Twelve Lessons You Learn Or Regret Forever!

John J. Stathas, Ph.D., LMFT

I bring a particular philosophical perspective to life. It begins with the challenge to be the best person I can be, to develop my talents to their fullest extent. I want to experience all that life can possibly present. I want to give back. I want to live in such a way that I have no regrets. To live this life I try to continually learn about what it takes to “max out” on the short journey that I have in this world. I truly believe the Socratic statement that “the unexamined life is not worth living”.

That said, I recently read an article that fit nicely into the perspective above. The article is entitled “12 Lessons You Learn Or Regret Forever”. It was written by Dr. Travis Bradberry. You can understand why the title caught my attention – and, hopefully, catches yours, Respected Reader. The intent of the article is to assist the reader to be successful. The “Lessons” follow, with added commentary by this writer.

  1. CONFIDENCE MUST COME FIRST: It takes confidence to reach new challenges. People who are fearful or insecure tend to stay within their comfort zones. But comfort zones do not expand on their own. Self doubt stifles.
  2. YOU’RE LIVING THE LIFE YOU CREATED: You are not a victim of circumstance. Don’t play the victim card. You can create the future you want. It is up to you to overcome where you are stuck and any obstacles in your way.
  3. BEING BUSY DOES NOT EQUAL BEING PRODUCTIVE: Success does not come from sheer movement and activity. It comes from focus on goals, time management, and prioritized efforts.
  4. YOU’RE ONLY AS GOOD AS THOSE YOU ASSOCIATE WITH: This is a big one. You need to associate with those people who inspire you, people who make you want to be better. Shed those people who drag you down in any shape or form.
  5. DON’T SAY YES UNLESS YOU REALLY WANT TO: Saying no is a challenge for many people pleasers. Stick to your guns, your plan, your direction. Be able to say no to that which interferes with your goal.
  6. SQUASH YOUR NEGATIVE SELF TALK: Negative self talk is self defeating. If you are not your own champion you become less capable of bringing out your best to a situation. Pessimists tend to do this to themselves. Optimists are their own cheerleaders. “Go self!”
  7. AVOID ASKING “WHAT IF?”: “What if” throws fuel on the fire of stress and worry, which are detrimental to reaching your goals. Focus on realistic achievable goals without the detour of “what if”.
  8. SCHEDULE EXERCISE AND SLEEP: Productive lives use good time management based on priorities.  First exercise: exercise lowers stress and gives more energy to reach goals. Doing this regularly leads to more self confidence and more competence socially, academically, and job performance. Sleep is necessary to get rid of toxic proteins in the brain which impair your ability to think clearly. It helps the brain reconfigure for optimal
  9. SEEK OUT SMALL VICTORIES: Small victories build new androgen receptors in the areas of the brain responsible for reward and motivation. Thus, confidence increases and eagerness to take on new challenges builds.
  10. DON’T SEEK PERFECTION: Perfection does not exist. If you choose it for a goal you will continually be disappointed and have a sense of failure. Thus, your confidence, and will to go after it, will dwindle. When you miss the mark, say to yourself one of my favorite sayings, “I don’t lose (fail), I learn!”
  11. FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS: Be positive and be pragmatic searching for solutions that work. Doing this creates a sense of personal efficacy that produces positive emotions and better performance.
  12. FORGIVE YOURSELF: When you get down on yourself and don’t forgive yourself for mistakes made, you allow negative thinking and emotions to continue to affect your capacity for excellence. Self esteem and confidence diminish. You owe yourself more. Love yourself and the ability to forgive yourself increases.

I hope the above “lessons” speak to you, remind you, and increase your ability to live them out with some degree of consistency. It is worth the effort!

“The unexamined life is not worth living”   Socrates

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