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Posts Tagged ‘regret’

“Live life with no regrets.”

 

God I hate that phrase.

 

If you don’t have any regrets in your life, then you haven’t challenged yourself enough or come across enough situations that really cause you to stop and think long and hard before making a decision.

 

The phrase comes from a perspective of looking back in hindsight and judging our lives. However, until a time machine is invented, we do not have the luxury of hindsight in the present moment. We can’t live in the future in order to help us make a decision in the present. And that is the only place life actually shows up! We can only assess the present moment and make the best decision from there. And I imagine that in that moment, we all make the best decision we possibly can.

 

So why torture yourself with judgment?

 

Don’t put yourself in purgatory; constantly thinking about your choice, judging yourself, and wondering if you made a wrong decision. I just don’t see the value of assessing and reassessing a decision and continually judging ourselves for it. The only result that can produce is a life of unhappiness and uncertainty.

 

Personally, I think regrets emerge in life when we make decisions based in fear. Things we did or didn’t do because we were afraid. I have to believe decisions made from that place will always lead to regret.

 
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I think the true intent of the phrase above is to make a decision; own it; and go forward. If it turns out to be a bad decision. Fine. Make another one. A different one. One that suits you better . . . now. In the new moment.

 

That, in my opinion, is how you live without regrets.

 

In the end, not having regrets is not about the decisions you made, but rather the ability to forgive yourself for the decisions you made and learn from them.

 

This is a great time of year to think of any regrets – and forgive yourself. Forgive others. We are all doing the best we can. Release that energy and allow yourself to move on and start the new year fresh. Otherwise you will forever be stuck in the past, in a life you don’t want.

 

“Forget regret, or life is yours to miss. No other path, no other way, no other day but today.”

– Jonathan Larson

 

Living a life of regret is more about living in the past, not being able to forgive yourself, or thinking that your life should be different or look different than it does. Second guessing your life away . . . well, I imagine that is a life where you can rarely find peace.

 

The truth is, we have but 2 choices in our life. Love the life you have . . . or begin taking action to change it. Anything in between will feel like purgatory.

 

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At the end of every year, I often experience a period of reflection. And when I think back on my life, I am happy to see a few brilliant moments.

 

  • My bicycle trip across the country with my friend Pat to raise money for kids with cancer. (www.fourdiamondsfund.org)
  • My extraordinarily mystical trip to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota where I was honored to sweat with one of the elders involved in the last Native American uprising at Wounded Knee in 1973.
  • My 2 years of full-time volunteer environmental work where I introduced hundreds of students to the importance of preserving the natural world around us while influencing policy at the local, county, state and federal level.
  • The brief moments I shared with the radiant Maggie Doyne and her ever-inspirational organization, BlinkNow. (www.blinknow.org)

 

Each of these moments called to my heart. And after each one, I imagined . . . no . . . was inspired to do more.

 

  • Start an annual bike ride with college students to raise money for kids with cancer.
  • Become a leading environmentalist that would change the mindset of Americans and our wasteful ways.
  • Restore the pride, honor and lives of the Native people who had everything ripped from them by our forefathers.
  • Move to Nepal and spend a few years in service to Maggie as she established her organization.

 

Sadly, I did none of these, and yet I still think about them regularly.

 

Here’s the VITALLY IMPORTANT thing we NEED to know about inspiration.

 

Inspiration requires immediate attention.

 
inspiration

When that flash of brilliance hits you, don’t think about it. Don’t ponder it. Don’t percolate on it. Don’t strategize about it. Don’t try and develop a plan.

 

That is not what inspiration calls us to do.

 
 
 

Inspiration calls us to immediate action.

 

It comes from our intuition. A deep, internal knowing in our soul. It promises a life of excitement, joy, fulfillment and feeling fully alive! But it asks that we take immediate action . . . and to trust.

 

That is the hardest part. That is what kills countless dreams and possibilities. Our fear and inability to trust and make the leap.

 

This coming year, when inspiration hits you, no matter how big or small it is, whether it is about your life, your family, your business, a relationship, your community, your future, whatever – take that leap. Just close your eyes and leap.

 

I promise it will lead to an astonishing life you love . . . and it might just become your legacy!

 

First you jump off the cliff, then you build your wings on the way down.

 

– Ray Bradbury

 

Don’t ever question inspiration. As hard as it may be to believe, it is a message from the Universe guiding you. It is an answer or clue to something you have been pondering or wanting for a while. Sometimes we don’t see how that inspiration fits into our life, but without fail it does. The answer to “how” is only revealed in the future, and without a magic crystal ball, it is TRUST that will lead the way there.

 

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