Have you ever done something, and you wished you never did it, you then promised you will never do it again only for you to do it again. Why did you do it? Why would someone do something that he/she knows will lead to regret?
It is not as if we don’t know what our actions will cause us to lose or suffer but we still find ourselves doing those things that we know will cause us pain. Regret comes as a result of our actions and in-actions. While the regret from an action is more common and intense, that of inaction is long lasting.
I hate regrets and so does everyone, it’s a feeling that I would never wish for my enemy. To avoid regrets, we must do what must be done and never do what we ought not to do. But in reality we have all done what we ought not to do and have also not done what we ought to do, but the beauty of life is that there is room for change, and that change should begin at the point of realization. The change may not be very effective at the beginning neither can we see the results immediately. Hence we must be patient with ourselves and continue to try and try again until there is improvement.
Now we would talk about a principle that will help us along the changing process and that is the principle of “looking deep”. Majority of the time when we are faced with challenges, we just scratch the surface for bits of information or just analyze a situation and quickly jump into conclusion before action. We forget to weigh the implication and analyze the instant gratification and the source of the stimuli.
What is the meaning of looking deep?
Anything superficial has to do with the surface of something while deep means to extend far beyond the surface. Looking deep can imply looking for understanding, looking beyond appearance, looking for implications, looking into the future, looking for chain reactions and so forth.
How it works
Once we are faced with the temptation to do something we don’t want to do? We should not rush and select just the reasons why we need to do that thing just based on our emotions and curiosity, we should also weigh outcomes, chain reactions and see reasons why we should not engage and quickly disengage, emotions are very powerful and can compel us to engage even when we know that we ought not to engage, so the earlier we flee from the stimuli, the better our chances to reason appropriately and re-strategize, so that we can change route.
But our approach will be quite different when we are faced with the problem of inaction when we ought to have acted. Inaction can be due to procrastination. We often say things like; “I should be doing this, but let me do this other one now, I will probably do the first one later”, even when we know that it is important that we do the first one now. At this point, we must prioritize and after developing our scale of preference those we cannot do now, we then add them to our action items and set a reminder to accomplish those tasks. In doing this, we should be very careful not to shift the scheduled action item for later. You have to apply self-integrity by keeping promises made in your mind to yourself even if no one will ask for a report, still do what is right at the appropriate time.
Another principle that will help in the case of inaction is self-evaluation and self-accountability. Create time each day to evaluate your actions and your in-actions (that is what you have done and what you have left undone for that day) and make plan to eliminate actions that are causing overlapping and making it impossible for you to act or not to act.
Another thing to do is avoid idleness. Idleness will kill your power to change and develop, it often leads to stagnation, it dulls your propensity to resist tempting influences to do what we ought not to do and when we do what we ought not to do it will take the time of an action item that we need to act on, and once that place is taken we will procrastinate and find it difficult to be very effective and efficient due to our inability to make use of our full potentials.
Now is the time to rise above mediocrity and take the plunge so that your life can be where you want it to be.