“If only…” These two words paired together create one of the saddest phrases in the English language.
Here are eight choices that ultimately lead to this phrase of regret, and how to elude them throughout 2018:
1. Worrying about mistakes you’ve already made. – It’s OK if you’ve messed up in the past; that’s how you get wiser. Give yourself a break. Don’t give up. Great things take time, and you’re getting there. Let your mistakes be your motivation, not your excuses. Decide right now that negative experiences from your past won’t predict your future.
2. Wearing a mask to impress others. – If the face you always show the world is a mask, someday there will be nothing beneath it. Because when you spend too much time concentrating on everyone else’s perception of you, or who everyone else wants you to be, you eventually forget who you really are. So don’t fear the judgments of others; you know in your heart who you are and what’s true to you. You don’t have to be perfect to impress people. Let them be impressed by how you deal with your imperfections.
3. Keeping negative company. – Don’t let someone who has a bad attitude give it to you. Don’t let them get to you. They can’t pull the trigger if you don’t hand them the gun. When you remember that keeping the company of negative people is a choice, instead of an obligation, you free yourself to keep the company of compassion instead of anger, generosity instead of greed, and patience instead of anxiety.
4. Holding tight to resentment. – Kindness is not to be mistaken for weakness, nor forgiveness for acceptance. It’s about knowing that resentment is not on the path to happiness. Remember, you don’t forgive people because you’re weak. You forgive them because you’re strong enough to know that people make mistakes.
5. Settling for less than you deserve. – Be strong enough to let go and wise enough to fight for what you deserve. Sometimes you have to get knocked down lower than you have ever been to stand up taller than you ever were before. Sometimes your eyes need to be washed by your tears so you can see the possibilities in front of you with a clearer vision again. Don’t settle.
6. Endlessly waiting until tomorrow. – The trouble is, you always think you have more time than you do. But one day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to work on the things you’ve always wanted to do. And at that point you either will have achieved the goals you set for yourself, or you will have a list of excuses for why you haven’t.
7. Being lazy and wishy-washy. – The world doesn’t owe you anything, you owe the world something. So stop daydreaming and start DOING. Develop a backbone, not a wishbone. Take full responsibility for your life – take control. You are important and you are needed. It’s too late to sit around and wait for somebody to do something someday. Someday is now; the somebody the world needs is YOU.
8. Being more busy than you are productive. – There’s a big difference between being busy and being productive. Don’t confuse motion and progress. A rocking horse keeps moving but never makes any forward progress.
Today is the first day of the rest of your life. At the end of it, let there be no excuses, no explanations, and no regrets. You can make adjustments starting NOW that will help you feel better, think more clearly, and live a life free of regrets.
Own your life…