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Archive for the category “regrets”

Avoid living in regret by stopping to believe you have no time

Avoid living in regret by stopping to believe you have no time 

One sentence that you will surely never hear from people on their deathbed is that they wished they could have spent more time at the office when they had a chance to do so. When we regret things it is typically more about something quite opposite: Spending more time with people whom we love and value the most. It is the quality time that we often wished we could be with our key folks. This wishful thinking brings along plenty of stress. How often do you think that you have done an inferior job being a great mom or dad, aunt or uncle, etc?

This thought is also providing much of the answer: Stop the wishful thinking as soon as possible. Give your brain some time to really think about the choices that you are making every day. We are designed to live a balanced life. Then life – especially our business one – gets in our way and we no longer have time. What you are really doing to yourself is that you are telling yourself that you do not have time. But that is because you are not making an active choice to make time for the things that are important to you.

Today I received this wonderful post that helps dive deeper into the reasons behind us having such a short time horizon. https://medium.com/the-mission/if-you-dont-want-to-regret-your-life-30-years-later-make-this-one-choice-right-now-1cc137516df0 Key notion of this article is investing in more compound time instead of directing all our doing and being to short term activities and actions. It is a must read post.

So here goes your challenge: Next time that you get a chance spending more time with your loved ones, ponder what you would miss if you did not go. Now make an active choice to re-arrange your work and social schedule and make it happen. Not only does this feel great, but you will be able to live a more balanced life – without regret.



Three strategies taking control of your fears

Three strategies taking control of your fears 

Fear is one of the most powerful emotions we have. They can wreak havoc on our lives when we do not manage to deal with them properly. After all, we still have a significant choice: we either succumb to them, or choose to ignore or combat them.

Quite a few years ago I accompanied my mom on the plane rides from Germany to the States. As a family and friends will be able to testify to you, no one should travel with me as many a mishap has happened to me especially during air travel. The main flight across the Atlantic went without a hitch, although we were too late for making the correct connection at Dulles airport. We only had to go on to Philly but the only flight that would still leave that night was leaving from Baltimore.

We went on a wild taxi cab ride from airport to airport barely making it to the connection flight. Then my mom looked at the plane and froze dead in her tracks: it was a very small prop plane. “Ralf, I cannot go on that plane”, she exclaimed with a trembling voice. Say what?

It took all the convincing I could muster getting her on the plane and the only reason why she relented was that she did not want to get stuck a night at a hotel and then stay overnight in Baltimore. Once we sat down on the plane she could finally tell me what was going on. When she was a 5 year old child she survived a few air raids on the village where I used to live. It was towards the end of WWII and air raids were becoming more intense and every time that one came about and the alarms sounded she ran up the street toward the woods and hid in the ditches next to the road. It was the prop sound from the enemy air planes that she could not stand. The sound was what scared my mom absolutely witless. She was a nervous wreck the whole way to Philly.

Isn’t that amazing that the mere sound of a plane can make us do things we seemingly have no longer control over? Good news is that we do have a choice. It took me a while to process it, but mom engaged in a few choices eventually allowing her overcoming her fears.

  • She sought companionship. Having me nearby and being able confiding in me about her fears helped tremendously in overcoming the issues.
  • She took her time processing her thoughts rationally. Taking a deep breath and slowly but surely breaking the big issue into smaller bits let her mentally tippy-toe through the fears she had.
  • She confronted her fear – eventually. Conquering fear is never easy, but in the end the choice was hers. She did not allow for fear taking her choices away.

The purpose of fear is protecting us from really bad issues to happen. Unfortunately, our brains are not really suitable distinguishing between “good” and “bad” fear. Fear is fear and the ancient part of our brain aka lizard brain, typically chooses to let us fight, flight, or freeze. There is another action though that our brain is capable of taking: choosing to think rationally through the issues at hand. Make good use of it otherwise you may find yourself stranded at an airport.


Find out how to avoid letting people get to you

Find out how to avoid letting people get to you 

Photo credit: Childhood Relived

Stop letting people who do so little for you, control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions. Easier said than done, right? The problem is actually not with the person you are having an issue with. It is your own thoughts that make your life miserable.

Friend Mary Lore @ManagingThought is a battle hardened thought leader on this subject. I am totally with her assertion that you are not your thoughts. A thought is only a thought and we can learn how to shape our thoughts so they work better for us. 

The process is surprisingly simple. If you are older then you may remember the Viewmaster kids toy that featured all sorts of discs with neat pictures on them. You inserted them into the main red body of the device. Then you pulled a lever to advance to the next picture while viewing them through the lenses while holding the whole thing facing a bright light source. The significance lies in likening the discs to your thoughts. When a thought does not work for you, take that mental disc out and put another one in that works better. This mental re-framing works really well. It rests on the premise that you actively choose whether or not you allow someone to have control over your thoughts and how you feel about this.

NO ONE has power over you – power is granted. When someone is making you mad or sad realize that they are not doing that, but you are. Next time you feel getting angry etc make sure to take a deep breath and take that bad mental Viewmaster disc right out and substitute it with one that works better for you.


I can’t hear you – your actions speak louder than words

I can’t hear you – your actions speak louder than words 

Photo credit: Pablo by Buffer

What a double-edged sword this one is. There are only two ways to go about it, I think. On one hand there is not so much what you said but how you said it. If your content does not match your facial expressions, gestures and mimics than don’t be surprised if you’ll find yourself on a person to be avoided list. At a minimum you will be dealing with quite a few conflicts with people who just no longer know how to read you.

The other side of this medal is strictly that you can say what you want and how people understand you is yet another thing. And it does not even matter sometimes what you say and how, you just will never be understood – because the other person may not want to understand you. Prejudice and judgment are a 21st century infliction that probably has never been any worse in history. Social media is not improving this issue either.

The third blow comes in form of you saying one thing and your own actions differ from what you are asking other people to do or not to do. Busted! That is definitely the worst trustbuster. Read about DropBox’s CEO and how this issue snagged him.

How do you keep yourself out of trouble? Do not send out mixed body language messages and make sure your content is on target and professional. There is only so much you can do though. Be natural and honest – if some meanies still do not like you and keep misunderstanding you there is nothing you will be able to do about that. Be yourself. Period.


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