“You will regret it later.”
In my life, I have heard it many, many times. I have come to somewhat hate these five words, but I admit that even I have on occasions applied it to others.
When I went so far as to ask my boss for a demotion and a pay cut so that I could legitimately reduce my responsibilities to something more manageable for me, he rejected my proposal with those five words. I believed him, swallowed my misery and continued with life – miserably. Until I couldn’t take it anymore and tried to resign.
When I expressed my current inability to let go of my internal barriers, my counselor made the same conclusion. Not in the exact words and more gently done, but the gist of it is the same. I will regret it later if I don’t try to open up more now.
When I sunk a large part of my income in a fixed contribution endowment fund with about 4% annual returns, my parents said the same. I did it at that time, because I had a spending problem then. I knew then if I didn’t commit to forced savings which I couldn’t touch, I would never save.
The problem with advice that requires us to consider the future, unfortunately, seldom considers that we live in the not-so-perfect here and now. And if the here and now were perfect, we could probably implement such advice easily. However, this is not the case. We tend to make the decisions to make us happy now. Even someone like me who tends to be able to defer gratification most of the time, have had to make decisions to ensure I am able to get past the current crisis in order to have a later.
I told my boss that I understood his concerns, but unfortunately I am not living the life of my future self. If I didn’t do something to alleviate my misery now, I may not even have a future to regret.
I resolve to try not to use the phrase ever again in my future life. The important thing is to be educated about the consequences of any decision, and that is where advice from others older and wiser comes in. Whatever decision is ultimately made, whether it benefits the present self or the future self, there should be no cause to say to anyone or for anyone to say to me, ‘You will regret it later”.