I vividly recall having a discussion at school with Mr Orme, one of my very favourite teachers ever, on the subject of regret. He had been in the Eighth Army in North Africa during the second world war and had suddenly found himself in Cairo with some free time.
Now I love history especially ancient Egyptian history so was keen to hear what he had seen and done in that magical land. But it turned out that one of the biggest regrets of his life stemmed from that very visit. He and a friend had decided to head over to the Great Pyramid and climb it right to the top, something he’d always wanted to do.
When they arrived they were confronted by a local “guide” who offered to lead them to the top for a shilling. Now, these were young British soldiers who had just seen off Rommel and the might of the Africa Corps and all they were faced with now was a big pile of stone. They were at the bottom and could see the top so who needs a guide. What a rip-off!
By the time they had to leave they were soaked in sweat, very irritable and less than a third of the way to the top. He never went back to the pyramids and always deeply regretted not paying his shilling and achieving his dream.
I think we have all faced the same dilemma as Mr Orme: hire the expert or attempt to do it ourselves. Of course our decision is going to be influenced by money, time, expertise and maybe even personal ego and we sometimes have no choice but to go it alone.
But when something is important my advice is pay the money, take the advice and see the world from the top of the pyramid. No regrets!
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