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Painful Regrets Are Necessary Because That’s How We Learn

Painful Regrets Are Necessary Because That’s How We Learn

An ancient wisdom that has resonated for generations is that when you reach your darkest hour, all is not gloom and doom. You can truly shine. It may sound cliche, but it’s not that the feeling of being ashamed is welcomed or appropriate, it’s a necessary key to open pathways and let go- to start afresh on a new soul journey.

John Jerryson, a banker, came to the awareness that he had lived all his life opposite to his true desires. His dreams and his passions all wasted away when he chose to follow the security of a steady, “safe” 9-7 job. A sleep, eat, and work pattern consumed all energy and precious time of the once robust, energetic, and innovative soul. He strived towards reaching corporate career ladder heights, leaving behind his family, friends, ambitions, and passion. It’s a painful regret for him, but he turned out to realize the greatest lesson in life. He even shared his story on the internet and wanted to remind others about the most important things in life.

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The Benefits of Shame

People usually avoid shame even when it is warranted. However, there can be benefits to shame. Think of it this way. To have an ability of self-reflection to review your own mistakes and analyze how a better path is possible is common wisdom.

The general tendency is for people to fail to accept the consequences of their actions. Take a trip down memory lane into childhood. Remember the wagging fingers with voices droning on about learning lessons as you rolled your eyes? That reaction was not mere parental frustration. Admitting failure is a step toward maturity. No one likes to feel depressed, but all of us can recall the embarrassment from our wrong doings. Maybe we are just pieces on a chessboard in the game of life. We are moving ourselves, and sometimes we make mistakes that we have to live with.

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Psychology Today defines regret as  “a negative cognitive/emotional state that involves blaming ourselves for a bad outcome, feeling a sense of loss or sorrow at what might have been or wishing we could undo a previous choice that we made.”

On the life path of battling our fears and seeking to be courageous, mistakes will invariably be made. We make decisions that are wrong. We misunderstand. Sometimes we suffer serious consequences and deal with the aftermath of disappointment. Regret erodes our efforts to achieve our aspirations.

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The Consistency In Regret

The three areas of life about which there is the most regret are education, romance, and career. People are haunted by what could have been or should have been according to a meta-analysis. It is well known that people regret things that they did not do more than the things they did do.  People regret actions immediately after they happen, but as time passes ideally they undergo psychological immunity by learning from mistakes.

Rejoicing In Regret

Being ashamed is not about being sorry for your existence. Rather it is a quiet reflection with a gradual resolution to take a differing action in a similar circumstance the next time. Seeking true enlightenment is not about running away from your vulnerabilities or camouflaging them to put up a confident image to impress others. It is a moment of stillness from normal life, shutting out the sounds of ego, and focusing on vulnerabilities.

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We are unique in our visualization of opportunities, but what we all have in common is that when an opportunity has passed us by we all lament, “I wish I had pursued what I wanted”;  “I should have seized the opportunity- taken the chance”; “I could have used my talents or skills”; “I wish I had not been afraid to follow my dreams”.

It is never too late to learn from experiences and seize opportunities awaiting us. Do not fear making mistakes. Embrace the learning curve and lay out a new life map.

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Nena Tenacity

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

Why It’s Never Too Late To Redefine Yourself

The ability to reinvent and redefine yourself is a bold, daring and purposeful choice. It doesn’t just happen. You have to make a conscious, intentional choice and then follow through.

If the thought of forging a new path, changing habits, thought patterns and your inner circle of friends scares you – you’re not alone. Change can be a very scary thing. It takes courage, fortitude and a bit of faith to decide to shed your old self and don a new persona. However, it is one of the most critical processes one must repeatedly endure in the pursuit of destiny. Change unlocks new levels of potential.

The Need for Change

Everyday when we wake up, we make a decision. We decide to follow our routine or we decide to go off script and shake things up a bit. For those who are creatures of habit, routine is comfortable, easy and produces very little stress. The problem with this is, after a while you stop growing.

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We all reinvent ourselves at some point in our lives. It is absolutely necessary to achieve certain levels of success.

Reflect back on who you were as a teenager and then who you were at 25. Those are two very different people. Most of us are completely different. Your thought patterns changed, your appearance, job, level of education and even your friends– changed. We like to refer to this as “growing up” or maturing and consider it to be one of life’s natural progressions. However the changes you made were purposeful and deliberate.

This process must be a lifelong and continuous cycle. You are never too old to refresh yourself.

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Happy_old_man

    Signs It’s Time to Redefine

    “Just as established products and brands need updating to stay alive and vibrant, you periodically need to refresh or reinvent yourself.”– Mireille Guiliano

    So how do you know when it’s time for a system upgrade? There are signs along the way that alert you that it is time for an overhaul. The first sign is the feeling of being stuck. If you feel like you are in a rut, you’re bored with life or you need some newness and excitement, a self reinvention may be in order. Re-evaluate your life vision and your goals. Is that vision still valid and are your goals consistent with your vision and–are they achievable? If you are off course, it’s time for a change. If you are not moving forward and making progress, it’s time for a change.

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    In life, there’s no such thing as neutrality–you’re either moving forward or you are moving backward. Time constantly moves forward and if you are standing still, you are actually losing ground. No matter your age or stage in life– there is always room for improvement.

    “You’re never too old to set another goal or dream a new dream.” ~C. S. Lewis

    The second sign that you are due for a change is the occurrence of major life events in which change is forced upon you. Getting married, starting a new job, being promoted, ending a relationship, becoming a parenting or relocating are all prime opportunities to completely overhaul your life.

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    When these major shifts occur in your life–you have to shift with them. You can’t have a single mentality and have a successful marriage. You can’t remain selfish and irresponsible, and raise a healthy, well-adjusted child. You can’t be promoted to a supervisory position and keep the same subordinate attitude. Each level of success requires something different from you.

    Aronld in Predator

      Consider, for a moment, Arnold Schwarzenegger. People may have different opinions about his character and some of his life choices, but he is a master at reinventing himself. He achieved the ultimate success as a professional body builder by earning the title “Mr. Universe” three times. He then earned a tremendous amount of fame and fortune in the entertainment industry making action/adventure films. And in his latest role, he served two terms as the Governor of California. He succeeded as a professional body builder, a film star and a politician. Each role required massive amounts of change, commitment, strength and hard work.

      And if Arnold can do it…so can you!

      Featured photo credit: BK via flickr.com

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