There are important decisions we can make and things we can do now to avoid regret later in life.
It’s uncomfortable to know we may have regrets when we get to the end of our lives.
Therefore, to avoid regret later in life, there are things we should know so we can make better choices now.
The Top Regrets People Have Later in Life
In the book, “The Top Five Regrets of the Dying,” Bronnie Ware, a nurse who spent many years with patients in palliative care, captured the common regrets people have.
These were based on many conversations she had with patients, which can be an inspiration for us to make better choices. The top five regrets were:
- I wish I had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
- I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.
- I wish I had the courage to express my feelings.
- I wish I had stayed in touch with friends.
- I wish I had let myself be happier.
Not having the courage to be true to themselves was the biggest regret people had.
These regrets should be valuable reminders to reconnect to our priorities and what matters most to us.
If you’re like me, one struggle you face consistently is to do what you know you should.
Even though most times, we know what’s best for us, we don’t always do what we know we should.
Doing what we know we should is important if we want to achieve meaningful things and feel good about ourselves.
Signs You Are Not Doing What You Know You Should
There are obvious signs that indicate you’re not doing what you know you should. These include:
- You procrastinate when you have things to do.
- You stay up late even though you have to get up early.
- You don’t take good care of yourself.
- You binge despite knowing it’s not good for you. This may include eating, drinking or watching movies.
- You don’t change things in your life even though you know you’re not happy or inspired.
One thing I have struggled with in the past is exercising consistently. Even though I knew it was important to do physical exercise to maintain a healthy lifestyle, I wasn’t doing any.
The consequence was I gained weight and didn’t feel good about myself, which affected my confidence. When I exercised regularly and paid more attention to what I was eating, I got healthier. That helped me lose the weight I wanted to, which made me feel better about myself and gain more confidence.
The better we understand why we don’t do what we know we should, the more likely we’ll change our behaviour.
Knowing how to recognise the signs that indicate you are burnt out is important to be healthy mentally and emotionally.
If we’re burnt out, we cannot operate at our best, which can lead to costly mistakes.
What Does it Mean to Be Burnt Out
Reaching a state of burnout goes beyond feeling tired. It’s when we force ourselves to go beyond our mental and physical limits resulting in serious consequences.
Some of these consequences can include:
- Poor judgment which can lead to big mistakes.
- Not making right decisions.
- Not concentrating on what we’re doing.
When we pay attention to signs that indicate we’re burnt out, we can take corrective actions to get back on track.
Knowing how to improve your sleep cycles is important because it will make a difference to your quality of sleep.
We don’t function at our best if we don’t get enough rest. If we learn more about sleep cycles, we can take appropriate steps to ensure we get a better night’s sleep.
What is a Sleep Cycle?
A sleep cycle is like a stage we go through every time we sleep. There are five cycles we can go through if we give ourselves enough time for sleep.
Each cycle or stage takes around 90 minutes. To get through all the cycles, it’s beneficial to get a minimum of seven and a half hours sleep every night. If we can give ourselves nine hours of sleep, that’s highly beneficial because we’ll get through six sleep cycles.
Benefits of Improving Your Sleep Cycles
Improving our sleep cycle will lead to better quality sleep, however there are additional benefits. These include:
- Waking up feeling rested and relaxed.
- Maintaining a positive mood which means having a healthy attitude throughout the day.
- Feeling more energised and alert.
- Having greater levels of focus or concentration.
- Staying more present which means higher productivity.
By giving more attention to what we can do to improve our sleep cycles, we can have highly productive days.
Being attached to your goals can easily be mistaken for being focused on your goals. There is a difference.
When we’re focused on our goals, it means we’re clear on the outcomes we want. It also means we’re taking the right actions based on our plan to achieve them.
Signs You May Be Too Attached to Your Goals
When we’re attached to our goals, these things may happen:
- We want to do things our way without considering input from others.
- We get frustrated and overwhelmed by all the things we have to do to achieve our goals.
- We want or expect things to happen when we want them to.
- We’re only interested in what achieving the goal will give us.
- We make not achieving the goal mean something about us.
When we’re attached to our goals, it usually means there are certain fears playing out. These fears may include:
- Fear of not being enough.
- Fear of missing out.
- Fear of the consequences of not achieving our goals.
- Fear of being judged or ridiculed.
- Fear of the unknown.
By not being attached to our goals, we’ll make things easier for ourselves, which can help us achieve them faster.
In the coaching profession, being able to develop the skill of curiosity is essential to be an effective coach.
Curiosity is a valuable skill to develop as a leader. It shows a willingness to learn more about those we work or engage with.
What is Curiosity and Why Develop it?
We define curiosity as the “desire to know or learn.” When we’re curious, we’re in a state of being in the unknown and ready to learn something new.
There is a fine balance between being curious and being nosey. When someone is being nosey, they want to know something for their benefit, without considering how to serve another person.
When someone is being curious, they want to better understand a person or situation for the purpose of helping them reach an outcome they want.
If we develop the skill of curiosity, benefits will include:
- Expanding our perception or point of view.
- Greater levels of empathy with others.
- Deeper connection with others.
- Better problem-solving ability.
- More personal growth and self-confidence.
As we develop the skill of curiosity, our ability to communicate effectively will improve. This will allow us to support others in achieving what they want, while we achieve what we want.
Our desire to be an authentic person comes from our need to be and express who we truly are.
If we’re struggling to be an authentic person, it means we’re not being true to ourselves.
What it Means to Be an Authentic Person
The dictionary defines authentic as, “not false or copied; genuine; real.” It’s also defined as, “representing one’s true nature or beliefs; true to oneself or to the person identified.”
To be an authentic person means to be who we want to be, without pretending to be someone we’re not. This can be challenging because other people influence much of how we live our lives.
Reasons We Struggle to Be Authentic
Commons reasons we aren’t authentic include:
- Wanting to fit in and have others accept us.
- Other people’s expectations on what’s acceptable or not.
- Fear of being judged or ridiculed if we reveal our true selves.
- Lack of self-confidence to express who we really are.
- Not believing it’s safe to be real and true to who we are.
When we’re unable to be ourselves, it affects our mental and emotional well-being, which also affects how we function daily.
To know how to calm your mind when you are feeling stressed is a valuable thing to learn and practice.
The lifestyle we’re living today generates high levels of stress which can lead to:
- Mental health challenges.
- Physical ailments or pain.
- Feelings of frustration, overwhelm and fatigue.
- Additional strain or pressure on relationships.
- Slower progress towards our goals.
If we learn how to deal with stress better, we won’t allow our external environments or events to affect us. We’ll be in better control of how we respond to the things we experience daily.
As James Allen, author of As a Man Thinketh, wrote, “Calmness of mind is one of the beautiful jewels of wisdom. It is the result of long and patient effort in self-control. Its presence is an indication of ripened experience and of a more than ordinary knowledge of the laws and operations of thought.”
Being able to live your passions is very appealing, but it remains a distant dream for most people.
We’re happiest and at our best consistently when we’re doing things we love. Joy is our inner guidance system.
Whenever we’re not experiencing joy, it’s usually a sign we’re off-course in life. This means we’re engaged in activities that aren’t meaningful to us.
One key to a meaningful life is to do what we love. Our passions are things we love.
What Does it Mean to Live Your Passions?
When we live our passions, it means we’re doing things that bring us joy.
In his book, Aspire, Kevin Hall reveals the real meaning of passion is being willing to suffer for what you love.
He states, “When we discover what we are willing to pay a price for, we discover our life’s mission and purpose.”
Our quality of life will improve when we’re living our passions.
Knowing how to get unstuck and move forward is valuable to know because our daily pressures often slows us down.
Feeling stuck can be painful but staying there for a prolonged period is even more painful.
What Does it Mean to Be Stuck?
When we’re in a state of feeling stuck, it can cause:
- Mental turmoil and emotional stress.
- Reduced levels of motivation.
- Lack of clarity and confusion.
- Slow progress towards what we want to accomplish.
- Low levels of positive expectancy or happiness.
Commons Reasons People Get Stuck
There are many reasons why we feel stuck and some of these include:
- Having too many things to do with no clear criteria for prioritising them.
- Lacking self-confidence to pursue something.
- Not believing in ourselves and our ability to achieve what we want.
- Ignoring problems or pretending we don’t have them.
- Comparing our progress or success to others.
- Not having plans resulting in not knowing what actions to take.
- Believing we don’t have the resources to reach our goals.
- Being afraid to fail.
- Criticising ourselves for mistakes we’ve made.
- Doing the same things hoping to get a different result.
Having ways to get unstuck will help us get back into action and move towards the things we want.