I know it may sound a little eccentric to say that I have no regrets, but I literally haven’t even had a thought like that cross my mind in a very long time.
Okay so technically it means I have regrets, it’s just that I haven’t had them in awhile. But hey, someone actually just walked in my door saying they regret the Chinese food buffet that they just partook in. (Thank goodness we’re not training together)
So regret, for most, is something that’s thrown around like sweat in my gym on a #cardioWednesday…
But alas there is another way to go.
You see, I’ve been on the brink before. I’m an ultra-competitor and when I broke my leg and dislocated my ankle in a freak accident almost a decade back it, changed me.
Up until then, I was always wondering what I could do to make myself happy.
How could I dominate?
How could I make others look inferior?
What more could I do to challenge myself physically?…
When that was all taken away, I felt like my life was taken away.
That person, the competitor, the jerk that didn’t care about anyone unless it benefited him, changed.
As I sat on the couch feeling my muscles deteriorating I felt the regret begin to grow. I felt like there was so much that I could have done that would have more of an impact on my life and the world, but I couldn’t do anything except sit on that damn couch.
I wanted to kill that guy. Not in a physical sense, but I wanted that selfish person to go away because if he wasn’t achieving then he wasn’t happy and I wasn’t happy on that couch.
So as I sat on that couch, I began a journey of self-discovery (because what else was I gonna do???)
I began to read books and listen to lectures about living a fulfilled life. I didn’t want to live a life that was only set on either zero or a hundred. I wanted a life where I could sometimes spend some time in between, contemplating what to do, what I’ve done, and still progressing forward.
As I listened to more and more of these thought leaders, speakers, and authors, I began to notice a theme. Many of these people when asked about regrets, said they had very little to none.
And after some thinking and experimentation on my own, I found what it is in life that leads to fulfillment and an absence of regret. Bear with me because I’m about to get a little hokie here, but the key to fulfillment is love.
But not just any love…gratitude to be specific.
But What’s That Gotta Do With Anything?
Well, when you feel gratitude in your life, you begin to stop worrying about yourself so much and you begin to become more concerned with the world as a whole.
You see, as you become more comfortable with who you are and appreciate the fact that you are special, while simultaneously being one of 7.8 billion of people on this planet, you begin to realize that you’re not so important.
I’m not saying that in a bad way, but what I’m saying is that you become more considerate in your life.
Little things like using your turn signal, salting your sidewalk, returning shopping carts, and holding doors open for people don’t just feel like nice things to do, they become a necessary reminder that you love yourself because you care for and have consideration for others.
At the end of the day, it’s all about finding that balance that separates the fear of not achieving at any cost and loving yourself (and others) enough to be accepting and grateful of life as it is in its current state.
Life is not about taking advantage of people or doing what you can to feel like you got over, or “won.” It’s about finding a balance between your needs and the needs of others to form a synthesis that’s greater than what anyone could create on their own.
It’s about doing the little things and when it comes to your dreams, it’s exactly the same. If you approach anything with love (and not desperation), then you’ll soon find that what seems to be an upcoming obstacle will make itself more comfortable in your presence.
Jerry “Love + Balance + Gratitude = A fulfilled life” Washington
P.S. Everyone wants to have the good life and most believe that if they work hard they’ll get it. That’s true to a point, but if you aren’t happy doing what you’re AND working hard, I’ll have you consider that you just aren’t gonna get where you think you’re gonna go. You can’t suffer your way to happiness EVER! So one thing I want you to consider if you are thinking about making a change is to remember that it takes time. Start slow and gain momentum one action step at a time. Talk soon…