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The Single Biggest Regret People Have In Their Lives

The Single Biggest Regret People Have In Their Lives

Have you been following your heart, or are you guilty of the thousands of people that will chalk their biggest regret as to not following through on what they’re passionate about? It is something that does not get spoken of enough, but many people end up sticking to the safe route in life as if it is the only path they know how to walk. They then forget what tingles their fiery sense of desire and regret not taking the small sliver of opportunity that was available to them at some point, and instead they find themselves stuck or complacent and missing out in a repentant state of mind. This idea of following the heart is difficult, but imagine the life you could be living if you gave in to the calling of your heart instead of the ‘norm’ life that society has ingrained into our heads.

People often get stuck where they are at. They live rather comfortably and don’t want to give that up. Usually it has to deal with monetary values, because whether we like to believe it or not, to pursue plenty of things there is a price. At the same time, there is the dichotomy that they are making money not doing what they love and instead just ‘getting by’. The most important step into not falling into the life of regret is finding the medium into which you can step outside that comfort level and let the unpredictable route of passion takes its hold over you. Otherwise, we get shackled to what we are not in love with, almost like having to carry around extra weight that pushes your passion and heart deep within yourself that it never sees the light of day.

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At one point I fell victim to not putting what my heart wanted first. I noticed it when someone asked what a day in the life of Sean was, and what I responded with was so stagnant that I snapped out of my zombie like, droning state and dropped that piece of my life off in a ditch and instead charted a map for my heart to follow and soar. I fell victim to the heavy work load of life and it felt monotonous enough that I do not think my happiness or career would be where it is now if I continued that old life. That being said, not following your heart will lead to you questioning what you have been doing for so long. You will wake up feeling like a shadow or ghost of yourself, because you know you can strive more and your soul deserves what you care about. Write that novel. Finish that painting. Find that deep love you have for your creative identity. Otherwise you may spend your time crashing through the same routine without any sense of worth in whatever it is you are doing.

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I have spent the past six weeks of my life traveling the country pursuing what I love most, music. Along my journey I have met many other musicians and people who have come to understand the idea of being free thanks to following their heart. They come in all different forms of individuals as well. Their lives are never boring and they are bleeding their passion into everything they do. This is my real life example of what has happened when I shed my old life and blossomed into one that is more fulfilling. I think a lot of people forget what they are fighting for in this life, and more likely than not forget to realize that it is possible to break from the normality and wed yourself to the idea of what you are passionate about. I clung onto the opportunity that I was handed and ran with it. Since then, I have found a new sense of value and perception of my self that I had been lacking and aching to find.

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I am one of the people that dropped their entire life in order to finally feel a sense of achievement in what I was more passionate about than the same routine of “wake up, go to work, come home, drink and sleep.” Now I have spent the night in various different states and with the idea that I can believe in myself and more importantly, everything I have done to shed the idea of not following my own heart. It has lead me to some magnificent places, gotten in touch with terrific people and stopped the process of regretting what I am doing in my life. My single biggest regret is not following my heart earlier in life, but I am beyond relieved I am doing it now.

Featured photo credit: Colin Czerwinski via colinczerwinski.com

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Last Updated on February 21, 2019

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

The Secret to Effective Conflict Resolution: The IBR Approach

In business, in social relationships, in family… In whatever context conflict is always inevitable, especially when you are in the leader role. This role equals “make decisions for the best of majority” and the remaining are not amused. Conflicts arise.

Conflicts arise when we want to push for a better quality work but some members want to take a break from work.

Conflicts arise when we as citizens want more recreational facilities but the Government has to balance the needs to maintain tourism growth.

Conflicts are literally everywhere.

Avoiding Conflicts a No-No and Resolving Conflicts a Win-Win

Avoiding conflicts seem to be a viable option for us. The cruel fact is, it isn’t. Conflicts won’t walk away by themselves. They will, instead, escalate and haunt you back even more when we finally realize that’s no way we can let it be.

Moreover, avoiding conflicts will eventually intensify the misunderstanding among the involved parties. And the misunderstanding severely hinders open communication which later on the parties tend to keep things secret. This is obviously detrimental to teamwork.

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Some may view conflicts as the last step before arguments. And they thus leave it aside as if they never happen. This is not true.

Conflicts are the intersect point between different individuals with different opinions. And this does not necessarily lead to argument.

Instead, proper handling of conflicts can actually result in a win-win situation – both parties are pleased and allies are gained. A better understanding between each other and future conflicts are less likely to happen.

The IBR Approach to Resolve Conflicts

Here, we introduce to you an effective approach to resolve conflicts – the Interest-Based Relational (IBR) approach. The IBR approach was developed by Roger Fisher and William Ury in their 1981 book Getting to Yes. It stresses the importance of the separation between people and their emotions from the problem. Another focus of the approach is to build mutual understanding and respect as they strengthen bonds among parties and can ultimately help resolve conflicts in a harmonious way. The approach suggests a 6-step procedure for conflict resolution:

Step 1: Prioritize Good Relationships

How? Before addressing the problem or even starting the discussion, make it clear the conflict can result in a mutual trouble and through subsequent respectful negotiation the conflict can be resolved peacefully. And that brings the best outcome to the whole team by working together.

Why? It is easy to overlook own cause of the conflict and point the finger to the members with different opinions. With such a mindset, it is likely to blame rather than to listen to the others and fail to acknowledge the problem completely. Such a discussion manner will undermine the good relationships among the members and aggravate the problem.

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Example: Before discussion, stress that the problem is never one’s complete fault. Everyone is responsible for it. Then, it is important to point out our own involvement in the problem and state clearly we are here to listen to everyone’s opinions rather than accusing others.

Step 2: People Are NOT the Cause of Problem

How? State clearly the problem is never one-sided. Collaborative effort is needed. More importantly, note the problem should not be taken personally. We are not making accusations on persons but addressing the problem itself.

Why? Once things taken personally, everything will go out of control. People will become irrational and neglect others’ opinions. We are then unable to address the problem properly because we cannot grasp a fuller and clearer picture of the problem due to presumption.

Example: In spite of the confronting opinions, we have to emphasize that the problem is not a result of the persons but probably the different perspectives to view it. So, if we try to look at the problem from the other’s perspective, we may understand why there are varied opinions.

Step 3: Listen From ALL Stances

How? Do NOT blame others. It is of utmost importance. Ask for everyone’s opinions. It is important to let everyone feel that they contribute to the discussion. Tell them their involvement is essential to solve the problem and their effort is very much appreciated.

Why? None wants to be ignored. If one feels neglected, it is very likely for he/she to be aggressive. It is definitely not what we hope to see in a discussion. Acknowledging and being acknowledged are equally important. So, make sure everyone has equal opportunity to express their views. Also, realizing their opinions are not neglected, they will be more receptive to other opinions.

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Example: A little trick can played here: Invite others to talk first. It is an easy way to let others feel involved and ,more importantly, know their voices are heard. Also, we can show that we are actively listening to them by giving direct eye-contact and nodding. One important to note is that never interrupt anyone. Always let them finish first beforeanother one begins.

Step 4: Listen Comes First, Talk Follows

How? Ensure everyone has listened to one another points of view. It can be done by taking turn to speak and leaving the discussion part at last. State once again the problem is nothing personal and no accusation should be made.

Why? By turn-taking, everyone can finish talking and voices of all sides can be heard indiscriminantly. This can promote willingness to listen to opposing opinions.

Example: We can prepare pieces of paper with different numbers written on them. Then, ask different members to pick one and talk according to the sequence of the number. After everyone’s finished, advise everyone to use “I” more than “You” in the discussion period to avoid others thinking that it is an accusation.

Step 5: Understand the Facts, Then Address the Problem

How? List out ALL the facts first. Ask everyone to tell what they know about the problems.

Why? Sometimes your facts are unknown to the others while they may know something we don’t. Missing out on these facts could possibly lead to inaccurate capture of the problem. Also, different known facts can lead to different perception of the matter. It also helps everyone better understand the problem and can eventually help reach a solution.

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Example: While everyone is expressing their own views, ask them to write down everything they know that is true to the problem. As soon as everyone has finished, all facts can be noted and everyone’s understanding of the problem is raised.

Step 6: Solve the Problem Together

How? Knowing what everyone’s thinking, it is now time to resolve the conflict. Up to this point, everyone should have understood the problem better. So, it is everyone’s time to suggest some solutions. It is important not to have one giving all the solutions.

Why? Having everyone suggesting their solutions is important as they will not feel excluded and their opinions are considered. Besides, it may also generate more solutions that can better resolve the conflicts. Everyone will more likely be satisfied with the result.

Example: After discussion, ask all members to suggest any possible solutions and stress that all solutions are welcomed. State clearly that we are looking for the best outcomes for everyone’s sake rather than battling to win over one another. Then, evaluate all the solutions and pick the one that is in favor of everyone.

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