While I think the quality of the questions we ask each other and ourselves matters, I think the answers and thoughts pulsating in our minds may matter more. Where am I going? What matters most to me? What is my purpose? How will I advance my life/career? Will I ever reach my goals? These are vexing questions that hopefully give us pause. But the enormity and abstractness of these queries can just as easily generate nothingness and we dismiss them like other mysteries of the universe, such as infinity? or how life began?
Without trying to answer these questions you lose windows of opportunity to position yourself to gain self-satisfaction and minimize regrets. The danger is we just wish for a future time, a "better" time to confront these questions. Wating is usually the wrong tack
Using written decalrative statements can help you tame these mega questions.
I will be happier when_________________-.
The most important thing I need to improve in my life is__________________
The one person I need to improve my relationship with is __________________
My next career development activity is __________________________
Being more involved with (cause/issue) will make my life more meaningful.
If I make this decision/choice to ______________, I will have fewer regrets.
Add timeframes and you have a set of goals. Like my SWiVEL form, write down what is important to you--what you want. Make a commitment to yourself.
I was asked at one of my recent talks: "In our busy lives of work and life, how do we stop to reflect, "smell the roses" and make sure we are headed in the right direction?"
When you see roses smell them.
Schedule reflection time.
Define your destination(s).
Not trying to oversimplify, but if it is important, do it! What is on the top of your life "to-do" list right now?
If we do not put the important things on the top of this list then life's inexorable tasks, chores, trivia, and transactions will consume and devour your time and attention.
Kobara's law of priorities-- :)
The unimportant will always attempt to sabotage the important.
In every choice or avoidance of an opportunity we must measure the potential for regret.
How much will you regret not pursuing the opportunity in front of you?
Don't let your regrets from lack of courage and effort become tumors. They will follow you. They will haunt you.
Opportunities are like fishes, never let the big ones get away! You think you will have another chance. You think amazing moments go in cycles? That fish will never be at the place at that place again. Those roses will only smell that way that one time. That door will never open that way again.
That being said, if you knocked on a door and it closes, then look for the next door. If went for it and took the risk and came away empty-handed--You have no regrets because you tried. Hit reset. And try again. Regrets come from the lack of effort, the lack of assertion, the absence of courage, and the false belief that opportunities are infinite and never lost.
Opportunities and time are finite. (I apologize if I am the first to tell you this!)
Your nephew will never be this age again. Your career will never be at this point again. Today, this day, this year, this moment is already gone.
I am not trying to depress you or start the ignition of your regret engine. I am telling you to live now, get into the present, and put your life ahead of your list of tasks.
WARNING: Literal translation of this advice can lead to hedonism and extreme selfishness.
As Les Brown said, "...then you will be behind in your dreams and your bills."
In the end, it will be your relationships that will matter. Regrets from relationships are the most venomous of all regrets.
Make a lot of money? Change the world? Pursue your inner artiste? You can not do any of things by yourself AND enjoy it! Your relationships will propel you to new heights and destinations. Your relationships will teach you about the world and yourself.
Commit to a lifestyle of dealing with life's questions with answers and actions--and never do it alone. You won't regret it.
Thanks for reading. John