When we look back on our lives, I think most folks would love a do-over on a few decisions or actions that they regret. I don’t live with many regrets, but if I could do a few things over again, I would definitely do them differently!
If I could do things differently, I would start with these:
- I would like to have been firmly committed to living a healthier lifestyle. Many of my aches, pains and health issues are directly related to the many hits I took as a ball player, the junk food that I regularly consumed and the sedentary lifestyle that I acquired the minute I was done playing ball and running track. I’m now playing catch up at 57 years of age. I’d like to have a healthier 30’s, 40’s and most definitely, in my 50’s!
- I would like to have been the reader I am today, 40 years ago. Readers are leaders and reading is one of the most impactful activities in my life. I am a better communicator, a better leader, and a better learner when I read. I’ve learned along the way that we learn best when we diversify our reading list. I’ve learned that reading novels frees my imagination and gives me a better perspective on sentence and grammatical structure. I read leadership and books to broaden my skills as a leader and a learner. And I read books that I most likely disagree with ideologically, theologically, or politically. When I do, I have a greater understanding of the world I am not connected to.
- I would like to have learned the power of gratitude in my 20’s. Nothing has changed my daily perspective more than starting my day with one simple question – What three things am I grateful for today? When I am grateful, my attitude is turned toward the Divine and I discover that what I have is more than enough.
- I would like to have practiced the art of meditation much earlier than my 50’s. For me, meditation includes a short breathing exercise that stills my heart and soul. I read a piece of scripture, read a short commentary, practice quietude to hear from the Divine and then pray over each appointment scheduled that day or an ongoing prayer list. That’s it! the last thing I add is a daily statement of affirmation.
Regret is a strong emotion. To keep it from pulling me into a weary funk, I attempt to faithfully activate my soul with these four activities each day.