Don’t Regret Not Living Your Life

Ilsa: ‘When I said I would never leave you.
Rick: And you never will. But I’ve got a job to do, too. Where I’m going, you can’t follow. What I’ve got to do, you can’t be any part of. Ilsa, I’m no good at being noble, but it doesn’t take much to see that the problems of three little people don’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy world. Someday you’ll understand that.” Casablanca

If Casablanca doesn’t break your heart and or move you in some way I question your humanity. Perhaps that sounds unfair and or unreasonable but that is just how that movie affects me. Rick’s journey is one that I relate to and hope to emulate in some ways and at the same time I never want to follow it.

I keep thinking about these moments in time that we live through. I keep looking back, looking to the side and looking forwards. I look at a post I wrote last August and wonder if I didn’t fall down the rabbit hole.

I am a collector of moments in time. I try to be present in all that I do so that when something special happens I can capture it and lock it away inside that place where the most important things of my life are filed.  By the time August is finished I will have buried my grandfather, watched my sister get married and moved out of the first house I owned. And I will have done it all in less than 30 days.

So much has happened since that moment when I walked out of the house and stepped into the unknown. I am happy. I am angry. I am sad and I am bitter. I am optimistic. There are opportunities that have come because of this. There are choices that I wouldn’t have made because of this and choices that I had to make because of this.

When I sold the house I knew that nothing would be the same and for the most part I was ok with it. Ok because a long time ago I accepted that the only way to really enjoy life is to live it. It is part of why I love this video.

Lori asks people to tell her how we let go and I say that I am not good at it. I carry some things with me. I don’t forget. I remember. Sometimes I am very good about just shrugging my shoulders and sometimes…not so much.

There are lessons I have learned the hard way. I have made mistakes and buried friends. I know what it means to lose loved ones to terminal illness. I have helped lower their coffins into the ground and then made sure that they were buried because I didn’t stop swinging the shovel. It was the final thank you and my silent way of saying goodbye.

And because I have done these things and experienced life I know that I don’t want to wake up and regret not having lived my life. The difference between thought, action and execution is substantial.

Every day that goes by in which I don’t take a step towards trying to live my dreams is a waste of time and that is the one thing I don’t have enough of. When people ask me why I sometimes get so frustrated with certain things it is because I want to live those dreams yesterday. I don’t want to wait to be happier and more fulfilled. I want it now and I will make it happen because that is how it has to go.

Action is required.

When I say that I want to write ebooks I want to kick it up a notch. Here is my plan. I am going to take a number of my posts and use them to build an ebook. You might wonder why I would do it that way and not write something “fresh.”

The answer is simple. The first book is a learning experience. I don’t know as much as I would like about what tools/resources I should use to create the book. I haven’t decided if I will make this free or sell it for a buck.

The way to learn is to make it happen. Too many people suffer from paralysis of analysis. That isn’t going to be me. The major regrets in my life were caused by that and I have no wish to repeat my mistakes.

It is time to fly. It is time to live. Come fly with me.

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  1. JanB April 29, 2012 at 10:38 am

    I believe writing an e-book is somewhat different than writing a blog post. From reading your blog I understand that you’re having no trouble writing content. That’s a good thing. Creating an e-book is somewhat different. Don’t get me wrong, because I never had published an e-book before. I’m just thinking about the scale of things.
    Bigger content, and what about distribution, later…
    It’s good to start of with some of your blog posts as a reference, a sort of known boundaries. You know what it’s about, you remember writing them and you can (possibly) take advantage of the little things you would have done differently.
    In short: Go for it and I’m waiting for the first e-book from your hand.
    // Jan

    • Jack April 29, 2012 at 11:35 pm

      Hi Jan,

      I expect that writing an eBook is going to be an entirely different ball of wax than I am used to but I am planning for it.

      The idea is to use the first one as a learning opportunity. This will be where I figure out many of the ins and outs so that the second one will be that much better.

      That is a big part of why I want to use my posts. That frame of reference should help or so I hope.

  2. Jens P. Berget April 27, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    I’m certain that it’s going to be a huge success. You have so many brilliant posts, you just want to add the related posts to the ebook, create a relevant title and an awesome cover, and you are ready. And, the thing is, even though I’ve read the posts earlier, reading them in a collection with others, makes them completely different and it will be like they’re brand new.

    I’m really looking forward to it.

    • Jack April 27, 2012 at 11:59 pm

      Hi Jens,

      I hope you are right. We shall see what happens. I am just trying to sort and sift through them all so that I can come up with the right mix. I am nervous but in a good way.

      Thank you for your support, I really appreciate it.

  3. Bill Dorman April 27, 2012 at 10:48 am

    Paralysis by analysis; don’t be ‘that guy’. The time is now, so just jump out there and do it. So what if you take some lumps and it is not perfect; at least you can say you ‘did it.’

    • Jack April 27, 2012 at 12:11 pm

      No sir, not going to be him. I am going to be the dude that goes balls out and tries to make it happen. I can’t live any other way than to give it a shot.

  4. Judy Dunn April 27, 2012 at 10:05 am

    Funny how amazing, insightful themes on very similar topics can come out on the same day. I just finished reading Kristen Lamb’s post on warriorwriters and parts of it were encouraging us to abandon out fears and write from the heart. To consider leaving that job to focus on what you really love. To write not from a motivation of making money, but from our true selves.

    For a long time, I thought that was a bunch of hooey. Only the writers who are already successful say that, right? Well, I can say that it took me a long, long time to go from teacher to marketer to copywriter and, finally, to author. But I can also tell you that I have never been happier. If the riches follow, great. But if they don’t I’ll have no regrets.

    I know that it sounds like I’m getting all woo-woo on you, but you are taking that first step. Good for you! I think an ebook is a great place to start. I am thinking that as I work on my memoir (because if it goes the traditional publishing route, it’ll be a while before it comes out), I’m going to do something similar. Maybe self-publish a shorter book of essays or short stories in digital form and market them on my blog and elsewhere.

    I’m excited for you, Jack! Would love to hear more about your journey. : )

    • Jack April 27, 2012 at 12:00 pm

      Hi Judy,

      I am working hard to make it all happen and to somehow “balance” it alongside everything else. I am happiest when I write with reckless abandon and no care other than to just get the story out.

      That might or might not be the best way to make money but part of me doesn’t care. I have been rich and I have been poor. There is no doubt that having more cash makes a lot of things easier but it really doesn’t fix everything.

      When I die I want to say that I took my shot. It is why I signed up for AWeber today and started putting together my first newsletter.

  5. April 27, 2012 at 7:49 am

    Buy your own ISBN, susposedly it gives you more control. We’ll see. I didn’t do it with the 1st book but am with my second. Best of luck. It’s a slippery slope but with your tenacity I suspect you’ll do well.

    • Jack April 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

      Hi Bridget,

      I have had a few people suggest that. Haven’t gotten that far yet, but I should start looking into it. That slippery slope you mention, well I know it well.

  6. Harleena Singh April 27, 2012 at 4:52 am

    Beautiful post Jack!

    I was truly lost in the video that said it all I think. Living each moment that’s what life is all about – isn’t it?

    I think when we think about what we want or would have wanted, we really don’t appreciate what we have, as our focus shifts on what we don’t have and what we desire. And those wants never end. 🙂

    While somewhat of it is required for keeping us going and achieving our goals, but we need to live our life each day and make the best of it as it comes too.

    Thanks for sharing a wonderful video and post with everyone, with a great reminder to not regret living the moments in life. 🙂

    • Jack April 27, 2012 at 11:50 am

      Hi Harleena,

      That video just works for me as a reminder to try to remember to slow down. I don’t want to spend all my time wondering and worrying about what I don’t have or can’t get.

      So I just do the best I can to be like Art said, intentional and purposeful.

      Hope you are having a great day.

  7. Art Pennom April 27, 2012 at 1:43 am


    As always, thanks for writing this post. Your ability to eloquently convey messages from your soul is such a gift.

    You’ve hit on a topic that I think we dads (parents?) don’t do nearly enough- being mindful of being dads and of living. We miss so much! It’s great to see you get it and are trying to live it. More of us need to follow suit.

    I just did a post on being an intentional dad. I meant that we need to be a dad like we mean it. Every day. I think we need to expand that to everything we do as you suggest here. We need to remember those moments and savour them (I too loved that video, thank you for sharing). They will be there when we reach the end of our time here and, hopefully, will be something we take with us.

    I highly encourage you to write the book. I would read it whether it’s free or a buck. The fact that it’s your past posts is actually a good thing.

    Keep writing.

    All the best,

    Art Pennom

    • Jack April 27, 2012 at 11:38 am

      Hi Art,

      Thank you for the encouragement, I really appreciate it. I like the philosophy behind being intentional. It makes so much sense and it works. It is something that I try to remind myself of because it is easy to get caught up in everything else.

  8. Betsy Cross April 27, 2012 at 12:44 am

    I say if you CAN do something, do it. You are so right knowing that waiting to do something can waste valuable time. I learn the most from my mistakes. But I never make mistakes when I wait. I also don’t have a life! It is so much fun seeing what you couldn’t have seen when you step a bit into the darkness and it’s suddenly illuminated…guess that’s what faith is all about.
    Have fun. And good luck!

    • Jack April 27, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Hi Betsy,

      I hate the idea of not taking advantage of potential in anything. It really makes me crazy so it is one of those areas that I try to focus upon. Faith in ourselves is just as important as faith in anything else.

  9. Stan Faryna April 26, 2012 at 11:44 pm

    Sounds like you have a solid plan and strategy with the ebook. Do amazing things!

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