How many of you, if you are honest, have tried to move forward in life through a lens that is murky with the residue of past regrets?
We have all done this at some point or another, and moving past the grip of regret is vital to living out who you are called to be. Here is an interesting article from the Huffington Post, “The Top 5 Regrets Of The Dying.”
In the article, Reason #1 is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.” Put simply, people are saying, “I wish I had lived out my purpose and dreams.”
Do you want to be eighty-five years old and regret that you never followed your dreams and passions? Another one of the five regrets listed in the article is that people wish they had been able to be more present and happy.
Living out your purpose makes you more present and effective for yourself and those around you, because you’re living in fulfillment and satisfaction. The tension-filled questions that scream to you from within become silent when your actions become the answer to those questions.
I talk with too many people that calculate their future movements based on their past failures. Regret is a poison that toxifies your personal economy. If unchecked it seeps deep into the fabric of your psyche and often, can unknowingly, negatively affect your present and future.
What if past failures are your most powerful tool for learning and growing, as you move forward?
What if past attempts that didn’t work out the way you desired weren’t failures, but teaching lessons meant to usher you into a greater place of purpose and destiny
Before we proceed in this section, and for the sake of context I’ll define failures and mistakes using examples from the lives of Thomas Edison and Michael Jordan.
Edison was locked into an optimistic and opportunistic mindset. He revealed his mindset when he talked about finding the breakthrough that allowed him to produce a long-lasting light bulb. “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once. I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways will not work. When I have eliminated the ways that will not work, I will find the way that will work.” And that is what he did.
Guess what? Every single person you have ever met that has succeeded at something, did it wrong more than once along the way. We’ve all made mistakes, and even blatant errors. You’re in good company.
As Michael Jordan explained, “I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”
Chances are you’ve heard this quote, or the Thomas Edison quote. We read over these quotes and think, “That’s motivating.” But do you realize what Micheal Jordan (who many see as the greatest basketball player to ever live), and Thomas Edison (who racked up an amazing 1,093 patents in his life time) are saying with these statements?
They’re saying that although they didn’t always do it right the first time they never let the last mistake affect the next opportunity to succeed. As a matter of fact, they always let the last attempt, where they often fell short, teach them how to do it right the next time.