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Happiness – Decisions and Regrets

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Happiness – Decisions and Regrets

Post by era1213 on Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:13 am

There are a lot of things in life that make us happy, but there are also things that make us unhappy. Most of the unhappy things in our lives are down to decisions we made along the way. It might have been a snap decision about which college to attend or what subjects to major in. Maybe that girl or guy that got away. Regret is one of those things we have to contend with on our way to a happy life.

A lot of life’s regrets are down to poor decision making. How many times have you heard about people wishing they could go back and change one thing or with hindsight they would have done things differently? Professor Sonya Lyubomirsky talks about how we need to “think and not blink” when making decisions that affect our lives and happiness.

This basically means that before making any major decision we should think deliberately about all the consequences before coming to a final decision, instead of making an automatic judgement. By weighing the future consequences of our decisions we can hopefully avoid regret later down the line. Automatic decisions do turn out to be great calls sometimes but these are usually snap decisions on things we have a lot of experience or knowledge about.

For example, asking your girlfriend to marry you. For some people they wake up one day and decide that they want to marry their partner. It’s a pretty quick decision. However, its decision they are making with a whole host of knowledge.

While correct decision making can give us a happier life there are always times when we get it wrong. This leads to negative memories and regrets. A lot of people struggle with regrets and they hold them back from experiencing a full and happy life. By dwelling on our mistakes or lost dreams we not only lower our Happiness Set Point but also struggle to move on to better things in life.

It’s a proven fact that reliving or thinking about the good times in our lives makes us happier, dwelling on the negative moments has the opposite effect. When you need a little mental boost there is nothing better than thinking about a past triumph or a time in our lives that filled us with joy. When considering our negative emotions and regrets we need to be careful we don’t dwell too much on them.

When we approach a regret such as a lost dream, perhaps you were a promising quarterback before a high school injury ended your chances of taking it any further, we need to consider it in an open, philosophical fashion. Don’t dwell on the negative emotions that are tied up in the regret but rather confront that regret.

Reshaping your identity away from the regret is a major step in the right direction. Rather than considering yourself as a promising athlete who never got the chance to fulfil your potential, consider the other things in your life. Perhaps you would never have gone on to college and studied what you did, met your wife, had your kids. Reshape your identity to the good things in your life and you will become a happier and more complete person.

As cliché as it may sound, life is a journey. When considering regrets, look at your life as whole: where you’ve been, where you are now and where you are going. Dwelling on one or two negative things is doing yourself a massive injustice and looking at the true map of your life will help you become a happier person.

As an additional resource, watch this free video presentation on finding your own inner place of unconditional peace and happiness
And if you'd like the full, step-by-step, blueprint to manifesting your desires, take a look at my free video right here:
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Curious Child
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