fail and we succeed, each in our own time.

    Lovely post. Thank you for this.

  3. There is a similar line in the play ‘Habeus Corpus’ by Allan Bennett. It goes something like, ” When you are lying in the Clement Atlee ward and you overhear the nurse saying ‘this one won’t make it through the night’ do you think of the things you did or the things you didn’t do……?”

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