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If You Don’t Understand These 5 Things Early, You’ll Probably Lead a Regretful Life

If You Don’t Understand These 5 Things Early, You’ll Probably Lead a Regretful Life

“At the end of the day, let there be no excuses, no explanations, no regrets.”

—Steven Maraboli

The top five regrets a majority of people express as they approach the final stages of life are:

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  1. I wish I had been more loving to / spent more time with the people who matter the most.
  2. I wish I had been a better spouse, parent, or child.
  3. I wish I had spent less time working.
  4. I wish I had invested more time in the things that make me happy and enjoyed life more.
  5. I wish I had taken more risks.

Regrets are a normal part of life for most people. But they don’t have to be. If you can grasp and apply these five simple principles, you can greatly reduce the time wasted being regretful over things that cannot be changed.

1. Change how you view your mistakes.

Mistakes, mishaps, and missteps are a big part of life. We are all aware of this, yet no one likes to make them, and we certainly don’t want to own them. However, mistakes are a necessary and critical part of the growth process — there aren’t two ways about it. The truth of the matter is this: no matter how horrible the mistake is, if you are still breathing, you can recover, grow, and thrive in spite of it.

The only time a mistake is truly detrimental is when reflection, introspection, and self-analysis are not done as a follow up. Why did you choose this particular course of action? Did you ignore the sage advice of others? If so, why? Did you follow your gut? If not, why? Was your decision driven by a character flaw (i.e. greed, selfishness, immaturity, lust or lack of discipline)? If so, what are you going to do to correct this?

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Learn to view your mistakes as incognito opportunities for growth and embrace them.

2. Live in the moment.

Most regrets stem from not being present in the moment. We live in a world that moves forward at a phenomenal pace. We barely have a hold of one thing before we are reaching for what’s next. Learn how to slow down and be fully attentive to what is happening in the now. If you are in college, enjoy your time in college. Give yourself fully to the experience. Enjoy the campus, your dorm, and dorm mates. Learn how to simplify your life and narrow your focus to one thing at a time. You can have it all — just not all at one time.

Living in the moment should, of course, be done responsibly. This is in no way a license to abandon planning for your future, neglecting to save for retirement, and wandering aimlessly through life without goals. Goals are a very important part of your success, but enjoying the journey is a vital part of living.

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3. Focus on who versus what.

If you value who you are over what you do, what you do will have a much bigger impact and be more meaningful in the end. Being loving, kind, considerate, hard-working, and honest will make whatever you are doing a success. Your actions, more often than not, are a reflection of who you are internally and will flow naturally with very little thought. Good people do good things and have very few regrets.

4. Spend your time wisely.

Every person on earth has been given a measure of time. You can’t buy, earn, or manufacture more time. When it is your time to go, you will go — period. This fact alone makes time the most precious commodity on earth. Live your life intentionally and seek to invest your time doing things that matter, bring you joy, and positively impact your environment.

Spend time with people who matter. Not spending enough time cultivating significant relationships is one of the biggest regrets expressed by most people. Learn from them.

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5. Live intentionally.

There is a big difference between living and existing. Those who live take risks, make tons of mistakes, experience excruciating hurts and pains in their lives and fail often, but they have very few regrets. One of the greatest gifts we have in life is the ability to choose. You can’t control or choose everything that happens to you, but you can choose how you respond to what happens. Your attitude, outlook on life, the decision to love or hate, forgive and let go, to fight or to live peacefully are all under your control. You dictate the overall tone and tenor of your life.

Throw caution to the wind and choose to live on and with purpose. You won’t regret it.

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Denise Hill

Speech Writer/Senior Editor

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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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