Empowering Questions You Need to Ask Yourself
Have you ever heard that it’s not what happens to you, but rather, how you feel about? Regret is one feeling you can carry with you that will not only poison your experience, but future events to come. Knowing this, I believe one of the worst questions you can ask yourself is, “should I have done something differently?”
“Regret is like poison that’s given to a tree and ends up taking all the life out of the tree, weakening it to the point of it being destroyed—it’s not those moments that you came to regret that will destroy you, it’s the actual regret itself.” - Amir Zoghi
1. Learn from your Past Experiences
I’m not suggesting that you don’t reflect and learn from your past experiences, because you can and do. However, “Should I have done it differently?” is by it’s very nature one of judgment.
I once got into a romantic relationship that lacked the affection I desired. Afterwards, I remember beating myself up a little: “I shouldn’t have been with that person for so long,” out of regret and resistance. And deep down I was aware that I’d known better, and yet, what if that was the very experience I wanted to have?
When you experience lack, do you not have a greater appreciation of fullness?
The sweet part of this story is that the relationship that followed was full of adoration and depth, and with such a contrast, I experienced it as even more precious and appreciated. Sometimes you can’t see the big picture. If every connection you felt with every person was profound, some of those connections you experience wouldn’t feel so special. Or in business, isn’t it even more exciting and fulfilling when you succeed at something after failing once or just working really hard to build something big?
2. Know the Difference
I don’t believe we desire to only experience the easy or mundane. Part of what’s exciting about life is the contrast and differences between one day to the next and one person to the next.
A great question to ask IF you feel resistance is: What if the experience you’re having is the one you wanted to experience? That can be a very difficult question for one who has experienced pain or trauma, but I’ve also seen a lot of people face massive challenges and use them to become conscious or strengthen their desire for a different way of life. Judge it or not, pain is often a catalyst for change.
Maybe if you’d wanted to experience a past situation differently, perhaps you would have. The more you embrace yourself and what happens without judgment, you’ll feel less desire to examine or scold yourself harshly for the things that do happen. Without judgment, everything is just an exciting unfoldment, as if life is a story, and you’re the main character.
The less you have judgment for the circumstances you experience, the more life moves from feeling like a classroom to becoming more and more like a playground. It's simply in connecting with yourself without any regrets that you can enjoy your life stories.
3. Allow yourself to Grieve, then Move on
In fact, happiness has nothing to do with your life stories. But happiness and regret do not mix. In order for you to be happy and free of regret, don’t look necessarily at what you should have done differently out of judgment, just become aware that it may have been exactly the experience you wanted to have, and then allow life to move on into the next moment. ( Maintain Momentum in Life )
The best advice I have ever received and ever give is: trust your life process. Even if that includes disappointment, lack, or failure; maybe that’s what you wanted in this moment. Hasn’t every past moment, whether you’ve judged as positive or negative, brought you to this one moment right now?
The sunset some evenings is breathtaking, and sometimes you can’t see the sun shine through the clouds when it goes to set for that night, but doesn’t the sun every night even if you can’t see it. And if every night it was so glorious, there would be no such thing as an extra spectacular sunset?
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