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Five Reasons You Might Miss Out in Life2011.03.07

    In his long career as a Catholic priest, a man who had attended the last rites for many people remarked that few of them regretted what they had done in life, yet many regretted what they failed to do.


    That is a powerful warning for the rest of us. When your time is up, or even if you have a close call, you will not long for the hours at the office. You will not regret that you did not come in first place in the rat race. Hopefully, you will appreciate the significance of your life before you get to the end of it.


    Yet many people miss out in life. That is not to say that they fail to achieve success in the conventional sense. Rather they miss the opportunity to lead a meaningful life, one that measures well against the time which they were allotted.


    In the past when there were fewer choices in life, people had to struggle to find a meaningful path, often in the face of resistance of family, friends, and society. Today the world is smaller and more accessible. There are more choices, more options, more alternatives, more distractions, and more ways than ever to get confused about your path in life.


    People often say they really want to do something, take lessons, learn new skills, or start a new business. But more often than not this remains a wish, something vaguely wanting, but not willing to commit to and make happen.


    It strikes me that there are five big reasons you might miss out in life, and many little reasons that nest beneath them. They all have to do with the perception or assumption of lack, not having enough clarity, time, energy, focus, or resources to get what you want in life. It may be easier than you think if shift your mindset from wanting to willing.


    Lack of clarity. “If you don’t know where you are going,” said the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland, “Any road will get you there.” In other words, without meaning, without a reason for your chosen path, it makes no difference what you do. One of the simplest and most effective ways to gain more clarity is to write down your thoughts and ideas in a notebook. Make a wish list, draw up a life plan, keep a diary. Recording your thoughts helps you reflect, see yourself as in a mirror, and gain clarity on your path.


    Lack of time. In Japanese the character for busy is 忙 (meaning the mind is lost 亡). Busy is a state of mind, more than it is a full schedule. You can be relatively idle, and still suffer from a monkey mind, or inability to concentrate. A good way to bring yourself back down to earth is to focus on what is important, rather than being pulled apart by what is urgent. You cannot please everybody. You cannot do everything. Just don’t miss out on doing what is important.


    Lack of energy. Ultimately what you achieve depends on how much energy you have. Energy is the great multiplier. A small increase in energy can achieve a great deal. But if your energy drops to zero it all comes to nothing. You pay a heavy price for chronic fatigue. While the elements of rest, food, water, and exercise can make a big difference, energy is really about the mind-body connection. When you are fully engaged you never get tired. To learn how to fully engage, study the Art of Physical Finesse,


    Lack of focus. It is hard to be committed to something when you are disorganized, or cannot control the demands on your time and energy. Living in a state of constant distraction, absorbing your world in snippets, tweets, and short encounters, it is difficult to build the kind of momentum needed to create or cultivate anything of lasting value. To achieve results, Peter Drucker recommended repetition in minimum blocks of 2-hours of uninterrupted time. Start by seeing if you can stick with a task for 30 minutes on a regular basis, and you will gain momentum and get greater results over time.


    Lack of resources. This is the last bastion of excuses. It is easy to justify inaction based on not having enough money, ideas, contacts, support, the list is endless. Even having plenty of resources is not enough, because they often go unused or wasted. The opportunities are there if you see the glass as half-full rather than half-empty, if you open your eyes and become resourceful.


    So it turns out that there are just as many reasons you might NOT miss out in life, if you cultivate a mindset of abundance and accessibility, making the most of what you have, and seizing opportunity when you find it.



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    Article Writer

    William Reed

    William Reed is a renowned author-speaker who coaches physical finesse and flexible focus for a creative career path. A certified Master Trainer in Guerrilla Marketing and 7th-dan in Aikido, he combines practical wisdom of East and West to help you learn personal branding at the Entrepreneurs Creative Edge.

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