The first step is to own whatever it is that happened. It happened and the choice you made, the thing you said, and the direction you went didn’t work out. It is done and over with and nothing you can say or do will change that fact. Remember, you are only human and no matter how much you prep for an event, lecture, or presentation, you are bound at some point in time to veer off your plan with not so favorable results. Instead of beating yourself up or living in a state of regret, what did you learn from it?
Once you have owned it, it’s time to look at what you have learned from the incident. Take an objective view of what happened. Why is it that you made the choice or decided to change the course of you planned lecture/presentation? This is a time to get a critique from a mentor and look with an open mind what you could have done differently and will do differently. Maybe it is as simple as gathering more information, taking time to rehearse it more thoroughly, or not letting others influence you at the last minute. Next, be sure to write everything down to review as you prepare for your next event,
Take this opportunity to write out what you’d like to do differently next time. If you are regretting a financial decision, educational decision, choking on a lecture or presentation, quit focusing on “ what if I had. “ Remember the past is gone, the event is over and there is nothing you can do to change what happened an hour ago or yesterday. Instead, learn from our past actions, focus on “what you want.” The only reason you should be looking at your past is to learn what went wrong and how to do it differently next time. If we look at every person we come into contact with as teacher, and everything that happens to us as a lesson, we’ll be much happier in the end.
Lastly become entrance by today, focus on this moment. Turn your attention to your senses. Focus on the smells, taste, and hearing, Enjoy at a greater level whatever it is you are doing now. Become fully engaged in the world around you. Do not let the past cloud the beauty of today. Little kids dancing carelessly, playing on the playground without a worry in the world. The freedom of the birds floating effortlessly through the air. I myself have always loved sunrises and sunsets. The beauty of Gods art work. About a year into my recovery we were heading west on a road in town, right into the sunset. It was absolutely stunning. I looked to my wife and asked her if the sunsets have always been that beautiful out here. She looked at me and said, “yes, you have just been missing them.” You see, I was so busy concentrating on my past and worrying about the future, I was seeing the sunset, but not the beauty in it.
How much of lives beauty are you missing out on living in regret. If you look at everything you perceive as being wrong or a mistake, and instead look at it as lesson and how you might do things differently, you will likely start seeing the world through a new pair of glasses. Just follow the four simple steps I have lined out above and start living a regret free life.
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