When we first start out at a new job or opportunity, we are like a roaring fire. Our fire burned bright, drawing eyes and attention of others. You’ve seen that fire before. Over time the fire burns down, simmers and smolders. It’s still there, generating heat. Yet, it isn’t nearly as bright or eye-catching. It may have been tempered by time and regret.
Regret is often portrayed as a negative emotion. It can; however, be a powerful motivator. Use it to reignite the dull flame and passion within you.
According to the Harvard Business Review, the top five career regrets are as follows:
1.) I wish I hadn’t taken the job for the money.
2.) I wish I had quit earlier.
3.) I wish I had the confidence to start my own business.
4.) I wish I had used my time at school more productively.
5.) I wish I had acted on my career hunches.
These regrets can easily parlay into other areas of our lives, beyond our career. Money is often an enticing motivator, but it quickly wanes. It’s shallow. The Bible states the root of all evil is money. It brings little joy and leaves regret and disappointment in its wake. It drowns our fire, and dampens our spirits.
When we place our faith in physical things, our souls are starved for more fulfilling engagement. We discover those in meaning and challenging work. So, when we regret accepting a job for money, or being motivated by money, we can use it as kindling to ignite a fire to do more. It’s the challenge that sparks our creativity, our sense of purpose, and desire to achieve.
The second career regret on the list is, “I wish I had quit earlier.” Oftentimes the warning signs along a dangerous highway are visible. We simply ignore them. Either because we’re caught in the frenzy of the ride or we’re distracted. Either way, we must focus to observe and take in what’s happening around us. Meditation can help us be present in the moment. Keeping a journal will allow us to be reflective. All of these activities will help us become more observant. We gain clarity to see when it’s time to stop.
Risk is scary. Starting a business is not only risky, but requires confidence in your abilities. It’s akin to jumping without a parachute. Life is about risk. It’s about being ignited and on fire! Be passionate about your interests. Step out on faith and gain confidence in your abilities to transform your hobby into a profession.
Education is one of the most important aspects of one’s life. Wishing more time was spent at school being productive is the fourth regret. Despite looking back on what could have been, you can seek out new opportunities in education. You can also utilize current opportunities to seek out productive ways to grow. Ask your current employer. It’s never too late to go back to school.
The final regret stated people regretted not acting on their career hunches. Like most of the previous regrets, this one stems from looking backward, versus going forward. This is also one where gaining clarity and meditating will help. Channel those feelings of regret into a fire. Use it to motivate you to push toward the goals you want to accomplish.
Regardless of what past regret is dulling your fire, you can still ignite a fire of new opportunities.
Are you reading to ignite the spark? Reach out to me, AmyD, the Peak Performance Expert and Trainer.