- Religion and Philosophy
7 Simple Steps To Lead A Life With No Regrets
We all have, at one time or the other, suffered from making bad decisions, poor selections or taking certain actions in our past, which we regret today. But, if you deeply acknowledge this fact, you will see that now, you already know the pros and cons of that particular decision or incident. And, once you stop and look back at that mistake, you will notice that you have actually learned a particular experience and a very valuable lesson.
I too have made certain choices in my past that made me experience quite unpleasant and embarrassing situations, but the experiences have certainly developed my character and knowledge on whole. In fact, these situations have actually helped me in growing and standing at the current position, where I am now. I consider these mistakes and experiences as stepping stones in my life, and remember always - they are just experiences. You don't have to decide your destiny on basis of these events. There is absolutely no need for you to sink in despair or keep on regretting about these actions, since they are past and gone.
What you have is, your present and future. Below are certain ways in which you can get out of the feelings of regret, hatred and low self-esteem about any bad decisions you might have made:
1) Accept and acknowledge the mistake: There are many escape gates in which you can blame someone else for whatever situation you've landed on, or why things have become difficult, but it can only lead to more frustration, disrespect and increased fury about the whole situation. You will feel that things become much easy and tolerable, once you take a personal authority about your past actions, and justify yourself about "Your" mistakes and reasons that lead to the problems you faced. This helps a lot in taking initial steps of getting over the regrets, and facilitates you in moving forward.
2) Perform necessary amendments: Now, once you have acknowledged your actions and your mistakes; don't leave them there. Otherwise, they will continue to linger along with you and your thoughts, all your life. We need to get rid of these feelings and this is possible only once we convert the negative energy of the corresponding actions to positive one. e.g. if you have hurt someone with your past actions or words, you can send an apology to them. Or, for certain cases, if you don't feel comfortable in apologizing, you can try to do some help or favor for the particular person. Let your actions speak. In case, there are certain actions in your past, which you know can not be amended, you need to ask the divine for forgiveness, and forgive yourself. You can use the techniques like EFT (Emotional freedom technique) or Ho'oponopono technique to do this, which are extremely simple and easy to do, once understood appropriately.
Get over that Regret. Know more here.
"Oh man! I should have taken that vacation." or
"I regret not going to that particular seminar".
"I can do better than this job, I donno why I feel stuck here"
And the list goes on. There may be sometimes, when we feel that it is too late to reverse back the directions or course of our actions, but we always have options. Life is all about taking choices. We are only held back by our limiting beliefs, and the fear cast on us by our society. I will tell you a wonderful experience of my own in this regard, the one I took when the whole world was suffering from recession blues. Please take sometime to read it here.
If you had this desire of doing some professional course, but now you feel its too late to go for that. Check for the options. You may find some vocational training program, part time course schedules, or something else to suit your demands. There are always plenty of opportunities around you. You just need to open your eyes, look around, and follow your bliss.
4) Be in an attitude of gratitude: This is the most important aspect of life, which we often tend to skip whenever we are surrounded with negative circumstances and situations. We curse ourselves for committing the mistakes, curse the situation and everything else related to that. Stop it, the moment you feel you are getting into that negative stream of emotions.
I have learned from my experiences that it takes just a minute or two to get out of that feeling, and one can do it by just diverting their minds to extremely simple and unintelligible task. e.g. whenever I begin to feel negative, I start making myself a coffee. It gives me pleasure. I feel grateful for being able to make a wonderful coffee for myself. It shifts my emotion and I feel being grateful to things I never noticed before. Once you start feeling grateful to things you have, your energy automatically takes a shift towards the positive course, and makes the bad situations look less troublesome.
Books on how to learn from your past mistakes
5) Try not to repeat the same mistake again: It is a rightful saying by Al Franken –
"Mistakes are a part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless, it's a fatal mistake, which, at least, others can learn from."
There are always better ways to do anything you want to do. If one way is making you fail, you can always choose to go for another one. Learn from your mistakes, for they are your lessons for wisdom. If you continue to commit same mistakes again and again, it means you have not learned your lessons well enough!
6) Be careful about your reactions in future: It is human to react. Our reactions come to us, for any situation, like a reflex action. We react without any thought. They are impulsive. Taking care of your reactions is the toughest step, even more, when we have to take care of our reactions in negative situations. Of course, it is difficult to control all the situations every time, but we can take control of our reactions and change the situations accordingly. Here I'll tell you one example –
You wake up late, you are in hurry to go to your office, your son comes to you to help him drop to school. You shout at him, he spills milk on his dress in fear. You have to wait some more time to let him change his dress. More delay. You drop your son at school and then you reach at office late and get thrashed by your boss. You curse the day to be of a bad start and continue to fume all along.
Now the same situation, if you'd have controlled your reactions:
You wake up late; you are worried to go to office on time. You call your boss and inform him, that you may reach a bit late. You are in control of your emotions. You speak well with your son. Drop him to school, reach office on time with good mood and high spirits. Your day goes well.
See the difference? What I mean to say is try to stay calm in whatever situation you have to face. Try to learn techniques of stress management (I'll write another hub on that). Learn simple meditation technique to stay in balance of your thoughts and reactions.
7) Always have a deeper insight: Always find time to check your course of actions and re-evaluate the way you are leading your life. Ask yourself questions like:
Have I acknowledged my past mistakes?
Am I still feeling guilty about something?
How do I react to certain situations in my day to day life?
When was the last time I actually felt good and at peace.
These questions will help you in getting better insight about your life and related actions. Always take a situation as an experience, learn from it, and leave it there. Life is full of much pleasant surprises. You just have to believe it.
1) To err is human. Nobody is perfect, and that includes you too.
2) Forgiveness and gratitude are ultimate solutions to any problem.
3) The past is gone and cannot be changed. Take appropriate actions in present and you will tame your future for sure.
“Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.”
~ Swami Sivananda
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