I have to admit, I really regret buying a Toyota Corolla.
They don't explain this in Consumer Reports, but while the car is highly rated and gets great gas mileage, it's more like a few pieces of thin sheet metal on four tires with an engine than a car. It goes from 0 to 60. (Get it?) On slight curves on the highway, it almost feels like the car will slide off the road -- on perfectly dry pavement. You can hear other people talking in the car next to you at a stoplight (no, seriously -- you can). It might seem like a "smart" car but it's one of my dumbest purchases ever.
The items below? They were really smart decisions. They will help you see the world through a new lens and shake off the weights of bitterness and anger. They provide more security. They lead to happiness and will help you find the true meaning of success. They will make you stand out in the crowd.
1. Never buying a lottery ticket.
I included a quick note about the fact that I've never bought a lottery ticket recently, and I don't regret it. It just feels like a cop-out to me. It feels cheap. I love how my Inc. colleague Minda Zetlin wrote about your chances of winning recently and how, even if you did win, it would probably not turn out that great. My view is that I'd much rather earn the success anyway. Plus, I hate the entire process. You walk into a dirty gas station, plump down your cash, and get a piece of paper. Big win! I'd rather pay at the pump and buy my "convenience" items at Walgreens.
2. Finding a spouse.
Hold those tweets and emails. I know some people regret getting married. I'm talking about the concept of a life partner, someone who can encourage you and support you. It rocks. My Inc. colleague Jeff Haden wrote about this quite a while ago. He made the point that you have to marry the right person, which is true. I like how movie critic Roger Ebert (may he rest in peace) once described how marriage is wonderful because you have someone to observe your life. That's a tad narcissistic perhaps -- you get more fulfillment out of being the person who supports than being the one supported -- but you get the idea. A spouse shares your life.
3. Buying a house.
I've never regretted buying a house, ever. The reason is that it is such an amazing tax shelter, and not so much because I live across from a lake. There's a pretty good chance you will get a return on your investment or at least make your money back someday. I like being my own boss, and if I had a landlord breathing down my neck, I'd go nuts. Another big benefit is that it gives you consistency in life. You, your spouse, your kids -- you all have a place to call your own.
4. Becoming impossible to offend.
This one is a decision you have to make on a daily basis. It's tough. You decide that, no matter what that one sarcastic guy says in marketing at the next meeting, it won't make you boil. It's an attitude that says: "Words will not hurt me no matter what. I have more than Teflon skin -- I have a Teflon attitude about insults, jabs, and slights. I don't traffic in that realm."
5. Never lying.
Wait, can you really maintain your honesty? On a daily basis? I know some people disagree with me on this one. A little social engineering or persuasion isn't all that bad. I'm talking about outright dishonesty, a corrupt act meant to fool people and obtain things by ill means. Deciding to live honestly and avoid outright lying means you can keep a clear conscience. That's the best reward of all.