Is There A Secret to Life?

My simple answer to that: the secret to life is that you’re lucky to have it!

I’ve wanted to write about this subject for a long, long time. In fact, in some ways it’s probably what sparked me into wanting to start this blog in the first place if I’m truly honest. But it’s the one subject that has always given me the most fear and anxiety over the years, probably for most of my life once I was old enough to understand it that is.

Do something for me right now….just stop for a moment and breathe in, then breathe out! We all take it for granted, after all we’ve been doing it since the very first day that we came kicking and screaming into this world, but it is amazing isn’t it? Not to get too existential, but you have to marvel at the fact that we are even here at all, marvel at the world around you; nature, animals, trees, plants…even humans! And you can’t help at just being truly grateful for all of it!

In a very straight forward way, life is just for living. Life is an incredible thing, whether it’s a human life, a plant or an animal’s life. And yet, even at 47 years young, it still blows my mind…that’s before we even get into talking about the Universe and Galaxies! We’ve all been given this privilege of being here, by the most ridiculously longest odds. Odds that when stacked up only two or three generations back then you’re talking millions to one that you’re even here, and yet here you are, breathing air, looking at the sky, the stars, the trees and just being…a human being.

The point is to just enjoy it as much as you can! I know that some people can find that very difficult, some people’s circumstances find it difficult but the thing is to make sure you enjoy it because we’ve all been given this amazing gift. Make it something that others can enjoy as well and try to make them enjoy their lives. If you can help other people enjoy themselves, even it’s just while you’re having lunch with them, going for a walk or having a coffee, then that’s what it’s all about.

For me, the knowledge that we won’t be around forever is, in a strange way, very liberating because so many of us don’t know that we’re going to die, or that we don’t know when or that we don’t even have any kind of inkling that we could be dead in the morning?! Once you face the fact that we all have a finite amount of time then there is this wonderful liberation to it. You will find, as I did, that you can say things you want to a bit more and you can do things you want to a bit more. People can even say things to you that they want to because they know the context, they know that time is limited, that time is limited for us all.

Do I have any regrets at this point in my life? None! None whatsoever! I can honestly say that I don’t regret anything. I really don’t. Regret for me suggests something that you wish you hadn’t done and because you wish you hadn’t done it, then it kind of lives with you and colours your life. I believe that everything that you do is part of who you are and as long as you feel like you did whatever you did for the right reasons, for the proper reasons, the good reasons, or for at least positive reasons, then I don’t regret anything!

Does that make me unusual or odd in that respect? Possibly, but I’d like to think that everything I did, if it turned out bad or if I somehow hurt somebody or upset somebody because of it, I either had to do that because it came from a reason at that time, in that context or I’ve redressed that hurt…I’ve apologised or I’ve made amends in some way. Regret for me is not something that I hold onto. I change when I can, as I can to the circumstances that I’m in at that time.

There’s no secret to having no regrets, but I do think that you should correct your mistakes and I think that you have to accept your weaknesses. Know that sometimes you do things that aren’t the way that other people want them to be done. Whether you change them or not is up to you but accept the things that you are weak at and try to learn to live with them, own them…don’t deny that you are bad at something, just accept it or try to be better at it. Make allowances for the fact that you are bad at it and try to explain that to others.

Knowing yourself is an incredibly important part of life because it takes time and it takes an age to get to know your true self. Knowing what you enjoy, what makes you get up each morning, what gets your heart beating…that’s important and I would always tell anyone to write down what you are good and bad at, what you like…what you don’t like. What you like or don’t like about yourself and then to just accept it, because, and let’s face it, we’re all flawed, we all make errors, and living an error free life is just something that none of us can do. But we can be kind; we can be kind to people, it’s so much easier than being nasty. Actually it’s not easier, it’s harder…it’s harder to be kind to somebody but it is better. Being nasty to people for no reason, no provocation, no motive…being nasty is just a bad way of living.

“People don’t realise that now is all there ever is; there is no past or future except as memory or anticipation in your mind.”

– Eckhart Tolle

However, saying that, I don’t think that it’s possible to get to the end of your life without some regret. It maybe the fact that you never got to travel or you weren’t as successful as you’d hoped. Perhaps your life didn’t turn out how you imagined it would. Maybe you weren’t as brilliant, tall, slim, smart, rich or popular as you’d thought you’d be. Or…maybe you felt like you were just too busy, too caught up in the day to day stuff to make the most of things.

Maybe we all do have some regret, but maybe some of us manage to move on and be pragmatic about the things we can’t change while others hold onto to those things close and never let go. Maybe they can’t let go, but maybe that is also fine too.

I believe that most people have one thing in common; their regrets aren’t about work, or travel or money. They are about family, and love…in fact it is always about love.

To love and to be loved; love is a very important thing in people’s lives, whether it is family love, relationship love or just friendship love. People should want to have that feeling of contributing to others happiness, but not just happiness but also their sense of being connected to you. That’s what life is really all about, the connections you make with other people, the happiness that you can bring to their lives and also the strength and support and the feeling of being someone worthwhile in somebody’s life….it really is a wonderful feeling.

So maybe all we can do is to live well, but don’t try to live too perfectly. We should strive to take the chances as they arrive and not to put things off. To make the most of it but to know that you can’t live each day as if it were your last because that would just be too damn exhausting.

And most of all, to remember that in the end when you have lived your life, that it’s the little things that will always stay with you; those chances that you did take, that conversation that you finally managed to have to tell someone how you really feel about them, the connections that you made with others, the people you loved and the wonderful moments that you shared.

I must just add that the youtube videos on my posts are not adverts like the other elements dotted around these pages, I do embed them myself. I love the relaxing, calming and atmospheric nature of this type of ambient music with it’s gentle, soothing, instrumental sounds. I also find that I produce better writing whilst I’m listening to it – it can be very emotive at times. Enjoy…



24 thoughts on “Is There A Secret to Life?

  1. Loved this. It made me realise again that I should be happy for what I have and that life itself is something amazing. I agree with you on the regrets aspect. I am much younger and had fewer possibilities to make decisions I could regret so far, but I also don’t have any regrets. I always do what I think is right and if it isn’t I try to fix my mistake. What I think helps with having no regrets is that you need have trust in yourself that the decisions you made in the past were based on a reason. That reason was, at that point in time, important enough for you to make the decision you made and that should be enough for you to say that it was the right decision, because it reflects you as a person. You can never know what happened if you chose differently, so there is no way you can actually know that a decsision you made was “wrong”. Apart from all this: We need to learn to forgive ourselves and each other. I think this would make a lot of regrets disappear or at least get smaller. Thank you so much for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful post. Definitely, we all wonder about this question in life. And yes, it’s so important to love what we have, be present in the moment.

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  3. You write so beautifully and your words are so thought provoking. Lately I’ve had a lot of regrets and I often feel I should have taken more chances instead of letting my anxiety get in the way. But I’m slowly trying to let go of those regrets because I know it will only hold me back from being happy. Thanks for the reminder.


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  4. Hi Coralle, thank you for your kind words. I’m still new to this but I’m giving it a good go. The response from everyone, yourself included, has been amazing. This has been so cathartic for my mental health, I should have done it sooner…but I guess I just wasn’t ready. My previous post only took an hour yet this one had been a work in progress for a while. Write, read, re-write, read, re-write etc.. It was originally over 2000 words so thought best to edit it down a bit in order to hold the readers attention. I’ll maybe use the notes for a future post. Thanks again. Paddy x

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  5. It’s so true. Whenever my mental health is really bad, I always try and look at the greater, beautiful perspective that we are literally a walking miracle. Our world is so amazing – although it can be hard to see that all the time.

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  6. Well done Pat. Keep it up, it’s a wonderful post and it reminded me to be happy and appreciate what we have, to be present in the moment.

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  7. I think my biggest regret is the years I wasted trying to fit in with the world before I found out that I was designed to be different and that’s okay, but I’m working on building a life without regrets now 🙂

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  8. Hey Ruth, many thanks for your response….much appreciated. I’ve given you a follow on Twitter. Don’t worry, I’ve only been writing for a couple of months too so I’m still finding my feet. Fantastic video by the way, that’s some weight loss… should be really proud! Well done! If I can help with anything then just shout. This is a great community to be part of and I’m very much looking forward to where the journey will take me. Regards, Paddy x

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  9. Great post Pat. I would just add that you can’t always fix your mistakes and even if you could not always you should… perhaps is better sometimes to just leave past to past and make peace with it. I strongly believe that all experiences in our life shape us and made us who we are now. Mistakes are needed too… we probably learn from our mistakes the most 😉

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  10. Love this!! Spot on!! You are absolutely right – the secret to life is that you have one!! As a cancer survivor, I know this first hand! I also agree with your take on regrets! I can’t say, at age 50, that I have none but I try everyday to live my life so that I don’t have one tomorrow!

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  11. Hey Kimmie, many thanks for your comments, much appreciated. It is my favourite post to date, and was a long time in edit/rewrite mode ha! So not sure I’ll be able to top it any time soon but I’ll give it a go! 🙂


  12. Fantastic read! Honestly, really makes you think.

    This is a beautiful thought ‘ And most of all, to remember that in the end when you have lived your life, that it’s the little things that will always stay with you; those chances that you did take, that conversation that you finally managed to have to tell someone how you really feel about them, the connections that you made with others, the people you loved and the wonderful moments that you shared.’

    Hayley | hayleyxmartin

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Nice post, Paddy! I think you are spot on. Taking things for granted has become a way of being for most of us. Developing ways to appreciate our environment and the time we have is a real trick. Thanks for sharing!


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  14. I love your perspective here. It’s so important to have no regrets and just live life to the fullest. It’s very humbling to think we only have a limited amount of time to experience life.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. A truly fascinating perspective! I almost died from bilateral pneumonia last year and I’ve never been more grateful for being alive. I know it shouldnt have reached that point to make me realise but I believe everything happens for a reason!

    Liked by 1 person

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