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No regrets - Beazley H.

Beazley H. No regrets - Wiley publishing , 2004. - 234 p.
ISBN 0-471-21295-4
Download (direct link): noregrets2004.pdf
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Action List: Step Six
Identifying Lessons and Gifts
1. Identify the lessons of each regret
2. Identify the gifts of each regret
3. Apply the lessons and gifts for the benefit of ourselves
4. Apply the lessons and gifts for the benefit of others
Each item on the Action List is more fully described in the following paragraphs.
1. Identify the Lessons of Each Regret
To identify the lessons of our regrets, we have to consider both the lessons that we have actually learned and the lessons that we can still learn if we
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recognize and act on them. Most of us are aware of the lessons that our regrets have taught us. But we may be much less aware of the lessons that we might still learn from our regrets. This Action List item, therefore, consists of two parts: identifying the lessons of which we are aware and identifying the potential lessons of which we are still unaware.
Lessons I Have Learned
In journaling for this Action List item, describe the lessons you have learned from the events of each regret. The more lessons you can list, the greater the value your regret will have. This list of lessons should include small lessons as well as big ones. Many of these lessons will be obvious to you, but some may not be. For example, perhaps you made a commitment to enhance your work skills after you were laid off several years ago, but you had not thought of the new skills as a lesson of your regret, since they are so familiar to you now. In developing your list, seek the assistance of your confidant and others within your circle of friends. Your confidant can be especially effective in helping you mine your regrets for the lessons you have learned but have not recognized as coming from those regrets.
Confidants and friends can also help you test the validity of those lessons and prevent you from drawing the wrong lesson from the events of a regret. For example, an executive stole from his company and the embezzlement was discovered. He concluded that the lesson of his regret was that he should have been cleverer in designing his embezzlement scheme. That was the wrong lesson to draw.
Sadie’s husband, who was an alcoholic, divorced her because, according to him, she had driven him to drink with her constant complaints about his drinking. Sadie concluded that the divorce was her fault and that her husband’s drinking had been, too. Both conclusions were erroneous and so was the lesson she drew from the regret: she should have tried harder to get her husband sober and worked harder to save their marriage. But it wasn’t within her power to get her husband sober, nor had the marriage failed because of her. Sadie drew the wrong lesson from her regret, and so it was no lesson at all.
STEP SIX: IDENTIFYING LESSONS AND GIFTS 133
Lessons to Be Learned
Now that you have described the lessons of your regret, you can use them as a basis from which to search for potential lessons. Potential lessons are the lessons the regret still holds for you—valuable lessons that can benefit you now and in the future but only if you recognize and act on them. They often have to be pieced together since they are not necessarily obvious. Like conclusions drawn from many factors or concepts built from different principles, potential lessons may take time to develop. In some cases, they cannot be seen until well after the events of the regret.
The following examples will get you started on creating a list of potential lessons from your regret:
• “I learned that seeking revenge was not a good idea. It did not turn out to be fulfilling, and it created even greater problems for me.”
• “I learned not to be naive in business. It isn’t a sign of distrust to have everything in writing. It just makes good business sense, because genuine misunderstandings do develop.”
• “You need to make time for the people you love. Nothing else is more important. Every time you say no to being with them, you have lost that opportunity forever.”
• “If you wait to do something until everything is just right for its success, you’ll never do it. At some point, you have to move forward even if conditions aren’t ideal.”
• “I learned to follow my intuition.”
• “I found out that you can’t always be right, and you can’t always win and that you may as well get used to it.”
• “I discovered that if you can’t learn to stand up for yourself, no one else will do it for you.”
• “I realized that those you love can be taken without warning and that there is no such thing as forever. You have to enjoy them now, every minute, while you can.”
Wisdom is often a lesson of our regrets. Much of what parents have to share with their children and what friends share with each other is gleaned
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from the harsh experience of regrets as well as from the sweet lessons of success. When regrets are studied to harvest their wisdom, they offer a rich learning field. But we have to be willing to do the spadework to find them.
2. Identify the Gifts of Each Regret
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