4 things to consider when you think you majorly messed up your life

Hardly anyone's life turns out exactly how they thought it would, so how do you know if you made right choices, took enough risks or did the right thing?

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  • I often look back over the course of my life and wonder if I made right choices. What if I had gone to a different college? What if I moved out of state when I had the chance? What if I did this or that differently? Would I be married to the same person? Would I have the same kids? Would I have the life I have now?

  • Usually these questions come to mind when I am unhappy about something in my life. When I wish things could be different. So how do I know if I am where I am supposed to be? Here are things to consider when these questions pop up:

  • Are you happy?

  • This is the most important question to ask yourself. There may be unhappy parts of your life, like your career, your financial situation or your romantic life, but if you are happy in the majority of areas in your life, then you are doing OK.

  • Sometimes it is hard to tell you are happy if there is something in your life that is not going well. It can make the other areas of your life seem frustrating and miserable as well. You may wish you had made different choices earlier in life, but the truth is you will never know how your life would have gone differently if you had made that other choice.

  • Consider the things you do have. You might have a place to live, stability or a family. Whatever those most important things are, realize how you would feel if you lost them. Hold onto the things that do make you happy and try and improve the things that don't.

  • Remember the influence

  • Look around you. Look at the lives you've changed, influenced or created. How would others be different if you were not there? You may wish you worked or lived in a different area of the world, but look at those around you whose lives you've touched just by being where you are.

  • Your life is not over

  • I don't mean just that the fact you are still living is proof that you're okay. Rather, you still have more of your journey to complete. If you are working on a goal, no matter how long you've been working on it, there is still time to achieve it.

  • Reaching a certain age or spending a certain amount of time working on something without meeting the goal does not mean you've failed. It may take longer than you thought, but look at all you've gained along the way.

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  • My husband left his native country to pursue a dream... and he has yet to achieve it. Was it a mistake? If he had not left he would not have met me, we wouldn't have our children and he would not have experienced some of the amazing things we've done together. He may have a more successful career, but he would not have the things in life that really matter. He still has time to reach his goals. His life is not over. In the end, not only will he achieve his dreams career wise, but he will have everything he has gained along the way as well.

  • Everything happens for a reason

  • We may not know exactly why some things happen, and we may struggle for years trying to understand them, but there is a reason. Think about, discuss and pray about major life decisions, but accept things when they do happen. Agonizing about the choices you made in life will only make you miserable. Instead, accept them, move on, and implement steps that will correct or change your future. Try to see the lesson life has taught you. Perhaps you played it safe instead of taking a risk, or needed to learn patience, humility, or perseverance. Take these life lessons and use them to help you with the rest of your life.

  • Nobody's life is perfect. Spending your life wishing it was different is a waste of your time. Embrace who you are, where you are, and what you've become. Your life may not be what you thought it would be, but that is not necessarily a bad thing.

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Megan Shauri graduated with a bachelors in anthropology and a masters in psychology. She is a mother of twins.

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