Choices you will regret in 10 years


There is no such thing as a life without any regrets.

I’m currently sitting in the front yard of my Venice Beach, California, apartment thinking about regrets.


These are my Top Three:

* I regret the way I broke up with an ex-girlfriend 17 years ago in 1996.

* I regret ignoring my instincts and investing anyway in a friend’s business venture in 2009. I ultimately lost $190,000.

* I regret upsetting my mother recently in one of our rare arguments. (It’s OK. We kissed and made up! 🙂


However, regrets can either suck away at your present happiness and restrict your future, or motivate you to move forward.

As I sit here in the sun writing to you, I choose to learn from my regrets, and move forward.

When it comes to living the good life, or doing something you actually love, or at least like, it’s all about making good choices.

So how do you know what choice is a good one to make for your future?

It’s a constant battle of the mind, I know.

But throughout my 38 years on this Earth, I’ve identified four choices you will ABSOLUTELY regret ten years from now.

Here they are:


1. Being around the wrong people

You will be the average of the five people you spend the most time around.

If you’re consistently surrounding yourself with friends who bring you down, or who don’t have the same perspective on life, you’re not going to get to where you actually want to be.

When I lived in Hollywood, CA, in 2007, I surrounded myself with bad people.

And I was miserable as a result.

I was envious of other people’s success, constantly comparing myself to others, always thinking that the grass was always greener on the other side.

It was exhausting.

Thankfully, I woke up to myself, cut my “friends” and found some new, better, genuine and authentic ones, who helped me grow into the positive man I am today.

When it comes to your passion or what you do for work, surround yourself with good, smart people – you can’t fail with that.

Being around people with a similar level of intelligence and a similar value system is important in making your life the best one.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.


2. Not being humble and thinking you are always the smartest person in the room.

If you forget to be humble when you’re around people that could potentially enrich your life or career, you will miss out on a lot.

If you follow the rule of surrounding yourself with good people, there is no doubt there will always be someone smarter than you around.

And if you make the mistake of ALWAYS being the smartest person in the room, you’re hanging out with the wrong people – because how can they teach you anything?

Find a mentor or several mentors and really listen to what they have to say.

You will likely gain more knowledge than you even know what to do with.

In September, I spent considerable money hiring a Los Angeles-based business mentor.

I meet with him once a week in his home in the Hollywood Hills.

Sometimes, I feel incredibly stupid in his company. He knows so much. I’m still learning.

But he pushes me. I learn. I get inspired. I get better.


3. Listening to too many people.

Don’t listen to everyone.

You can ask the same question of ten people, and get ten different answers.

So if you have an important question about your life path, or a big decision, don’t make the mistake of going with ten different people’s answers.

Go straight to the top for answers, not straight to your facebook status.

I recently did a 10-day silent meditation in Joshua Tree, California called Vipassana.

Ten days of silence. That silence was enough for me to get absolute clarity.

After about day 6 or 7, I asked myself the questions I needed answers to.

The answers came.

When I got out of the silent meditation, within 24 hours, I’d implemented all the decisions.

I felt amazing.

It’s OK to get the opinion of others, but not too many people.

And ultimately, you have to trust your own instincts.


4. Being a person who watches things happen, instead of making things happen.

They say there are three different types of people in the world.

There are a) those that make things happen, b) those who watch things happen and c) those who wonder what happened.

In case you’re wondering, you do NOT want to be in the last two categories.

This simply means that you must take life into your hands and make things happen.

Don’t be the guy who stands around waiting for the train, while three pass by you.

In 1998, I decided I wanted to move from my home town of Brisbane, Australia to London, UK.

I wanted to cover the 1999 Cricket World Cup and Rugby World Cup.

I quit a promising career as a news reporter at The Courier-Mail and moved to London with no job.

It took a few months of rejections from potential UK employers, but ultimately I got a job at Sky Sports and got to attend and cover both World Cups.

I made that dream happen. I took action. I didn’t sit around waiting for something to happen.

Make sure you’re always making things happen in your own life.

So there you have it: Four choices I know you will regret in 10 years.

Don’t do those things or be that person.

Remember, you only live once.

But if you do it right, once is enough.

From me here in Venice, CA, to you, wherever you are in the world, make good choices.

Speak to you soon!

James Swanwick




Email me back to tell me what you regret, what you learned from it, and what you're doing to stay positive and move on. I read every email.

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