Regret is a feeling we deal with everyday. It’s the “shoulda, coulda, woulda” conversations we have, mostly with ourselves, and sometimes with others:
I shoulda called that person back…Things would be different.
I coulda reacted differently when my kid acted that way.
I woulda have chosen a different path if I had known things would turn out like this.
Sound familiar? This is a very dangerous conversation because it can quickly spiral out of control, and hold us back from realizing our full potential or achieve the levels of success we desire.
Here are three practices we can do everyday to live a life without regret.
It’s become another buzzword in many circles. One of the negative side effects of words like this being hijacked by any community is the potential for the word to lose a bit of its impact or meaning. For those of us with kids, here’s an example we can relate to. We all have had conversations like this:
Child: I don’t like this piece of pizza is has cheese on it.
Parent: You know, there are starving people in the world so you better be grateful for that slice of pizza.
While it is true that there are starving people in the world, such a conversation misses the mark and doesn’t bring about an opportunity to more fully engage in what it really means to experience gratitude.
In his scientific research on happiness, psychologist and best-selling author, Shawn Anchor, discovered that, among other things, intentionally practicing gratitude can rewire your brain and become a lifelong optimist. In fact, his research was so revolutionary that Oprah partnered up with him to create a 21 day a happiness ecourse.
So over the next 21 days, practices writing down three different things each day for which you are grateful. And get your loved ones involved, too.
There is so much pressure in today’s culture to “go and get it…whatever it takes.” It’s amazing how many people pursue this path, leave a trail of broken relationships behind them and then wonder why they’ve haven’t realized the success they desire.
One of my favorite personal development “gurus” was the great Zig Ziglar. He was one of the world’s most sought after speakers on the topic of achievement and reached more that 250 million people with his 33 books. One of Zig’s most famous quotes is:
Your can have everything you want in life, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.
This life changing message is carried on today by the Ziglar organization, as well as other thought leaders like Bob Burg, author of the international best-seller The Go Giver: A little story about a powerful business idea” where Burg teaches readers about the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.
Sit down and think about the path you are on and how you can help others bridge the gap from their current reality to their desired reality. You may just discover this is the optimal way to achieve your own dreams.
In the past, this has been the hardest of the three steps for me. More recently, I have come to terms with the fact that I only have one shot at this life and I can’t wait around for the perfect time or opportunity to take action on the hopes and dreams I have for the future.
It requires us to pause and ask: what is the next best step to take toward achieving the goals I have in every area of life? One of the most helpful tools I’ve discovered help accomplish this is Michael Hyatt’s LifeScore Assessement.
After completing this exercise, the only thing standing between you and your dreams is the courage to act!
What is the key things to remember? You can have everything you want if you live the practice of gratitude for the next 21 days (and beyond), focus on helping others get what they want and focus on moving forward despite the obstacles and curve balls of life.
What are other strategies you use to help live a life without regret? I’d love for you to comment below or on our Facebook page.