The Most Useless Emotion

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Like you, I’ve had many disappointments in life. I’ve been turned down/dumped by more than one girl (BEFORE I WAS MARRIED, LET ME BE CLEAR :))

My wife and I went through two miscarriages. As a young man, I endured one catastrophic job failure that pushed me to change careers. I’ve worked under two terrible narcissist bosses. I’ve lost very close lifelong friends. I’ve made investments where I would have been further ahead spending a quarter or two rolling out of bed at 10 am, burning a thousand dollar bill, and then watching TV for the rest of the day. We’ve all been through lots of these sorts of things, and much worse too.

When I was a fresh college grad, I interviewed for a shoo-in job located in Surrey. I knew the boss personally and sat with his board for the interview. I was stunned when they turned me down. Apparently, I wasn’t as amazing as I thought I was. So, I was forced to move to a small town in Alberta and take a job there. I loved the lower mainland and had no desire to leave. But I had to.

Experiences like these and many others seemed pointless at the time, but it’s only now with the benefit of hindsight that I see that this was all planned, and have made me the person I am today.

Without my terrible bosses, I would never have been pushed onto the path to my current job. Without living in two terrifically broken work cultures, I wouldn’t understand how teams feel when they’re locked inside one. Had I not moved to Alberta, I would never have met this wonderful gem of a lady who has been my wife for 29 years. The money I’ve lost made me wiser and helped me realize that money can be fleeting and provides no security. That only comes from God.

Back to the point of this post. The worst emotion to entertain is regret. It serves no useful purpose. Guilt can be good if you really are guilty, and if it moves you to making positive change. But the moment guilt turns to regret, it becomes an anchor that keeps you tethered to the past.

Do you regret a business decision? A relationship you mishandled/lost? A moment you would take back if you could? My advice to you is to focus on the future. Mend relationships as far as it’s possible, learn from your mistakes so you don’t make them again, and move on.

Develop the faith to believe that your failures and mistakes can make you a better person. We don’t actually learn from our victories. Learning comes from hard times and sometimes from what feels in the moment to be a catastrophe.

How do you become successful?

By making good decisions.

How do you make good decisions?

By learning good judgment.

How do you learn good judgment?

By making bad decisions.

Give up all hope of having a brighter past. Move forward today. Learn, make amends, and leave your regrets behind.

Getting ahead is about getting started!

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Written by Trevor Throness
Trevor is a veteran coach, keynote speaker, and the author of the book “The Power of People Skills” released by Career Press NY in 2017. He’s also written for or been featured in places like Forbes, Inc, The NY Post, The Globe and Mail, Entrepreneur, CEO Magazine, and numerous podcasts and interviews.


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