Skyros is an island in Central Greece where my family has our summer house. Greek islands are a popular tourist destination in summertime, but they are mostly forgotten in all other seasons. That's a shame, really. If you enjoy solitude and quietness, they are perfect retreats. And that's something I was reminded of this spring.
We spent two weeks on Skyros island during the Easter holidays in 2022. It's been three years since we last visited the island at this time of year due to COVID-19. I honestly had forgotten how beautiful the island is during springtime. Not only was nature at it its best, but people were hard to come by. There were times when I drove my car around and didn't come across a single vehicle.
I could hardly contain my excitement, which is pretty evident as I documented our time on the Greek island this year.
Relocating is a big, life-changing decision
It's not the first time we contemplated moving and relocating to the island. Relocation sounds like an enormous task for a guy who has lived 40 years in the same city. Yet, I couldn't stop thinking about it as I watched every sunrise.
Will we do it? Probably not, as I go through most of our worries in the video above. But it's nice to know there's a different path I could have taken.
Life is full of minor decisions we make every day and a few big ones we overthink. We'll inevitably regret the bad ones. I also find myself not appreciating and even ignoring the good ones. Maybe you, too.
Focus on good decisions, avoid regrets
There's something worse than a wrong decision, though. It's the "what-ifs."
- What if I didn't buy an expensive car in my twenties?
- What if I didn't blow $100K trading stocks?
- What if I had begun investing much earlier?
- What if I didn't start a family?
- What if I relocated to an island?
You see, those are questionable decisions. They are decisions that deep in our head we think might have been mediocre decisions at best, or we would have ended up better if we hadn't made them. But we either didn't have a choice, weren't disciplined enough, or got overwhelmed by their short-term rewards and benefits.
For example, I didn't tell you, "what if I got my degree" because I know that dropping out of the university was a good decision. At least for my standards. I believe that decision made me happier, which is always how you should gauge a decision.
But I'd likely have retired by now if I had been more cautious with my money when I was younger. It wasn't such a bad decision to indulge myself with a roadster, but I believe I would appreciate saving that money nowadays. Still, if I met my younger self today, I know I wouldn't convince myself to act any different. Ah, the youth.
Can I meet my younger self? No. Do you know what else isn't possible? Turning back time. So, there's no point in regretting decisions.
Yes, we made a bad call. We'll live with that. Carry on. Learn from a bad decision. Make better calls. Don't bring yourself down; nothing of all that will matter on the death bed.
At least good calls make us feel better. Focus on them.
Making decisions based on facts
Relocating to a Greek island is a long-lasting decision. I should avoid being conned by the short-term benefits while digging another hole for myself. Because I know, in the long run, it's a wrong decision.
At least under current circumstances. And that's another mistake we make. We need to make decisions based on the present, actual situation.
I often ask myself: If I had been this, I would... If I had done that, I would... If... STOP!
Even worse than what-ifs is when we build an imaginary self in a fictional world. The moment I start a sentence with an if, I force myself to stop thinking about it.
What's the point of thinking of a decision that doesn't apply to real life?
"If I were single, I would relocate." Well, genius, I am not, and besides, I wouldn't have a summer house on a Greek island as a single man in the first place! I just wasted 2 minutes of my life making that thought. Get back to reality, Jim!
You know what's real? This.