We live so much with regret these days, which I think is why we have a lot of unhappy people. Those who did not fulfill the resolutions that were set at the beginning of the new year, or those who began but never finished them must live with the consequences of these inactions. For others, it’s staying in the job they despise or stalling on taking that business idea to reality. These ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’s will deplete one’s soul; living with the emotional consequences of these regrets will be difficult to live with throughout one’s life if not addressed. Taking responsibility for your actions is the only way to not live with regret, but it is possible to prevent yourself from having this strong feeling in the first place.
This question is very powerful and one that can inspire and motivate you to get off your duff and take action now. If you kept this question in mind at all times, you would never, or almost never, make a decision that will lead you off-course. It can lead you to the ‘right’ answer when you are facing a hard decision; you will then have the ability to weigh the consequences if you do not follow through. The time does not have to be a year; it can be shortened to six months, thirty days or whatever time-frame works.
To give you an example, say John has been unhappy in his current job; he stays because he is unsure of what else is ‘out there,’ he needs the money and secretly wonders if things could improve if only _____ (you fill in the blank). Unfortunately, John has been feeling this way for years. He has been afraid to change his situation. However, if John were to work on answering this question, it might help him to realize that his situation will never change until he does something to change it; he can be in the same place again next year or he can design the one he wants. John would feel motivated to not live the way he has that he would plan and execute the steps to change his situation. The “work” he would have to do would seem less paralyzing; keeping that question in mind would be all that is needed.
When used at all times, it can work for you, too! So, what will you change so you do not have to live with regret?