A curious thought woke me up in the middle of the night recently. OK, it was ambulance sirens that actually woke me up, but the curious thought is what kept me up. “That could easily be me.”
Yikes! I came to grips with my own mortality at age 36 at 4:00 in the morning. That was…strange.
Not that I thought I was immortal. I figured I’d probably die someday. It just never occurred to me that it would be in my lifetime.
So, there I lie (or is it “lay?” Where is my grandmother when I need her?) in the early morning hours, pondering my own mortality. Pleasant.
What If You Died Today?
I’m not trying to be morbid. I’m just being realistic. It’s possible.
The question is: Would you die with regrets?
My answer was a resounding yes, unfortunately. I would die with regrets. Many of them.
Even worse, I am currently living with regrets. And that is far worse.
My 4:00 AM brain might not be the smartest knife in the place where they keep knives but as I tossed and turned and pondered, the question that finally popped in my head was this:
How Do You Live a Life Without Regrets?
And the answer came as quickly as the question:
Do what you say you’re going to do.
It is THAT simple.
If you say you are going to be at your kid’s game, show up.
If you say you are going to exercise tomorrow, exercise.
If you say you are going to spend more time reading, spend more time reading.
Do what you say you’re going to do and you will have no regrets.
The 4:00 AM me argued at the simplicity, but I soon realized that every regret in my life is the result of not doing what I said I was going to do.
My regrets are nothing more than a list of failures to keep commitments.
Keep your commitments and you will have no regrets.
Why We Don’t Keep Our Commitments
Why don’t we keep our commitments?
I don’t know.
What? You were expecting a life-changing answer? Sorry. I really don’t know. Maybe I should stay at a Holiday Inn Express tonight!
Actually, I think it’s for three reasons, but I can only speak for myself.
1. Keeping Commitments Requires Focus
The reality of our world today is that the shiniest object wins our attention.
So, when your boss asks you to stay late to work on that “important project,” it wins out over the ball game that’s been on your schedule for weeks.
This makes keeping commitments a challenge. It’s easier to chase whatever is in front of you than to focus on what is important.
2. Keeping Commitments Requires Resolve
We humans don’t like to admit it but we are wired to take the path of least resistance.
I don’t know if it’s evolutionary or what, but when given the choice, we choose the easiest route. But keeping your commitments requires resolve.
In the example above with a boss asking you to stay late, the easiest thing to do is to say yes when he asks you to stay late. After all, he could fire you and your family will forgive you, right? Maybe.
But what about how you will feel? Will you regret that choice later? Probably.
3. Keeping Commitments Requires a Plan
I don’t like it and according to an informal study, only weird people like the act of planning. I do, however, like having planned. The problem is actually doing it.
What’s your plan for when your boss asks you to work late?
What’s your plan for making sure you are able to workout tomorrow?
What’s your plan for losing the weight, increasing your income, spending more time with your family, reading those books, or passing that class?
Without a plan, keeping commitments is impossible.
Without a plan, doing what you say you do is just a dream, not a potential reality.
Without a plan, you will live with regrets.
That’s why I recommend finding something…anything…that will show you how to create a plan to help you keep your commitments. I’ve found mine and I’m doing it for the THIRD time this year.
It’s called Five Days to Your Best Year Ever by Michael Hyatt. I’ll keep this super short and just say this:
If you already have a plan to help you set and reach your goals (commitments), you don’t need this course. Seriously.
Listen, if THIS plan doesn’t work for you (it might not…Michael’s style isn’t for everyone), just return it with no hard feelings. No risk to you.
It’s time to live a life of no regrets!
Go get Five Days to Your Best Year Ever now and make 2016 the year of NO REGRETS!
Question: What’s keeping you from keeping your commitments? You can leave a comment by clicking here.