Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Living Your Dreams or Living In Regret

"How much better to know that we have dared to live our dreams than to live our lives in a lethargy of regret." -- Gilbert Caplin

This quotation was waiting for me this morning when I opened my "baby blues" to start a new day. Today is not a particularly inspiring day as far as the weather goes. It's cold and there is either rain, sleet or freezing rain or a combination of two or more of them falling all day. But, that's okay because I'm out of the rain and in a warm, protected environment. This weather doesn't really bother me too much because I know it could be a lot worse and I also know it's going to change. As a matter of fact, tomorrow it's supposed to be sunny with moderate temperatures.

So I was inspired by these words and I've said similar things in this blog in the past. I've reminded you that this gift of life we have is only for a brief window in an infinite continuum of time. It's a miracle to be born. And, for most of us, we have no idea when or how we'll die and leave this life. So, the only time we have is NOW! Yet, so many, I dare say, the vast majority of the human species allow this life to speed by, filled with doing things that do not resemble our true dreams until one day we are caught up in this, so-called, lethargy of regret. Thoreau wrote in Walden, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind."

Of course we are so caught up in our busy lives of doing whatever it is that keeps us so busy and from our dreams that we don't realize our despair and desperation . . . well, not until it's usually too late to go back. "All the world's a stage and all the men and women  merely players . . ." From Shakespeare's, As You Like It. And, as I've also said before, this is it, there are no dress rehearsals and no do-overs.

As I continued through my morning emails and various blog and ezine feeds, I found one from my long time friend, speaker and author, Tim Connor. I guess Tim and I go back about 32 or 33 years. Tim is a sales trainer. He wrote a book titled Soft Sell. Back around 1980 or so, I worked with Tim in producing an audio version of the book. He is one of the most prolific writers I've ever met. I lovingly say that Tim Connor is a writing fool - but I say that with love and respect because he loves to write, he writes from his heart, he puts his soul into his work and he loves to help other people and see them succeed in life.

The title of Tim's ezine article this morning is The Seasons of Life. I highly recommend that you read the entire article that you can find here. There are important points about living the dreams and not living with regrets. One of the things that Tim did (and does so well) is create a list of important things to consider about whatever his topic might be. Today's article had a list of things to consider and I'm reprinting that list here with his permission.

-Always be reading, learning and growing.
-Make no assumptions.
-Don’t take anything personally.
-Don’t let circumstances determine your behaviors and attitudes.
-Always do your best.
-Turn off outside negative influences.
-Surround yourself with the right people.
-Accept that failure and problems are normal.
-Learn to see failure, disappointment and adversity as learning tools.
-Don’t let others push your emotional buttons.
-Life isn’t about what’s happening but how you learn from what’s happening.
-Optimism is a better life approach than pessimism.
-Success and achievements do not define you.
-Life is about relationships and not stuff.
-Life isn’t about getting but giving.
-There is no such thing as future security – it’s an illusion.
-Fear is the number one negative influence that must be managed.
-Have fun and laugh a lot no matter what is going on.
-Stress isn’t what’s happening but how you react to what’s happening.
-Never stop dreaming.
-Age is just a number. We are all going to get old but we don’t have to grow old.
-Control what you can and let go of what you can’t control.
-What you believe defines you.
-Your thoughts become circumstances.
-The past is dead – let it go.  Stay in the present – it’s all you have.
-Manage your expectations – all disappointment is caused by unmanaged expectations.
-Trust God every minute of every day.
-Be filled with appreciation and gratitude every moment.
-Take full responsibility for your life.
-Do what you love with passion, enthusiasm and courage.
-You can’t push the river.  Relax.

 Don't you just love lists? I am either throwing them at you or having you create your own lists. Listen, I can't remember everything on all these lists. I have to review the lists I make for myself, so I cut myself some slack just as you should. Each of Tim's considerations are tiny nuggets of simple wisdom. Most likely you are familiar with all or at least some of them. But, they are in Tim's article and posted here not as a directive, but as a reminder. These are the kinds of things, because we know about them, that we tend to often take for granted and they get caught up in the undertow of life circumstances. So, they are here for you to review. Some you may actually be living, others you needed a reminder to adjust your attitude and your priorities. Use them as you will.

Tim has a wealth of information available, and while he's not paying me for an endorsement, if you need some inspiration or maybe a bit of a kick in the hindquarters to get your "mojo" up again I recommend, without reservation, that you visit Tim Connor's Web site at www.timconnor.com. You can even email him directly, if you'd like to at tim@timconnor.com.

Now, get up off your lethargic apathy and go live your dreams. 

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