Five (underlying) reasons you hate your job

The more time you clock up as an employee, the more prone you will be to utter the inevitable statement: “I hate my job.” In fact, 85% of the global workforce “hate their jobs.” This means that only 15% of employees actually feel a sense of purpose, work satisfaction and joy when they work.

The average person will spend 90 000 hours at work. Essentially, a third of our lives is devoted to work. So why are we choosing to be so miserable for such a massive portion of our lives?

What is the gap between rewarding work or frustrating work? Or the gap between I hate my job to I love my job?

The root of this issue, I believe, is that we were never taught the difference between getting a job and finding your life’s work. Think about all the messages you received about work growing up. Work was always something awaiting you at the end of a pathway – post high school or graduation, you would enter into the working world and everything would fall into place.

Right?

Except it doesn’t. And young people are lambasted for battling with this disconnect instead of receiving support on how to navigate this crucial life path.

The focus during this stage of life is finding a career path that will make us money. And that is an important motivation as it is the path to creating freedom from the family unit and becoming an active citizen. The problem is that we think getting a job or entering a career is all there is – when our hearts are yearning for something more.

We make decisions about what we do based on what we think we should be doing, what we’ve been told we should do, rather than discovering what will really make us come alive.

Doing prescribed tasks in an organisation doesn’t tell you who you are, neither does it give your life meaning. The paycheck at the end of the month is nice but you probably were also never trained on how to manage your money and this eventually increases your frustration.

So when we say “I hate my job”, what we are really pointing to is a sense of dissatisfaction about how we’re currently engaging with work. In my work with young professionals, I’ve identified some key underlying issues that are driving workplace frustration.

1. You have a fuzzy life purpose.

There is a massive difference between a job description and knowing what your life’s work is. People who have a clear sense of life purpose are those who are able to seek out opportunities that they know will play to their strengths and they therefore have a greater sense of meaning and fulfillment when it comes to their current job.

Think about the professionals you admire and aspire to be like. Do you think they go into the office everyday with knots of dread in their stomach or are they operating from a sense of purpose where they do they work that makes them come alive?

Not everyone has a clear sense of purpose at a young age but there are definitely golden threads that surface over time that can be weaved into personal meaning.

Working at various jobs and organisations can provide clues about what your life purpose or meaningful work will look like. Your twenties are a time of great self-discovery. There will be tasks that you do that you will love and find easy to handle and other tasks that will leave you feeling stuck and frustrated. The journey to finding your sweet spot is not linear.

How do I understand my life purpose? There are a few steps involved in this process and you will likely require some facilitation and assistance to define a purpose that really resonates with you. (Contact Whole Person Academy if you would like a one on one coaching session).

  • Reflection and journalling: Use the above diagram help you identify areas of strength, ability and passion. Improve your self-awareness by taking time out for personal reflection and journalling. You don’t have to be a writer for this to be an effective personal growth tool for you. Create a file on your Google Drive and record insights from experiences as they happen. This will grow into an active record of what you tend to lean into and what makes you want to run a mile!
  • Identify blind spots: Speak to trusted friends, family members and colleagues who will reflect areas of strength and challenge that they notice in your life.
  • Take time to dream: Create a work life roadmap to your sweet spot. Remember to overcome the temptation to expect a massive life purpose to manifest in two years. We can only really measure the true impact of our lives at the end of it.
  • Give yourself permission: This is something that so many young professionals struggle with. Many of them have chosen careers because that’s what their parents wanted them to do or they were looking for the most lucrative career path. A few years into their working life, they find themselves struggling with the anxiety of making this choice and feel powerless to make a new choice.

You only have one life. You can’t live it for anyone else but yourself. You might not be able to do your dream job at 25 but don’t underestimate what can eventually unfold over time.

  • Commit to the long-haul: I’ve had 15 job titles and three careers to date – and I am finally in my sweet spot as I build a business to help young people and women to live from a place of wholeness in the areas of relationships, career and finances.

It took me 21 years to get here. During that time, my own life and work experiences have shaped and refined my passions. When I look back at old journals, even my naïve teenage self had an inkling at what my life’s work was linked to.

Also, every single job I had equipped me with skills I use to this very day. So never despise your current job and pay attention to the lessons it is teaching you. Your future self will thank you.

2. You have a fixed mindset.

If you have a fixed mindset, you believe that your talent and intelligence is established at birth, therefore there is no point trying to learn anything new or stretch yourself. You tend to get annoyed at colleagues who seem to have it easy and are getting ahead while you feel stuck in your job role.

Another form of a fixed mindset is a victim mindset. People who have this defeatist, default way of thinking have generally faced difficult situations in their lives which has caused them to feel powerless. Take that mindset into the workplace and it manifests as someone who is unable to take responsibility for their actions and gets stuck in blaming others instead of finding creative solutions to problems.

If you have an external locus of control, then you are more likely to blame outside forces like your boss, politics or your mother for the state of your life. Granted, no work environment is perfect but people with a growth mindset are able to face adversity and take personal responsibility for their lives.

 

How do I develop a growth mindset? This can be tricky and in my experience, the earlier you start, the better! Patterns of thought and behaviour become more established the older we get.

  • Start small: Identify one limiting pattern (eg: not speaking up for yourself in meetings). Seek support from someone you trust to help you identify the core belief (eg: no one listens to me anyway) and then develop a positive alternate to challenge your negative belief (eg: My voice is as valid as anyone else in the room).
  • Take action: Now you have to practice this until it becomes your new default. Most of us are afraid of failure because we falsely believe that we are failures if we fail. Not true. Every successful person has only been able to progress because of repeated failure.
  • Repeat: Once you are able to exercise your growth muscle in one area of your life, keep applying this process to other areas of your life (like fitness, finances, etc). You will surprise yourself with what you’re truly capable of.

3. You are frustrated with your current salary.

This is one of the major, seemingly overt causes of work frustration and yet, if you dig a little deeper, there is a Pandora’s box of personal issues that one could too easily file under the complaint of: “I need more money.”

I once worked with someone who was always talking about his low salary scale and gave everyone constant updates about his battle with management and HR to increase his pay grade.

 

While some of his concerns may have been legitimate, he spent most of his energy focused on what he should be getting paid instead of contributing positively to the team and proving himself to be an asset.

In a different organisation, I came across this Zig Ziglar quote and had a printout of it on my office wall. A colleague noticed the post and scoffed at it saying that you shouldn’t be oppressed by an organisation (he held strong political views). Unfortunately, his work ethic didn’t match up to his politics and he is yet to find secure formal employment.

I was eventually able to earn a higher salary by doing more than I was paid to do – not at that organisation but I received a massive increase in the next role I took on. Developing an owner mindset (what would I do today if this was my business) helped me to work hard not to impress my boss but to grow my skill set and expand the limits of my potential.

Accept the fact that you may not receive the promotion you’re looking for at your current organisation. Develop your own professional pathway (see point 1), commit to becoming an excellent worker(regardless of what your boss does or doesn’t do).

You will attract the right opportunities to you because you’re not waiting for the organisation to heap rewards on you for just showing up every day. In this new work reality, with rising retrenchments and declining work stability, employees can no longer rely on their salary as their sole source of income.

We have to learn to manage what we have and develop multiple streams of income to not just survive, but thrive in the future.

How do I manage my current salary?

  • Stay out of debt! Everyday I wish I could go back and arrest my 20-year-old self from making all the financial blunders that got me into a massive financial hole in my 30s. There will be immense pressure to cave into the normal debt-ridden lifestyle once you start working.

Buying clothes on credit that you will just end up giving away one day or buying a car to impress people who don’t like is downright foolish – in hindsight. We tend to want to make our own mistakes when we’re younger, but we enslave ourselves to places and people because we’ve signed up for a lifestyle we can’t afford. Watch the video about how to stay debt free in your 20s.

  • Establish healthy financial patterns: Again, something to start earlier rather than later. Get on a budget (or call it a spending plan if that makes it easier) and track your monthly expenses. It will surprise you when you see what you’re really spending on and what it is really costing your future.
  • Start a side hustle: Reading 10% Entrepreneur by Patrick James McGinnis was a gamer changer. People who develop side hustles while holding on full time jobs are more effective in their current roles and are able to develop entrepreneurial skill sets (which is a key 4IR skill by the way). Richard Branson agrees. It also helps you test out the viability of your creative money generation ideas and while providing an outlet for additional abilities your current role may not require.

4. You’re in a toxic work environment.

I wish this was something we could avoid but sadly, you are bound to experience a toxic work environment at some point in your life. The key when assessing whether your workplace is truly toxic is to firstly ask yourself the following questions: 1) What are my expectations of the workplace? 2) Am I being fair and unbiased in my assessment of the behaviour of my boss or colleagues? 3) Am I contributing to the toxicity of the office?

There are a number of poisons that contribute to a toxic work environment, the culmination of which makes you feel like you cannot progress no matter what you do and that you are stuck in maddening cycles of bad communication and bullying. There is a plethora of online articles that will help you identify a toxic work environment. Here are some key indicators:

  • There is constantly shifting work expectations
  • Low accountability among leaders
  • Bullying is overlooked and even encouraged
  • Colleagues gossip and look for ways to undermine team members
  • Low morale and team work
  • Lack of work life balance
  • Blame shifting
  • Poor communication

How do I deal with a toxic environment? The best way to deal with this (once you recognize that you are in it) is to have a plan on how long you will stay. You can have the best intentions to be a positive influence but the longer your stay, the more of a detrimental effect it will have on your confidence.

While certain sectors are more prone to toxic or hostile environments, you can encounter this in any field. In one of the organisations I worked at, I developed anxiety that eventually led to panic attacks due to a particularly intense toxicity. I eventually became physically ill and it affected other areas of my life. All the ways work wasn’t working began to consume my life. Although I was still able to execute projects that I am proud of, the constant bullying and lack of accountability eventually took its toll.

The longer you stay in a toxic environment, the longer it will take for you to recover after you leave. So develop a coping strategy that includes an exit plan!

5. You’re ready for the next challenge.

You may be earning a good salary and enjoy what you do but things have become routine. Depending on your personality, you may be someone who seeks new challenges and are getting frustrated because your current job is not giving you the high of achievement it once did.

Because you are ready for something new – and maybe aren’t able to acknowledge that yet, you may find yourself focusing on small issues that didn’t really bother you in the past (like the way your colleague chews when he eats his lunch or the fact that your boss didn’t greet you when she walked in the door).

How do I prepare for the next challenge?

  • Figure out what the next step is on your professional pathway. (I don’t like calling it a career path anymore because it might just be that you are ready for to launch your next career).
  • Develop a plan on how you will take that next step: This could mean updating your resume, considering jobs not necessarily in your current field but nevertheless excites you and you have the required skill sets for. If you have a burgeoning business idea, start working on it during your evenings and on weekends. (See point 3 about starting a side hustle)

It is ok for you to be a multi-passionate individual. We no longer just need to do one job for the rest of our lives (thank goodness!). If you find yourself muttering the words, I hate my job again, take the time to figure out what you really mean by that.

Then, YOU need to do something about it. No one is going to come to your desk, cup your face in their hands and say: “I’m your fairy godmother. Your wish is my command.” Life is shorter than you think. Don’t waste your time (or your company’s resources) floundering in frustration.

It’s normal to feel frustrated about your job – use that to lean into the underlying why and you will find the keys you need to set yourself free. The path to finding your “life’s work” is not going to be linear or predictable – but that is really what everyone yearns for: meaning and joy in their work. It is how we are wired. Work culminates one third of our lives – why waste all that time and life energy being miserable?

If you enjoyed this post, please click the like button below or leave a comment and let me know!

If you’ve read this article and it’s created more anxiety because you feel unable to uncover your core frustrations, then we’re here to help you. Contact cheryl@wholepersonacademy.com for a one on one coaching session.

Defining Your Price Tag

Most people have high expectations of their first paycheck.

The promise of getting your first job is like a treasure chest containing wonderful jewels of life — like independence from your family, a ticket into real adulthood, the promise of defining your own life and finding your way in the world.

And depending on the profession you’ve chosen, you will either be satisfied with your first paycheck, or completely disillusioned. I think it’s safe to say that your initial ‘price tag’ — or salary — might not be what you imagined it would be.

I discovered Jim Rohn a few years ago and loved his definition of how we bring value to the marketplace: “You don’t get paid for the hour. You get paid for the value you bring to the hour.” It took me a while to assimilate this but it eventually helped me to get free from connecting my income to my sense of worth.

Your salary is not a determination of your worth. It is a remuneration of your current skills set. Your salary is a cost to your organisation in exchange for the benefit of your service. Earning a salary is a great way to start out your career and gain experience — but in the light of the fourth industrial revolution, it’s short-sighted to make that a long-term plan.

So many university students that I’ve been interacting with are teeming with entrepreneurial ideas. Some already have start-ups on the go as they take on their first job, knowing that they have a side business that can eventually turn into their full time gig.

Increasing your value in the marketplace

 

The world doesn’t owe you anything. Entitlement in the workplace, in any form, is not rewarded.

Never be limited by your salary and don’t let your job title define you. Give your best at work, serve your company and your clients as if you were an owner in that business. What you don’t realise is that your work shapes you.

As you expand your skills set, gain experience and learn how to solve problems, your value to the marketplace grows simultaneously.

One of Rohn’s refrains is also: “If you do more than what you get paid to do, soon you will get paid more for what you do.” Some might scoff at this idea but I’ve found it to be true in my own life. We all you have a choice to make: you can either be limited by your salary or you can be guided by your salary.

The answer is not to focus on getting more — but to better manage what you have right now. If you learn to manage what you have well, then you will soon receive more to manage.

Most people want the increase in salary — but they don’t want the increase in responsibility that comes with the higher pay package.

So if you want to define your price tag, decide to show up for yourself everyday. The best way to future proof yourself in the rapidly advancing world of work is to inculcate an entrepreneurial mind set.

Become someone who takes initiative, who thinks creatively, who is adaptive and flexible. Make the commitment to lifelong learning. Be realistic about what you have to offer. Resolve to know yourself better than others do. Be open to constructive feedback.

Stay humble and keep growing.

Eventually, you will get to determine the price tag on your work — once you’ve proven your value to the market.

Work week reflection question: What is my current value to the market? How can I increase my value to the market in the short to long-term?

Who Are You Working For?

As the champagne bubbles from the New Year celebrations fade into memory, something else is rising on the inside of you as you face the work year ahead.

What is that feeling?

Is it anticipation? Dread? Anxiety? Excitement?

Pay close attention to those feelings as you make your way back to the office. Were you looking forward to the escape and dreading the inevitable return to chaos? Or are you grateful for the break but amped to jump into action and take on new challenges with your team?

The answer to that question provides a clue into the driving force of your work life. You are either working for yourself – where you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve and how to get there. Or you are working for someone else – doing what your boss wants you to do just to get paid the salary and go home.

One reality has you thriving – the other one has you stuck in survival mode.

It’s not possible to bring your best to work when you’re either not sure what “your best” is, or you haven’t yet found your “passion pocket” – the thing that you love to do and others will gladly pay you to do.

While finding one’s ‘sweet spot’ is a personal journey, your life is entirely in your hands. You don’t have to stay stuck. You have more options that you might imagine.

And if you love what you’re currently doing, challenge yourself to expand the borders of your current experience.

You only get one life.

And you decide who you will work for.

Work week reflection question: Am I working to achieve my potential or just to meet the expectations of others?

I have contributed to barbaric consumerism. And it kills me.

I’d finally found the perfect pair of black trousers. The fit was great, even though it wasn’t on sale. (The large sale signs were what drew me into the fast fashion store in the first place).

I was standing in line to buy it but couldn’t ignore the gnawing sensation in my tummy.

Just weeks before, I was surprised by the low prices for decent items at a different fast fashion store. I bought a gift for my friend’s birthday (she’s a lawyer) and was confused when I saw her visibly wince when she saw the label, even refusing to try it on.

When I pressed her for the reason a few days later, she told me how that retailer, among many others, was notorious for their use of sweat shops (and child labour in particular).

I didn’t want to believe it.

And then I Googled. And yes, she was right. It was my first real glimpse into the hidden evils of our convenient, affordable fashion. I remember seeing the list of fast fashion labels and the store that I was now standing in was one of them.

The trousers were made in a particular country and I was horrified to read that workers from that country had sewn messages into the clothes to let consumers know that they were not being paid for their work.

I vacillated for a few more seconds.

And then, I indignantly left the line, put the pants back on the rack (but in a hidden spot in case I changed my mind and came back) and left the store.

I make a monthly contribution to A21, an organisation committed to freeing sex slaves around the world. I want to give more than I currently do — and eventually I will.

What made me sad in that moment — and decidedly remorseful a few days later after I watched The True Cost Netflix documentary — was how my own addictions and compulsions can be stealing life from people in other parts of the world.

As a fourth generation South African Indian, I have been eternally grateful to my great great grandfather who got on that boat and risked his life to find a new one.

I know struggle. I know pain.

So it is inconceivable that I should close my eyes and swipe my card to get a good deal. As a recovering shopaholic, I’ve bought into the systematic machinations of consumerism. Trying to buy something to fix what’s missing on the inside.

And this is why I think the world’s gone mad. Why do people give themselves over to barbaric consumerism, choosing to be oblivious to the real cost and feigning innocence with the statement: “Isn’t that the way all clothes are made?”

Our digital, interconnected world ensures that we have no excuses for mindless behaviour. We can’t feign ignorance. The source of the things we buy is available at our fingertips. So a quick Google search confirmed my intuition. Knowing what I knew, I needed to make an informed choice while standing in that line.

If I bought that pair of trousers, I was saying that greed is ok. Abuse, discrimination, a disregard for basic humanity, is ok. That some people are just better off than others and that’s just the way things are.

It’s just a little tiny hop, skip and jump to the ideology driving the growing number of pedophiles scoring the dark net, wreaking havoc on entire communities.

Exploiting the disenfranchised to achieve selfish ends is never ok.

I am carrying this sadness around with me. It feels like not enough people care. We are making silent votes for or against death every time we make a purchase.

I can choose the live of another without compromising my own.

I can choose to stop compromised the lives of others over serving my own selfish needs.

 

Don’t Let Doubt Steal Your Dreams

image of a person in an iron mask

If the dawn of a new year scares you because you feel stuck in a private cycle of futility, then you could be letting self-doubt get the best of you.

Doubt is tricky to pinpoint because it hides itself behind so many other internal barriers. It’s easier to blame our lack of progress on our boss, or family background – or even on our own poor estimation of our capabilities.

Dictionary.com defines doubt as to be uncertain about; consider questionable or unlikely; hesitate to believe. Every successful person on this planet talks about how the battle with doubt is a constant one. So there will never be a day when you get up in the morning and it will have suddenly disappeared. 

While you need to accept that the struggle with doubt is part of the human condition, you don’t need to accept its potentially debilitating factor in your life.

Doubt blinds you to your true abilities.

Have you ever witnessed someone excel in a certain area (like public speaking or problem solving or bringing a team together) and then hear them talk about how incompetent they said area?

It’s astonishing and mind boggling – and yet most of us paint over our full colour brilliance with the whitewash of doubt every day. It’s like we have an invisible apparition strapped to our backs of the hideous monster we think we are, compared to the generally ordinary person we present to the rest of the world.

If we really knew what doubt was costing us, we might be more willing to address it.

 

Five Ways Doubt is Stealing Your Dreams

  1. It causes you to hesitate and lets opportunities slip through your fingertips:
    • We lose so much of what could belong to us because we allow fear to snatch it from our hands. We don’t apply for that amazing job because we feel we’re not ready yet – or that we don’t deserve it. We say no too quickly and then live with that regret for too long. People who have developed confidence act quickly when a good opportunity presents itself because they have been preparing themselves for success behind the scenes.
  2. It gives you the perfect excuse to avoid the work to bring your best self to the world:
    • Are you allowing doubt to gnaw at your optimism and potential? At the root of doubt is fear. What if I’m not good enough? What if I fail? What if I really suck at something that everything things I’m good at? When we worry more about what people will think or say by any particular course of action we wish to take, we are choosing to keep ourselves enslaved. Blaming others is the perfect excuse to stop trying.
  3. It’s makes you wait for the day that never comes:
    • When we keep making others a hindrance and using them as an excuse for our lack of progress, then we are keeping ourselves in a holding pattern. “One day, I will go on my dream vacation,” we say… but never do the research of what it will actually cost and start saving. “One day, I will get the love I deserve…” but we keep making choices that prove the opposite.
  4. It robs you from relationships that help you grow:
    • The weaker your sense of self-esteem, the stronger your doubt will be. We might desire to have healthy relationships with strong individuals – but we’re often afraid of looking weak in comparison and so we never reach out. If relationships are only challenging you negatively, they will never be able to help you grow. We are all a work in progress – there are no perfect people out there. Once you can give up the delusion that you need to be perfect, you might find the courage to engage in relationship that stretch you in all the right ways.
  5. It breeds negativity that stops good things flowing to and through you:
    • When doubt has taken over your life, he invites his friends – Negativity, Defeat, Failure, Misery, Loneliness… all the people that makes for a great pity party. If you let doubt consume you, you will find yourself playing the victim card in every situation. Why does it seem like good things don’t happen to  people who are constantly negative? Well, the main reason is that they have a negative expectation. Bad traffic, lousy neighbours, too many bills – these are things they didn’t know they’ve been asking for.

The antidote to doubt is faith.

How do you start believing in yourself when you find out that you haven’t been?

Firstly, start taking stock. Look around – and be grateful for – all that you do have in your possession. Not just material things but also the latent gifts and talents that you can put to work to help you become prosperous.

Then, take the time to reflect on what your life looked like a year ago this time – five years ago, ten years ago. Even if there are still some areas of your life that could use a massive overhaul, you have made some form of progress over the years. I sometimes consider my current life and all the things that God has added to it and it astounds me.

I had lived in a place of desperation and fear for so long that I didn’t know what freedom would look or feel like. And now that I am growing in my understanding of the freedom available to me, it humbles and motivates me to keep going along this path, to see what else is in store for me if I stay committed to my growth. 

If you’ve tied yourself to the opinions and approval of others, you can untie yourself from it. You also have to be willing to face your fears and start seeing yourself in a new reality.

Don’t study the thing that is tripping you up – study all the ways that you can learn how to run into freedom. The thing that is tripping you up will take care of itself. What we focus on, grows. 

So if you focus on belief, instead of doubt, a whole new world of possibility opens up to you. Don’t you want to be free?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

Image of a man hold his hand in front of a wall of images, depicting different options

How To Stand Firm In Your Decisions

Image of a man hold his hand in front of a wall of images, depicting different options

When last did you make a decision that was difficult to stick to?

I’m not talking about skipping the gym workout this week. I mean the more gut-wrenching, heart stirring stuff. Like ending a toxic relationship, choosing to look for a new job or moving cities.

Although we know that change is constant, we still tend to want to hold onto the familiar (even if it’s hampering our growth). If we want different results, then we need to make different choices.

While choice is defined as “an act of choosing between two or more possibilities”, a decision refers to a conclusion or resolution reached after consideration.

Making a choice is a preliminary stage of decision making. “I am going to redefine my personal standards of health and fitness”, for example, is a conscious choice.

You are making the choice between one version of reality in this area of your life, over another version of reality that you will need to create for the future.

There are various posts available online about how to make a good decision.

How do you keep choosing your choice?

Once you’ve made a decision, you have to keep choosing your choice.

When you are choosing something, you are saying yes to stepping into something new and you are effectively stepping out of something old.

That looks like change – and as much as we want to pretend that change is an old friend and we know how nothing stays the same, we actually take a while to adjust to it.

One could argue that we are creatures of comfort and habit, so working to actively shift your mindset will involve an active process of engagement.

If you’ve decided to move to another area, or to look for another job or to seek out more positive relationships, you should expect resistance to your new choice.

Do you find it difficult to stick to your decisions?

Once you’ve made an important decision – and you find yourself wavering – how do you keep yourself steady?

What is your reason for vacillating on your decision? Any of these sound familiar? (Remember that most of these will be subconscious objections).

1. Other people are not going to like this course of action.

2. I don’t know what the next step is.

3. Better the devil you know…

4. How do I know if it’s going to work out?

5. Is it really going to get better? Am I going to be able to change this?

6. I’ve tried this before and it hasn’t worked.

7. I haven’t figured all this out yet.

8. No one else I know is making the decision I’m on the threshold of

9. What if I lose?

10. What if I win?

We often allow ourselves to stay in situations which is hampering our growth because we justify our comfort. We avoid flirting with risk because we’re used to our predictable day to day process. Many people are so afraid of something new that they keep themselves captive because of the remote possibility of a negative consequence.

In order to stay on track, you will need to balance out the emotive drive with your cognitive drive. Just getting your mind right won’t help if you don’t keep your heart in check.

If the thing that you’re reaching for is going to help you grow your character so that you can be more of the person you know yourself to be, the reward outweighs the cost. 

If you’re stuck in a relationship where you and your partner keeps each other from growing, then letting go and focusing on your own growth might be the best thing that happened to both of you.

If your current job is good enough to pay the bills and keep you semi-engaged, it is still a poor substitute for finding and doing the work that makes your heart sing.

If the thought of changing cities scares you because that was never in your plans (but you have a slight inkling that it might be a powerful transformative experience), you’re keeping yourself from having experience you don’t know what will thrill you yet.

Don’t let fear rule your heart.

The way that you can prevent yourself from following your emotions blindly is to keep a clear reminder of your purpose or vision where you can see it everyday.

Create a positive expectation that will fill your heart with hope and provide the fuel you need to keep choosing your decision everyday.

Isn’t the life you want worth it?

Let The Pull Of Purpose Push You Into Greatness

Have you been pulled by your sense of purpose into areas of personal greatness?

What has been pushing you this year to reach the targets you set for yourself at the beginning of the year?

Was it your parents, your boss’s perceived expectations of you, your spouse, your own ambition?

And do you feel closer to where you wanted to be when you crossed the threshold of the year – or further away from it?

I ask you all these questions because I despise the almost obligatory reflection on the 31st of December every year. I want to know if I am on track, headed in the right direction – sooner rather than later, so that I don’t waste even more time going deeper into a purposeless abyss.

I want to live my life on purpose. I want to be intentional about my days.

Partly because I feel like a decade of my life has been stolen from me – but mainly because I really want my life to count for something. I want the fact that I have taken up a tiny portion of space to have mattered to the people that I have crossed paths with.

So when an evolving concept of “push and pull” behaviours began cropping up in a few conversations over the past few weeks, it began to intrigue me.

This is actually quite a deep topic to really delve into, so I’ll try and position it in the way that I am beginning to see the framework. The basic premise is: You will always feel pushed into something if you’re not pulled into it by a deeper sense of purpose. 

A retrenchment, a divorce, a sudden death. There are things that shove you into realities that you weren’t quite ready for (and don’t know how to deal with).

Circumstances that we find ourselves in, that are beyond our control, creates a negative kind of push. Another factor that we can’t control (that we often forget) is that we can’t control people.

Pushing others is not fun. Feeling pushed is no fun either.

It conjures up a sense of resistance. It makes you feel like you don’t have a choice. And then everything in you wants to do the opposite.

Have you been dealing with situations in your life this year that has made you feel pushed by external factors – and either caused you to respond defensively or rendered you passive?

When we allow situations or people to determine our state of action, that’s when we give up our power.

It might not always feel like we’re in control but the way we respond to a situation always is. If we don’t have a strong sense of why we’re doing what we’re doing, then we will always get caught up in the “what is happening around us” that can be a major distraction to your actual purpose.

No one is going to help you figure out your purpose. This is a process of discovery that we all have to embark on as solitary sojourners. And it’s scary.

So we often take a easy option and allow other people to decide the direction of our lives for us. Therefore if things don’t feel great, we can rail against the machine and blame the state of our lives on other people. “If my boss was just more… (fill in your magical wish list here)” or “If only I was married/single again/in a relationship/out of this one… then life would be ok.”

Finding your Beckoning Space

In a session with a coach earlier this year, she asked an evocative question: What is your beckoning space?

What is the place where you see yourself thriving, being fueled with passion, where do you see yourself coming alive?

I didn’t have to think too much about that question. I know what that answer is. I’ve known for years. It’s just taken a while for me to grow in maturity and character to be able to reach for the things that I know I’m wired for.

The thing is, we often get so fixated on fighting against our current realities that we don’t have energy to think about the any alternate realities that might make us come alive.

So yes, it will be a fight. Swimming upstream is not easy. Going against the flow, when everyone else seems content to wile their lives away on non-purpose related pursuits, doing the thing beating in your heart is going to take guts.

It’s going to mean that you have to be ok with other people not being ok with you.

What is pushing you? What are the things that you do on a daily or weekly basis that you feel propelled to take on because of a sense of duty or obligation?

On the other hand: What is pulling you towards the place where you feel a special kind of magic? What are the things that, when you do then, you feel a sense of wonder and excitement?

(You might want to write these things down and ponder them for a bit. Don’t ignore them… they will just keep lingering until you eventually pay attention to them).

Of course we can’t avoid all duty and obligation.

You might not feel like going to work some days. But maturity helps you to get up, shower, get dressed, and get your butt in your car. Once you’re there, you actually get things done and end up having a pretty productive day.

It might be a similar process with going to the gym. If you’ve had a long day (or week), everything in your body and mind is shouting at you to avoid the thing that won’t feel good at the outset but at the end of the session, you’re feeling pretty incredible.

Your strength of your inner pull will determine whether you will allow the right kind of push.

When I switched my gym visits from a place of beating myself up for not measuring up to some impossible standard, to now swiping my card because I understand how taking care of my health has a vital and direct result on my longevity so that I can live out what I believe my passion to be, what was previously a push action has shifted to a ‘pull choice’.

I still don’t ever feel like doing the session but there is less inner turmoil than a few months ago because my renewed perspective on this one aspect of my life has had positive knock on effects on other areas of my life.

So how do you allow the pull your of purpose push you into greatness? Here’s how it’s working for me:

 

 

1. Don’t be limited by your job title (or your salary)

You will have many job titles in your life, clocking in to a number of organisations and working in various office team environments. When we first start out, it’s easy to expect others to lay out the projected trajectory of our career – until we discover that just like life, our professional endeavours will not be linear.

Each job contains opportunities for you to learn particular skills sets and if you are open to that, you will be able to glean a lot of valueable experience that you might only realise 10 or 20 years down the line was actually extremely beneficial.

Therefore, do not despise humble beginnings and also don’t be limited by your salary. Explore what you can do to develop multiple streams of income. Job security is fickle. Don’t set anchors in sinking sand.

In this current shifting landscape of work, it still fascinates me how some people pin all their hopes on a job title (and it’s incumbent benefits).

I understand that not all personality types are comfortable with risk taking and not everyone will have a desire to start their own business. I do believe, though, that everyone needs to develop an entrepreneurial mindset, just to keep themselves relevant and flexible in a vastly changing job market.

2. Let your life purpose be your compass (and then step out)

There is a golden thread in your life that provides clues to your life purpose. As you begin to see this more clearly, it will help you determine what you will say yes, no more, no, or maybe to.

Something that has helped me to keep a clear focus on my life vision, is a printed list entitled “What I want people to say when I die”. I read this list of ten items that I have determined will be the cumulative impact of my life (and I can see it from this finite point) every morning when I’m brushing my teeth.

It often feels daunting but it also reminds me to appreciate the ‘small’ ways I’m able to live our my life purpose every day and every week. Some days, that just looks like being purposeful about meeting someone for coffee and encouraging them. Other days, it means sitting at my desk and (finally) writing that blog post that has been simmering in my brain for way to long.

Most of the time, it’s reminding myself to be present in the conversations I have with others or learning how to say no when I need to. Your life purpose should direct your steps and it should chart your course. After numerous iterations, my life purpose can now be summarised in the phrase “inspire hope in the hopeless.”

3. Make time to dream (and then plan your action)

Whose life am I living?

It’s important to ask yourself this question on a regular basis because sometimes our life scripts morph into what others expect from us without us realising it. Don’t forget the reason you’re living. Write down the vision for your life and then keep reminders of where you’re headed with you in places that you can see it.

Don’t get sucked into the subtle ways that you can ruin your life.

You get one life. And it comes with an expiry date.

Dreams only come to live when your drape your wishes around the skeleton of a plan.

Don’t blame others for you not taking the action that is within your power – right in this moment – to take.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Picture of a mannequin lying on the floor

Why Your Bad Habits Will Bankrupt Your Life

Habits form our character but our core beliefs form our habits.

No one needs to name and shame the bad habits in your life. You are keenly aware of it. Whether the crime is indulging in time wasters like binge series watching and mindless social media surfing, to more serious choices like staying in toxic relationships, you know what’s tripping you up in life.

You might want to protest that if you knew how to do better, you would. But the heart of the matter is ­- do you really want to do better? We all know that we need to exercise, eat healthy, increase our levels of focus to improve our productivity, etc etc.

The way that we make the switch from bad behavior to good behavior has more to do with a heart change than a head change. At the root of every bad habit is a high level of tolerance for the thing we know needs to change if we want to get the life we really desire.

Our motivation to reach for the things we really want is often thwarted by a lack of belief that we deserve the things that we know will give us a better quality of life.

We don’t know what the true cost of our bad habits are because we haven’t yet begun to taste what the opposite actions in our lives could produce.

The only problem is that until we really believe that we deserve to have the things we want, we will never be motivated to make the change.

When it hurts too much

John Maxwell says that “People change when they hurt enough that they have to change, learn enough that they want to change, receive enough that they are able to change.”

I’ve been struggling with my fitness targets for years. Writing the same targets year in and year out has led to despair. I felt trapped, like I was just fooling myself for even trying to make a change.

One day, while I was at gym, with my inner voice was shouting at me to finish quickly because I had so many things to do and on the other hand knowing that I would mentally berate myself if I hadn’t gone to gym in the first place, I knew that I had to stop the madness.

I hated myself if I didn’t go to gym – and I hated myself even when I was there.

I stopped the exercise I was doing and had an inner talk-in-the-corner with myself. “What’s really going on here?” I asked myself. Why am I continuing to keep going on this miserable-go-round cycle year in and year out?

I decided to run an experiment on myself, to get to the root of what was keeping me stuck in the proverbial mud when it came to getting my fitness to start moving in a forward direction. I decided to go to gym for one hour every day in the upcoming month and study (with a microscope) all the excuses and barriers that were preventing me from keeping my commitment to myself.

Once I challenged myself to figure out what was really going on with me, a friend who just happens to be a personal trainer offered his help and I was open enough to actually sign up for proper training sessions.

The day of my first session, I had a total freak out. I was scared, nervous, petrified even. The fear I felt made me realise that there was some deeper stuff going on that just forcing myself to get into workout gear.

I’d allowed all sorts of thorns to grow into my thinking about fitness, health, my own body image and what I can actually accomplish in this area. This is an ongoing process of change and challenge and my personal trainer surprises me every so often by taking things up a notch and pushing me further than I know my body can go.

But that’s the biggest hindrance to changing our bad habits: it takes work. You have to expend more energy and effort and focus to do the things you know will have a long term positive effect than just scoffing down the chips or scone (my personal nemesis) in the moment.

Working out regularly and eating better (just for a few weeks) has already had so many knock on positive effects. The small changes that I’ve seen within a two month time span helped me feel more confident when I finally did my first ever author talk.

That after workout feeling is also a pretty great high that really competes with the exhausted this-has-been-a-long-day feeling that makes me want to veg on the couch instead.

Oh yeah – and it’s freaking painful. There are days when I curse the stairs and feel the ache of muscles coming alive. I’m not at the point yet where I’m actually looking forward to the training sessions (that might come) but I keep showing up because I know that just doing the work is going to help me learn about what I am really capable of.

I ended up going to gym 28 days out of 31 (some days I opted to take a walk on the beach as my workout activity). My mini-experiment proved that actually, I had the capacity to change and finally prioritizing my personal commitments over the other areas on my life helped me feel more empowered to give my best to the world.

Small wins in one area of your life begin to inspire confidence in other areas of your life and eventually you find the small wins add up to a greater forward momentum that begins to build in your life.

Shifting from consuming to producing

When you shift from a consumer to a producer mindset, the things that used to be ok begins to choke your progress. I’ve mentioned before that I used to be a shopaholic… and that meant that I could literally spend hours in malls, being enthralled by all the colourful possibilities that I encountered.

And while I have to watch that I don’t get caught up in that cycle again, now when I feel myself wandering around the mall for a ‘must have item’, I’ve begun to notice that my inner voice is reminding me that I’m wasting time when I could rather be writing.

I’d been threatening my friends that I was going to publish a book for years. But until I started seeing myself as having something valuable to offer the world, I wasn’t acting on it.

If you want to make progress on the path of personal excellence, then you have to constantly break out of limiting versions of yourself. Having cheerleaders in your life that help you see the truth about your potential is also vital to breaking old patterns.

I finally did the work on my first book because I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it. People have been telling me for years how much my writing has helped them, has inspired them to get closer to God, how what they read came at the right time to help answer some questions they had in their heart.

And so I was being really selfish by thinking so little of myself and not enough of what I’ve been given the world needs.

YOU have something that the world needs. You may not have absolute clarity on it yet. You might not fully believe in your ability to bring it out yet but the seed is there.

The way to tackle bad habits it to deal with our toxic thinking. Thought processes rooted in incorrect belief systems will keep you stuck and silently settling for a mediocre life when you know in your spirit that what you truly yearn for is to be excellence and significant.

Thinking that is linked to deep seated beliefs are difficult to change. It involves an intentional process of catching yourself playing the silent tapes in your head – and then interrupting them and replacing them with new information.

In the days of VHS and cassette tapes, you could record new music or video by taping over the old. Rewiring the negative narratives that are tripping you up is not that easy – but it is possible.

It means that you will have to keep presenting yourself with new information every time your brain brings up the old evidence of how you will fail in this area. What has helped me in this process is connecting to my spiritual identity as a child of God and seeing myself as God sees me – as perfect and whole on the inside.

The more I believe that, the more it motivates me to mirror on the outside what I know to be true on the inside. I can see more clearly now the actions that are limiting my growth. It doesn’t make it easier to shift to positive behavior but having a vision for a higher life helps me with the resolve to allow the sandpapering of my daily experiences to refine the truth I am living within.

Because I am secure in my identity as being loved, I can grow through my experience and learn how to constantly tweak my understanding and perspectives so that I stay tuned in to the frequencies of growth.

I can apologise to my husband when I’m wrong, I can decide when to speak up or when to just let something go, I can choose to focus on the most important tasks in a day and ignore the constant distractions clawing at my consciousness (definitely an hourly struggle).

I want my life to be rich: with experience, with joy, with growth, with peace, with good health, with abundance, with grace.

I can say goodbye to bad habits because they don’t offer any of that.

 

 

 

 

Image of ad elipidated car

The Seven Slowest Ways To Ruin Your Life

Ruining one’s life is not something most people consciously set out to do. Most people want to achieve success in life. There is an inner drive to excel, to achieve your potential, to have your life count for something.

As you’re reading this, there are probably some thoughts and feelings stirring in your heart and mind. Maybe you’re remembering the things your parents want you to do with your life. Maybe it’s your own goals and ambitions that seem so far away. Perhaps you feel a tinge of regret over the things that failed and punctured your confidence to try again.

Regardless of what’s happened in the past, you most likely have a desire for life to work out well for you. You’re probably not getting up each morning thinking: “How can I ruin my life today?” And yet, ruin is a sneaky thing.

Because it’s invisible, it can be extremely insidious. It’s so much easier to pin our lack of achievement on circumstances we can actually see and people we can point our fingers to. We don’t actually think about the inner obstacles (of our own creation) that can impede progress along our road to success.

People who are angry and bitter, with multiple chips on their shoulders (we all know a few of them)probably don’t realise how, over the years, they’ve created their own version of quicksand and despite all their frenetic activity, are going nowhere slowly.

picture of a person trapped in quicksand

 

So how does one destroy one’s life, bit by bit, day by day, decision by decision? Decay usually sets in because of neglect. The proper care and attention is not applied appropriately and while it might not seem to be too damaging when you look at things over a short period of time, the tragic picture of ruination sets in over a decade or two.

  1. You lack vision: We weren’t born to just pay bills and die. You have been designed with a passion and on purpose and until you find and pursue the thing that makes you come alive, you will always be yearning for inner contentment. Success means different things to different people. You will feel like there is something missing from your life until you do whatever it is that fills you with joy when you’re doing it: whether it’s teaching children, running your own business or baking cakes. If you don’t write the script for your life, someone else will.
  2. You never take action: You keep talking about your dreams but you never translate them into goals and concrete plans. Successful people have turned wishful thinking into practical action. If you are not willing to pay the price, you will never lay your hands on the things you want. The things you like, you talk about. The things you love, you commit to.
  3. You never take responsibility: Someone else is always to blame for the things that haven’t happened yet in your life. There is no denying that some people have an easier start to life and have more privilege than others. And yet, there are countless examples of people who have experienced similar challenges and life circumstances as you. Once they took accountability for their lives, they managed to not just overcome it but to rise above their limitations and achieve phenomenal success. Find inspiring role models and ditch the scapegoats. If you haven’t learn how to receive – and grow from – constructive criticism, then you are bound to repeat the same experiences year in and year out.
  4. You stop growing: Your graduation day is not the finishing line of your learning. Great leaders are life long learners and successful people are constantly learning new things. Skill sets need to be tweaked and expanded in order to stay relevant in the market place. If you never really evaluate your personal progress and reflect on ways to improve and grow, you will experience regression instead of progression.
  5. You think you can make it on your own: A self-made man/woman is a fallacy. We need people to help us achieve more than we could ever accomplish on our own. People who have faith in the goodness of God and depend on His help experience a God-sized life as opposed to a life based on limited self-efforts.
  6. You live beyond your means: Talking yourself into unnecessary credit card purchases or ‘must-have items’ is a sure way to dig a deep hole of debt that will be a major impediment to living a whole, full life. Comparing yourself to others – and trying to keep up to someone else’s standards – is a sure way to drain the joy and contentment from your own life. Your finances don’t crumble in a day… but one bad choice after another eventually causes the ship to sink.
  7. You won’t diversify your friendship circle: If you’re constantly hanging out with people that look, act and think like you, you are robbing yourself from a rich tapestry of connection and understanding. Some relationships are like spiderwebs – keeping you trapped in a reality that doesn’t serve you and keeps you stuck. Most people never change because they are too afraid to allow their friendship circle to evolve.

What we don’t realise is that our fixed mindsets can act like a slow poison in our lives. Developing a growth mindset can help you galvanise yourself against the long-term, devastating affects of these soul-destroying decisions and behaviours.

Picture of a worn out car under a shed

This proverb has always stuck with me: “Wise people build their house with their own hands, but foolish people tear it down with their own hands.” There is no denying that you are entirely responsible for what your “house of life” currently looks like.

The truth is that even though there may be some areas that look severely debilitated right now, there is nothing so broken that God cannot restore. Once you are honest about the current state of affairs, you can then go about uprooting the roots of the things that are slowly but surely destroying your life.

If you don’t believe that you are a valuable person and deserving of living a whole, full, life – then you are not going to be motivated to stop the self-harm. I have swung on the pendulum of identity, living as a victim and as a rebel, until finally settling into the truth about my created value as a child of God.

When you see your worth and start living from a place of identity instead of for identity, the things you used to do to self-destruct become ludicrous patterns in your life. The great news is that if you are on any of these seven paths of death, you can decide to turn around and walk in the opposite direction into new paths of life.

I think that deep down, you really want to live a life that is full of joy, that is freeing and that frees you from the judgement, actions or opinions of others. Make the change today. If you wait another day, and another, and still another, ruin will come upon you and you will wish you could turn back the hands of time.

 

Broken watches

Don’t Let Regret Eat Your Joy

As long as you are living and breathing on this planet, you are guaranteed to face regret.

To regret something is to “feel sad, repentant, or disappointed over (something that has happened or been done, especially a loss or missed opportunity).” To be ‘repentant’ means to wish that you could go back in time to the moment when the regretful incident happened – and make an alternate choice.

I think of regret as death’s first cousin. Regret doesn’t respect age, race, nationality or a person’s favourite ice cream flavour. It comes as a consequence of things you don’t have full control over and lingers in the shadows of darkness in the corners of your soul.  (Ok that was dramatic. I think I’ve made my point).

Regret brings along a host of friends: disappointment, guilt, shame, embarrassment and fear. If we don’t learn how to wrestle with it in a healthy way – and win – regret will always be a handicap in our lives.

Identifying the causes of regret

At the basis of regret is that the outer world is not lining up with expectations of your inner world. Disappointment at the realities of our past can haunt us and limit our freedom to live in the world the way that we know we can.

Think about the things that you’ve been regretting over the past few months. What comes up as a constant theme?

1. Bad things that other people did to you: Is there something that happened to you when you were younger, that you couldn’t really control, that you still blame yourself for? Maybe you’re tormented with questions like: ‘Why didn’t I tell someone?’, ‘Why did I go there’, ‘I should’ve…’ Ruminating on all the ways that you could have changed the situation is hampering your confidence to make decisions in the present. If you have not sought professional help to deal with the psychological and emotional hurts that were inflicted on you by others, then you are keeping yourself in a private prison. Get the help you need. You deserve to live a whole, free, full life.

2. Bad decisions that hurt you: Sometimes, we unknowingly cooperate with others in perpetuating a negative reality. We don’t always have all the foresight and life experience that will enable us to make better decisions and then we get stuck (sometimes for years) in relationships or places that keep us from living authentically. When we finally escape that limiting reality and have taken time to heal, looking back on the wasted time can cause feelings of regret at what could’ve been. You also can’t help feeling like an idiot for what now (thanks to hindsight) is extremely obvious to you.

3. Actions you took that hurt others: This is a tough one. It’s easier to live life upset at the evil people who mess up the lives of others. But what happens what that person is you? It is extremely difficult to reconcile yourself with the notion of yourself as a “good person”, knowing that there were actions that you took that directly affected others negatively. You may not have intended that as a consequence but there is no way of disputing that you have caused pain to someone else. The redeeming aspect of this kind of regret is that you realise that people are fallible (yes even you!) and it helps you to have a deeper level of understanding. It might make it easier for you to forgive someone else for what they did to you because maybe they too didn’t intend for the bad consequence and we just doing their best. Remember that we judge others by their actions but we judge ourselves by our intentions.

4. Wishing you’d made a different choice: We all have cringe-worthy actions that we prefer no one ever knew about. Just this week, one of my major regrets came back to me, taunting me for the silly fool that I was. Instead of just giving into the usual self-pity and self-inflicted internal flogging, I pictured taking that regret by the neck (like lionesses grab their cubs) and looking it in the eye.

Yes I should never have done what I did, yes I hated the person I was at the time when I made that decision and yes, if I could go back in time to the moment when things went the wrong way and drag myself out of that moment, I would. But I can’t undo what was done. I can’t magically reverse my mistake. What I can do – and what I have to do each time this memory comes up, is to remind myself that the person I am now would never made the same decision today. So as ugly and painful as that regrettable time in my life was, it has taught me a lot about life, vulnerability and strength. You can only make better choices when you are strong enough and healthy enough to choose the things that will build you up, not break you down. We can choose to stay stuck in a private prison of regret or we can live uncaged. We hold the keys to our freedom.

 

 

Understand the spectrum of regret

Not all regret is necessary negative. There is a spectrum of regret that we need to learn to navigate. A spectrum is defined as “any range or scale, as of capabilities, emotions, or moods.”  

Regretting something you did in high school is not as painful to remember as when you messed up a project at work last week.  From saying something stupid to the person you have a crush on to a bad decision or the consequences of a character flaw, regret can become a tool for transformation. If we learn how to use it.

With the first two sources of regret, it will not help us to marinate in the stew of “why did this happen to me?” Staying fixated on things you can’t change is not helpful and will only keep you stuck.

Regret can help you learn from the actions and behaviours that are in your control (the second two sources). Sometimes a careless action, done in a moment of haste, can be easily rectified by a heartfelt apology.

Other things, like a prolonged pattern of behaviour in crucial areas like career development and relationships, take a little longer to rectify. In order to fix my flawed default emotional and psychological patterns of engagement, has taken a long time (and it is still a work in progress).

I use all the tools of personal development at my disposal (spiritual practices, mental techniques, journalling and reflection etc) to strengthen a growth mindset. But I need to be intentional about it.

When I feel the twinge of regret pinch at the corners of my conscience, I am learning how to place it upon the regret spectrum.

  • Invest in your now: When something new comes up into my self awareness about the way I responded to someone, or a silent thought that I have that is not entirely positive, this internal checklist usually helps:
    • Is this something I can change?
      • If no, I focus on the things that are within my power to control.
    • If yes, I consider the steps that I need to take to practise a new course of action the next time a similar situation arises.
  • Celebrate the growth: If a long-standing regret from a painful period of my life rears its ugly head, I take a moment to feed in a new narrative. You have to build new tapes to drown out the old ones. I interject the taunting “see how hopeless you were with “Thank goodness I’m not that person anymore” or “Thank God I never have to see those people ever again.”
  • Let go of the minutia: Sometimes, it’s just a simple ‘I wish I said that this instead of not saying anything to that person in that situation.’ Alas, the moment is gone and it doesn’t help to ruminate. I usually just tell myself to let it go and move on with my life.
  • Pay the price to get the life you want: If there are specific limiting behavioural patterns that I keep picking up (like talking myself out of going to gym more times than my feet actually make it on the treadmill, then more drastic measures have to be taken to get myself out of a rut (like finally signing up with a personal trainer). Less insanity (going the same things and expecting different results) and more proactive challenges.

The better you get with dealing with regret today, the less regret you will have to deal with as you get older.

We’ve all read about studies done on people in their death beds. The things we will regret at the end of our lives will be not enjoying or fully appreciating the things that money can’t buy. Things like friendship, family, genuine love, joy, peace of mind, meaningful conversations (etc, etc).

We’re gifted with life. Only we can decide whether we will cherish the present. The antidote to regret is gratitude.

Are there any regrets that you just can’t seem to let go of? Share your comments below.