Tag Archives: Happiness

Risk and Regret

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Taking risks is scary but leaving yourself with regrets is much worse.  And more often than not we regret the risk not taken.  So in an effort to curb our regrets, we become quick to act when we see something we want or when we believe a golden opportunity has graced our lives with its presence.  We’ll say to fate, “not again, I’m not going to let this pass me by like the last time” and we’ll go for it, whatever it may be.  In doing so, we hope to claim the reward we’ve let slip through our fingers time and time again while growing a little more as individuals.

But at the same time one shouldn’t fear regret because it may make you risk unnecessarily.  It may make you feel urgency where there should be none, causing you to rush and misstep, thereby forfeiting your chances and finding yourself regretting your choices once again.  It seems that caring too much AND caring too little are equally detrimental and lead you down the same road you were trying to avoid.  And they do.  It’s because they are both overcorrections, and just like driving, overcorrecting yourself will cause you to swerve and fishtail when approaching an important junction in life…giving you no real control over which road you end up taking.

So what do you do?  Do you just move along somewhere in the middle, accepting everything as it comes without making a decision to care too much or too little?  Or do you only act on the risks that seem good for you–when the juice is worth the squeeze? Because it can be hard to tell what is actually good for you and by the time you can tell, it may be too late to make a decision:  either you get locked into the risk or you get locked into the regret.  While accepting everything as it comes leaves you susceptible to the whims of chance and circumstance with no real power over the direction things go…and the second you decide to take power over the situation you are showing you care AND you are taking a risk, so once again you may misstep and wind up falling flat on your face.

The reality is life is a balancing act and there is no right or wrong way to approach this.  Sometimes you risk and win, sometimes you risk and lose, while regrets are just a fact of life.  Take it all in stride.  You’ll learn from your decisions and balance yourself out over time.  If you feel something is good for you and see an opportunity then go for it…you may end up failing but don’t be discouraged because one day you will win big.  And then you’ll learn to appreciate your risks and regrets because they guided you straight to that jackpot that has eluded you for so long.  Or at least you’ll know that jackpot is on the horizon and is just waiting for you to do the right combination of things to win it.

You just have to keep going and remain strong, never losing faith in yourself or your decisions.  Do your best not to overcorrect when the road forks and you have no idea which way to go.  But above all, make sure you stay focused on your goals and desires while appreciating what you do have in life.  Sometimes we risk for things that will lead us from our paths and other times we regret things that may not have been the best for us anyways…guessing is the essence of the human condition for we can’t know everything and some would even say we can’t know *anything* for certain.  But that’s the beauty of it–the mystery and the suspense.  Yeah, there may be pain involved but as someone once told me, pain is life’s admission.  And while that may be true, I believe new experiences are the reward.  We can’t grow if we don’t risk and what is the purpose of a life without growth?

The uncertainty of life is certain but that should be more liberating than restricting because it means the possibilities are endless.  You can wind up anywhere with anyone doing anything.  So don’t shy away from risk and don’t fear regret.  Just accept them for what they are and continue down the path that seems the best for you.  There’s no way to tell if you missed out on a better path or not but as long as you are happy with things there can really be nothing better.  And if you aren’t happy then you have all the power in the world to change that.  The power comes from your mindset and your mindset comes from your attitude.  Change your attitude, change your mindset, change your life, change the world.

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Desire and Ambition, Life and Moments

Your dearest wish will come true.

After an interesting turn of events you suddenly come into possession of a small piece of paper that will grant you one wish, and one wish only.  What do you wish for?  Money?  Time?  Teleportation?  More wishes?

Whatever you wish for the piece of paper does nothing, aside from mock you with its inanimate indifference.  As you get ready to drop it the word “dearest” begins to glow in a bold sapphire hue, and the answer becomes clear:  you may have wished for something, but it wasn’t your dearest wish.

So now the question changes.  What is your dearest wish?  The return of a lost love?   To travel the world?  For good will to triumph over greed in the hearts of all people?

If your dearest wish was different from your first wish, why do you think that was?   Often when we think of having our wishes granted we tend to go for our desires rather than the causes of those desires:  we wish for money when we want security or happiness, for example, or we wish for love and fame when we are lonely.  Sometimes we wish for something self-serving rather than altruistic, thinking karma owed us one or only thinking of ourselves.  In most cases our initial wishes are quick fixes to our problems and fast ways to feed our material or superficial desires.  But there is one main error with this type of thinking, aside from when it is egocentric:

If we give more value to our material desires than the causes of those desires then we don’t  account for our “dearest wishes.”  This leaves us hollow as we acquire more material (items, money, property, stock, people in some cases) to fill the void instead of building a core of fulfillment within us.  What we gain in material we lose in inner peace and happiness.  So to preserve our inner peace and happiness we should give more value to our “dearest wishes” than our regular “wishes,” and focus more on the causes of our desires than the desires themselves.  If you want security and happiness for example, wish for a lifestyle that will make you the most happy and secure.  You’ll account for the causes of your desire for money (security and happiness), and the money will follow on account of your wish if your lifestyle involves some type of work or investment.

You can find the causes of your desires and material desires through introspection, self-reflection, and meditation on the things you desire and why.  But when it comes to the desire to be loved — a desire within us all — all you can really wish for is time and attention from someone you met somewhere or will meet somewhere, then put yourself out there.  We all want to love and to be loved, but on our own terms.  So with high supply and high demand by nature love is a volatile thing that requires the right chemistry to stabilize.  Just a little disclaimer before moving on.

A moment:  Yi hui er

Take a moment to think about your dearest wish or the cause of your greatest desires.  How does it make you feel?  Who does it benefit?  Why is it so important to you?

Think about how having this wish come true would change things from the way they are now.   Try to imagine what all would happen from this wish coming true and the possibilities that would come with it.

Now ask yourself:  What’s stopping you from making this wish come true?  Even if you’re wishing for money or more time to enjoy life, what is holding you back from making this wish a reality?

Every obstacle has a way around it, for where there is a will there is a way.  Ambition.  Be creative and look for all the possibilities.  Aspiring travelers can backpack through countries, work on cruise lines, do wildlife photography, volunteer with the Red Cross, offer scuba diving to tourists on coasts around the world (if accredited), or even become international five-star hotel reviewers.

On the other hand, if you’re worried about not having enough time to make your wish happen or to simply enjoy the life and time you have, it’s because you’re looking at time with too wide of a lens:  Life is made up of moments, like a mosaic made up of ceramic tiles.  Each and every second that passes by is an opportunity for you to take advantage of chance and choose to change your life to the way you want it to be.  Or alternatively, to change yourself and your circumstances to better align with the future you want to have and who you want to be.

If you take each moment as it comes and use it to work toward making your dearest wish a reality, then it will become a reality.  It’s just a matter of how determined you are to succeed.

The benefit of changing your life moment by moment is it doesn’t require any big changes, just little tweaks.  Over the course of time those little changes will build up to drastically alter your life-path in the direction you want to take it, whether it is toward your dearest wish or the cause of your greatest desires.  And as you make more choices that align you with your intended destination you will find yourself getting closer and closer to your goals.  As my former communications professor says, “we become who we are one choice at a time,” and to take this quote further, our lives become what they are one choice at a time.

So remember your dearest wishes and don’t let superficial desires hog all your attention.  By giving too much attention to the latter, you will likely stray from the path you set out for yourself.  As long as you take life moment by moment, achieving your dreams and ambitions won’t require you to make dramatic changes or sacrifice too much of your time.  Just ease into the reality you wish to see, think positive, and let time run its course.  You’ll get there eventually if you stay focused, determined, and open to all of the possibilities.