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Would You Do It All Over Again?

Would You Do It All Over Again?


    It’s a rather abstract question isn’t it? But give it a fair chance.

    A few weeks ago I got into an interesting conversation with a fine gentleman about career paths and life in general. He was a retired pilot who seemed to have enjoyed every moment of his flying career. As I was telling him about what I did in my professional life he simply looked me in the eye and asked “Would you do it all over again?”

    For a moment his question completely startled me. Would I, I wondered. And then there was a silent pause in my ever rushing mind. I didn’t know. Maybe I would. Maybe I wouldn’t.

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    Being the right brain dominant person that I am, I noticed my mind contemplate endless possibilities as it tried to come to a conclusion for this gentleman. But alas, all decision making algorithms and techniques failed miserably in my moment of distress.

    This made me wonder if this decision was for the mind in the first place. The answer to his question had to be out of pure instincts, either an instantaneous screaming “Yes, in a heartbeat” or an unappetizing uncertainty where a lot is revealed in the silence itself.

    As I pondered over this in more detail I realised that this question could be applied to every single aspect of our lives and even beyond. Would we do the things we are currently doing if we were given a second chance? Most of our responses will vary from an absolute yes to a maybe and even abrupt no’s depending on the situation itself.

    But think about it, if we wouldn’t want to do something again, what is our excuse to continue doing it in the first place?

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    As you ask yourself this, I’m certain that a never ending list of excuses will pop into your mind. Only if things were different or if you had less responsibilities, only if someone else didn’t treat you this way, only if something hadn’t happened…. The list is endless and the more you let yourself indulge in it the stronger and more encapsulating the web becomes.

    Just like the quote says:

    “You can either have a good excuse or a good result.”

    Which one do you have?

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    Could we possibly dare to consider a new day as a second chance? A chance to start all over again and do things how you’d always wished you did. Another chance to have the courage to turn around? A chance to be true to yourself before you satisfy others expectations?

    Sometimes we continue to do things simply because we feel obligated to the decisions we made or the paths we choose. We associate ourselves to our successes and our failures and subconsciously hold them tight.

    For example, consider how we introduce ourselves to a new acquaintance. “Hi I’m Adam, Marketing director of ABC Corp and a Harvard graduate.” Now what if Adam feels unfulfilled in his marketing profession? Letting go of his job would almost mean letting go of his identity. We continue to work in unfulfilling careers because we feel obligated to our investment in the education we obtained.

    From careers to relationships and materialistic possessions, somehow instead of things adding to our identity they become our identity.

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    Why should a failure prevent you from an upcoming success and why should a success that adds no meaning to your life anymore hold you from venturing out and trying something different?

    Though we might blame external sources for our current state, in reality it is nothing else but our own self imposed restrictions that hinder our ability to create change. The key here is to accept responsibilities of your choices and allow yourself to alter the ones that don’t make you smile anymore.

    So…..would you do it all over again?

    (Photo credit: Second Chance Avenue via Shutterstock)

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    Last Updated on March 13, 2019

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

    Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

    You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

    Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

    1. Work on the small tasks.

    When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

    Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

    2. Take a break from your work desk.

    Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

    Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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    3. Upgrade yourself

    Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

    The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

    4. Talk to a friend.

    Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

    Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

    5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

    If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

    Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

    Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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    6. Paint a vision to work towards.

    If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

    Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

    Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

    7. Read a book (or blog).

    The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

    Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

    Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

    8. Have a quick nap.

    If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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    9. Remember why you are doing this.

    Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

    What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

    10. Find some competition.

    Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

    Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

    11. Go exercise.

    Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

    Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

    As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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    Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

    12. Take a good break.

    Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

    Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

    Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

    Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

    More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

    Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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