Motivation Mondays: REGRETS
“Never regret anything you have done with a sincere affection; nothing is lost that is born of the heart.” Basil Rathbone
Maud Muller, based on a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier
Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh. Henry David Thoreau
Let Go Of REGRETS: We’ve all heard of buyer’s remorse, and survival guilt; they are emotions that people exhibit when they wish for a different outcome. Then there are people who have dissocial personality disorders; they lack feelings of regret. The fact is that at different points in our lives, we’ve had occasion to regret our actions, feel sadness, shame, embarrassment, depression, annoyance, or guilt, about events in our lives that we either initiated or had no control over the outcomes. We regret our past actions as well as our inaction, but we must learn to motivate ourselves to let go of regrets. We don’t have to forget the events or dismiss them, however, we must give ourselves permission to accept the lessons learned and let the past go. Before we can start afresh, we should spend some time reviewing the events that hold us back and then let them go.
A Regrettable Story: A few years ago, an acquaintance reached out to me at a time of great despair in her life. I offered her my help and support, and even let her into my home to stay for a while. Months later, when she finally pulled herself together, she left with some of my possessions – she stole from me. While I might be tempted to regret my act of kindness, I don’t. I regret believing in her story but I’ve moved on with the lesson learned. Events that lead us to have feelings of regret are great teachers because they teach us, through experience and pain, to weigh our decisions with care and recognize the potential consequences of our actions. Frankly, I agree with Yoko Ono that the only regret worth having is “The regret of my life is that I have not said ‘I love you’ often enough.” But guess what? While we have life and breath, we can change that regret to joy…. It takes motivation and effort.
“Do not brood over your past mistakes and failures as this will only fill your mind with grief, regret and depression. Do not repeat them in the future.” Swami Sivananda
Get correct views of life, and learn to see the world in its true light. It will enable you to live pleasantly, to do good, and, when summoned away, to leave without regret. Robert E. Lee
Resolve to Move Forward: Are you still holding unto childhood anger, pain, and regrets? Sometimes, we act impulsively and then regret the reverberations of our actions. In our youth, we all made mistakes, some small and some large, that still haunt some of us today. If we can view them through the lens of life lessons, we would be in a better position to resolve to move forward. Being human means we are all capable of making mistakes. If we keep repeating the same errors, we haven’t learned the lessons fully. So instead of wallowing in self-pity and disappointment, resolve to change direction and try a new approach. We have to remember that to err is human and to forgive is divine. As we wrap up 2014 and ready ourselves for 2015, this is a great time to review past events, make mental adjustments on things that didn’t work out, celebrate the successes and step into 2015 with zeal and gratitude.
A No Regrets Story: When Margery was in college, she had a friend, Java, who was very selfish and could be quite rude. Margery didn’t see this side of Java until they became very good friends and started hanging out together. Whenever Java was in a bind or needed help or money, she’d ask for help and Margery obliged. Margery grew to accept Java’s brashness even though it bothered her. She always hesitated to ask Java for anything because she wanted the friendship to work (a red flag) When Margery advised Java to be civil to people, Java simply brushed it off and said they deserved it. One day, Margery needed help with an internship letter that had to be mailed by 2:00pm. She had an important conference with her adviser that couldn’t be missed. She asked Java to help drop off the letter to the mail room and Java bluntly refused to do it. She gave no reason and didn’t flinch when Margery pointed out how much of a good friend she was to Java. Java simply said no. That day, the veil lifted from Margery’s eyes as she came to realize that she wasn’t viewed as a valued friend to Java. She was hurt but resolved to end the friendship and move on. She ended it calmly and decisively with no room left for regrets.
At times in our lives, we must resolve to move on because it’s a key way to break the chain of regret and start afresh. Try it. We all make decisions we regret and we must forgive ourselves, take action, and move forward. As Queen Latifah put it, “I made decisions that I regret, and I took them as learning experiences… I’m human, not perfect, like anybody else.” Get motivated to shift directions and start the New Year with a resolution to let go of past hurts and begin with a tabula rasa – a clean slate.
What regrets have you chosen to let go today?
The details for Motivation Mondays are below. Join in! The themes for December are:
12/01 – Acceptance
12/08 – Busyness
12/15 – Compassion
12/22 – Joy
12/29 – Regret
“Has this world been so kind to you that you should leave with regret? There are better things ahead than any we leave behind.” C. S. Lewis
At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child, or a parent. Barbara Bush
Gain some Perspective: Are you still holding unto the pain while forgetting the love? If we would stop for a moment and take a hard look at things we’ve regretted in our lifetime, we might be surprised to come to a simple conclusion: We survived it. WE made it through and we still have opportunities in front of us to grow and thrive. So why stagnate? Why hold onto old stories that leave us bitter and sad? At some point, we must gain perspective and learn to let it be. Think back to events that caused you great pain and the lessons you learned from the experience. You were able to use the knowledge gained to make different, hopefully, more productive and successful choices. What helped you make that shift? Would you agree that it took some pain and discipline to overcome the feelings of regret and replace them with wisdom and better insight?
A Regret Replaced with Love Story: When my dad passed away, I was very sad that I didn’t get a chance to see him for one last time. He had asked me to come to London to hang out with him and catch up on family matters. It was spring time and not only was I teaching at a local college, but I was in the throes of final exams. I begged off giving the reasons mentioned above. I also added that I was waiting for an answer to my application for a work permit. Weeks later, my dad was dead. I cried over this for years and it left a hollow space in my heart.
One day, I decided that with some discipline and a recognition that life is full of regrets and rejoices, I would make peace with that moment in my life. I knew he loved me and he knew I loved him; the regret over what could have been, needed to be replaced with memories of a loving man who had been a vital force in my life. Hold unto the LOVE. As one of my favorite inspirational business leader, Jim Rohn would say,We must all suffer one of two things: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret or disappointment. I gained some perspective and I know you can too. As you prepare to wrap up this year and enter the next, take stock and face the fear, and gain some perspective. Happy Holidays! Happy New Year!
Motivation Mondays is open to anyone who wishes to share a motivational quote, photo, personal challenge or a post that encourages others to start the week on an upbeat note.
Basic Instructions: Each week, I will have a motivation word to help us create a response. (See listed words for end of November and all of December below)
Email address: You may email or share your post as a comment and I will add it to the round-up of related posts. email it to: contact(@)mirthandmotivation(.)com
Category tag: – Share your post using Motivation Mondays
Twitter hashtag: – Use this on Twitter #MotvnM
Dedicated Page: There is a dedicated page for Motivation Mondays. It has the same instructions and will include other helpful tools and a link to the round-up
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Facebook Community: We have a Facebook community forum to compliment the page. It serves as another way to share uplifting posts and thoughts. Please join in and add your voice.
Badge: – I created a fun badge using PicMonkey’s free photo editing tools. You can create your own, use WordPress’ integrated tool on your blog or you are welcome to use mine. (see dedicated page)
Tag: – Motivation Mondays
Hashtag: – #MotvnM
Positive Motivation Tip: Compassion is not just our gift to others, it is also our gift to ourselves. Be kind to yourself and others today and everyday.
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