How Emotions Create Regret
Ever felt frustrated by the lack of achievement in your life, or how the things you wanted simply haven't shown up yet? Well I hear you on this one. It can get pretty confusing to say the least. A few years back I started to see some of these patterns. Not with everything, but there were definitly some patterns in a few key areas of my life. And when I delved deeper, I came to realise that a lot of it was about my emotions. I was allowing my emotions to dictate my actions... Not in everything, but in those couple of key areas in my life. The bigger issue with this, is that over the long term, living by our emotions can lead to regret. Regret of not doing, not trying hard enough, not moving outside of the box, and even the regret of 'I wonder what could have happened...'
You see, we like to do things that feel good. Things that make us happy. But sometimes, we also need to do the things which cause friction, ruffle our feathers, or simply take a whole lot of back breaking effort. Because that's when the magic happens. Often in life, the best things don't come all that easy, but they are worth the energy that goes into them. Training in the gym for example. If it's not causing us to feel our muscles or to get short on breath, then it's probably not creating many results we are wanting either.
In a recent survey, I asked the question - 'What do you think we will regret more - the things we DID do, or the things we DIDN'T do. The response was overwhelming, with 55% of recipients indicating that we are more likely to regret the things we DON'T do. 7.5% of recipients indicated we are more likely to regret the things we DID do, and 37.5% thought it needed to be broken down further. So if regret is linked to action, specifically things we don't do, following the above 3 steps can definitely help to design the future we will feel satisfied in.
Rather, we should keep an eye on the bigger picture, and what it is we really want for ourselves. The 3 steps I like to live by can totally transform our frustrated, unsatisfying and lacking lives into something that oozes results, empowers us greatly and eliminates our future regrets. And these 3 steps are:
- To DECIDE what it is we want. If barriers were no object, how would we want our life to be? What can we dream up for ourselves, regardless of our current circumstances?
- Then we need to IDENTIFY what could help us to get closer to those dreams. Note that I say 'closer to' rather than 'to them'. Because once we start to take action and results start to come in, this step will become a lot more straight forward. As long as we are heading in the right direction with the right amount of intention, we will be feeling good about our efforts.
- And finally, we need to DO the action needed. Make actions towards what we want non-negotiable in our lives by eliminating the option to not put in the effort or to get the results. Choosing to do something, and taking action immediately before our emotions get involved can make or break our future.
The evidence shows that if we do what we feel like doing, we won't get very far in this life. But if we do what we know will get us closer to what we want, results will come in. So the next time we feel frustrated by our progress, or what our life looks like, it would be a great idea to look at our emotions and how they may be controlling our actions...