One of the most time-honored traditions amongst childhood games is the right to the do-over. This right is invoked in many circumstances and situations, much like the venerable triple-dog dare. The child’s secret code acknowledges that all must adhere to it. Is there a dispute that cannot be settled? A do-over fixes this problem. Did someone not know the rules? A do-over fixes this problem as well. Did a child simply goof up? Do-overs are honored even if some other kids grunt, sigh, and complain. One can make a fuss, but in the end, one must honor the do-over.
Often, children who ask for the do-over are not only admitting they made a mistake, but also exhibiting confidence that in their next attempt they will learn from that mistake and do better.
As adults, we learn that the child’s code for do-overs does not apply as easily as it did in our youth. When mistakes are made, the solutions to remedy the problem take far more than a simple request for a do-over. While many mistakes cannot be undone, far too many adults think their past mistakes have confined them to their current status forever. What many of these individuals need is a simple do-over.
Time and Do-Overs
When people are unsatisfied with their lives, they have a tendency to look back at the pivotal decisions and wonder how their life might have turned out if they had made different choices. They fixate on that point in time and imagine the alternate life that would have developed had they made a different decision. When one is unhappy with their life, it is easy to fall prey to this mindset.
The problem is, individuals stuck in this mindset are in some way accepting that the game (their life) is over. They feel that because they cannot go back in time and change these events, all is lost. Instead of lamenting the decision not to pursue a certain career 20 years ago, they should be focusing on what they can do today to escape similar regrets 20 years from now. After all, you will never change the past, but your actions today will impact your future.
Asking for a Do-over in Your Career
Most children who ask for a do-over are not afraid and immediately try to learn from the past experience and improve. Why shouldn’t the same attitude apply to you? You can give yourself a do-over and start pursuing anything you would like to in life.
This may sound overly simplistic and naïve, but you have incredible power to shape your own destiny through the choices you make. This is just one small moment in time. Just as the decision you regret helped create the place you find yourself in today, the decisions of today will create what the future holds for you.
Naturally you will have fears and want to make excuses. These are likely the same fears and excuses that led to the regrets you are obsessing about today. Fears and excuses do not make you special, overcoming fear does.
You have learned so many lessons between that point you regret and today. Take that experience and change the equation of your life. Your future self will thank you for making a decision that you likely will never regret!
By Mark Justice
Rich Dad® Education Elite Training Mentor