When did you last hear these lyrics by “Jim Croce,” it goes like this – “If I could save time in a bottle, the first thing that I would do … and so it goes. It truly relates to missed opportunities and how not to have them in many ways, yes? How do you stop regretting your past mistakes and start building on the possibilities that are before you starting right now? We as human being tend to avoid pain and thinking back to missed opportunities, and bad choices is a pain most of us do not want to deal with understandable.
When you hear phrases like Its too late, “if only” and the best years of my life was, and on it can go, don’t allow your mind to wonder like that ever. Whatever it might be it hurts, and it hurts a lot. But, what we should not do is let regret weigh us down and sap our energy because regret is not supposed to do that at all. It is intended to be an indicator that something about your habits and behavior has to change and change right now.
How do you turn your paralyzing regret into energizing action? First off you know that there is no easy way out of regret, the pain and emotions are very real and powerful. But you can chip away at it bit by bit by shifting how you react to it and how you talk to yourself when experiencing it. Let’s look at some ways that you can transform your paralysis into power.
First off prepare yourself to look at missed opportunities as the voice of an intimate friend who is an adversary; someone who is telling you what to be aware of and what to be more in sync with the next time around. Take control, don’t wait to take the initiative and ask yourself what am I to learn from this and listen to your inner voice, learn to look and see beyond what is in front of your eyes. Get clear on what you need to change and begin.
What you need to do is ask yourself “What will I lose if I don’t do this?” Look ahead 5 to 10 years and see what will happen if your present behavior continues. Taste the flavor of potential regret and let the reality of the situation sink in, this is your future if you do not change. Next, decide that you will take control, grit your teeth, put your foot down, draw the line and finally decide that you are going to make the necessary changes even if it hurts and most likely it will be, but you are in control now.
Now, come up with a short, simple sentence that you can repeat over and over in your head that resonates with your new outlook. Repeat it over and over every day as often as you need to make it your daily mantra. Here is an example: “I refuse to blame myself for missed opportunists but instead to use them as my best examples to learn and grow from to my success”. You will find this your most critical step is because breaking habits are 99% of your time investment, it is because you are not doing it the right way, and you are still hanging on to old habits.
What you can do is to ask yourself “What do I need to focus on to make the change easy”? The big question being what should you change? Your missed opportunities and regrets are little messages telling you something. What they do is put pressure on you to do something different now. What are the three areas where we always have the biggest regrets? How about these three “Family”, “Career”, “Self-Image”.
Don’t let missed opportunities and regrets and past actions and interactions hold you back from doing something today that will make your life better starting today. You can not stop time in a bottle but what you can do is drink today slowly and down to the last drop and learn from it, don’t waste a sip your missed opportunities are simply lessons that you need to learn moving forward.
Until the next time, take good care and be well.
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