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16 Things You Need to Do To Live Life Without Regrets

16 Things You Need to Do To Live Life Without Regrets

One of my favorite business books, The Entrepreneur’s Guide To Getting Your Shit Together by John Carlton, recounts the story of a memorable scene Carlton witnessed at the San Francisco airport. Here’s what happened:

Most flights were being canceled because of a big storm that had hit, but one stressed out business traveler insisted that he needed to get to his destination. He snarled and screamed and cussed at the poor airline worker until his face turned red … and then suddenly he fell to the floor clutching his chest. He had a heart attack and died on the spot.

The point of this unfortunate story is, this man surely regretted his behavior in these final moments in life. We all work ourselves up about trivial inconveniences when there are so many good things in life we should be focusing on instead.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “With the past, I have nothing to do; nor with the future. I live now.” If you want to live a life without regrets, here are 16 things you can do to help you starting right now.

Find your life’s purpose.

Finding your life purpose may seem like a tall order. But here’s the thing: it’s already within you. Trust that you’re on the right path. And think about what makes you happiest in life–the things that tug at your heart and make you feel. As Thoreau said, “Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

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Stop playing the victim.

Here’s a harsh truth for you: life isn’t fair. It will knock you down when you least expect it and leave you lying in the gutter to fend for yourself. You can choose to be a victim of circumstance or you can get back up and keep going. It’s that simple.

Don’t make excuses.

Guess what else people who play the victim do a whole lot of? Make excuses. Don’t be that guy/girl. Take responsibility for your actions. Stop self-handicapping yourself.

Don’t waste time.

Time is your most valuable asset. Don’t waste it. One of the biggest regrets people have when it’s all said and done is how they spent their time. If you want to live without regrets, start asking yourself this one simple question often: is this the best use of my time?

Step out of your comfort zone.

To live without regrets, you need to be bold and take risks. No-one achieves greatness by sitting back and playing it safe.

Cut the fat.

This may be a tough pill to swallow, but there are people in your life who are holding you back. Choose to spend most of your time with positive people. Negative folks will only bring you down.

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Visualize.

What you think becomes your reality. Creative visualization is one of the most effective techniques for harnessing the power of your mind. You possess an amazing gift — the ability to create using your brain. Use it.

Make time for family and friends.

Relationships are one of the keys to happiness. In the book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing, one of the top regrets people had was not staying in touch with friends. To live a life without regrets, spend more time with people you love.

Live in the present.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow’s a mystery, and today is a gift … that’s why it’s called “The Present.” Enough said.

Ask questions.

Assumptions are the most dangerous thing in the world. Don’t assume. Ask.

Do what you love.

I talk to people all the time who are “stuck” in jobs they hate. If this is you, do something about it. Start a side gig working on a project you’re passionate about. If you’re still struggling to figure out what to do with your life, these 7 questions will help.

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Take care of yourself.

Your health is a gift. So do yourself a favor and start eating real food instead of the processed, fake junk. And get up and move. Sitting too much can literally kill you.

Never stop learning.

One of the “secrets” to living a life without regrets is to learn as much as you can about everything you can. You’ll find wisdom in the most unlikely of places if you’re just willing to look.

Go out of your way to help others.

Helping other people get what they want is the key to getting what you want. The world doesn’t revolve around you or me. Make the world a better place for others and the universe will reward you back.

Focus on the little things.

One of my favorite quotes is from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, who said:

The heights by great men reached and kept were not attained by sudden flight, but they, while their companions slept, were toiling upward in the night.

Take small steps every day toward achieving your goals. These “little things” will compound into monumental achievements if you keep repeating them.

Believe that the path you’re on is the right one.

At the end of my favorite book, The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmund Dantes (The Count) says one of the most memorable lines in literary history: “All human wisdom is contained in these two words: ‘wait’ and ‘hope.'”

If you think and hope you’re meant for something bigger, then you probably are.

Featured photo credit: Thomas Leuthard via flickr.com

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Last Updated on December 2, 2018

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

7 Public Speaking Techniques To Help Connect With Your Audience

When giving a presentation or speech, you have to engage your audience effectively in order to truly get your point across. Unlike a written editorial or newsletter, your speech is fleeting; once you’ve said everything you set out to say, you don’t get a second chance to have your voice heard in that specific arena.

You need to make sure your audience hangs on to every word you say, from your introduction to your wrap-up. You can do so by:

1. Connecting them with each other

Picture your typical rock concert. What’s the first thing the singer says to the crowd after jumping out on stage? “Hello (insert city name here)!” Just acknowledging that he’s coherent enough to know where he is is enough for the audience to go wild and get into the show.

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It makes each individual feel as if they’re a part of something bigger. The same goes for any public speaking event. When an audience hears, “You’re all here because you care deeply about wildlife preservation,” it gives them a sense that they’re not just there to listen, but they’re there to connect with the like-minded people all around them.

2. Connect with their emotions

Speakers always try to get their audience emotionally involved in whatever topic they’re discussing. There are a variety of ways in which to do this, such as using statistics, stories, pictures or videos that really show the importance of the topic at hand.

For example, showing pictures of the aftermath of an accident related to drunk driving will certainly send a specific message to an audience of teenagers and young adults. While doing so might be emotionally nerve-racking to the crowd, it may be necessary to get your point across and engage them fully.

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3. Keep going back to the beginning

Revisit your theme throughout your presentation. Although you should give your audience the credit they deserve and know that they can follow along, linking back to your initial thesis can act as a subconscious reminder of why what you’re currently telling them is important.

On the other hand, if you simply mention your theme or the point of your speech at the beginning and never mention it again, it gives your audience the impression that it’s not really that important.

4. Link to your audience’s motivation

After you’ve acknowledged your audience’s common interests in being present, discuss their motivation for being there. Be specific. Using the previous example, if your audience clearly cares about wildlife preservation, discuss what can be done to help save endangered species’ from extinction.

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Don’t just give them cold, hard facts; use the facts to make a point that they can use to better themselves or the world in some way.

5. Entertain them

While not all speeches or presentations are meant to be entertaining in a comedic way, audiences will become thoroughly engaged in anecdotes that relate to the overall theme of the speech. We discussed appealing to emotions, and that’s exactly what a speaker sets out to do when he tells a story from his past or that of a well-known historical figure.

Speakers usually tell more than one story in order to show that the first one they told isn’t simply an anomaly, and that whatever outcome they’re attempting to prove will consistently reoccur, given certain circumstances.

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6. Appeal to loyalty

Just like the musician mentioning the town he’s playing in will get the audience ready to rock, speakers need to appeal to their audience’s loyalty to their country, company, product or cause. Show them how important it is that they’re present and listening to your speech by making your words hit home to each individual.

In doing so, the members of your audience will feel as if you’re speaking directly to them while you’re addressing the entire crowd.

7. Tell them the benefits of the presentation

Early on in your presentation, you should tell your audience exactly what they’ll learn, and exactly how they’ll learn it. Don’t expect them to listen if they don’t have clear-cut information to listen for. On the other hand, if they know what to listen for, they’ll be more apt to stay engaged throughout your entire presentation so they don’t miss anything.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm4.staticflickr.com

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