Tag Archives: Inspirational

Vignette 3: Regret

There is a really good song out right now that seems to be hitting all sorts of emotional chords with people. The song is called “Let Her Go” by Passenger.

It has been out for a while. I first caught wind of it as a background song for a YouTube video of a girl’s tweets compiled from the moment she arrived in Ottawa to her being diagnosed with cancer, and her final tweet before she passed away. Very powerful stuff.

She expressed the desire to actually live her last three months, travel to South America, reconnect with her mother, and not spend it in a cubical.

The song is very appropriate to the video, and for the this post’s topic of Regret.

The song hauntingly echoes the sentiments of a person who breaks up with their girlfriend. The chorus uses the low burning of a candle, the sun’s heat versus the winter’s chill, distance from home and happiness in contrast to sadness as analogous to being with this person versus losing them.

We often are not grateful for the things and people around us until we lost them.

Regret in all of its various forms can be a weight that some of us carry for a very many number of years; indeed, many spend a lifetime swallowed in its hollow caverns.

How do we tackle regret? I believe there are two way: Growth Mind and Carpe Diem.

First, I have talked a very many number of times about the attitude a growth mindset fosters. Put simply: the Growth Mindset allows us to learn from our past experiences, be they mistakes, failures, or even missed opportunities.

Rather than wallowing in regret, we should channel our focus on these experiences into bettering ourselves the next time we encounter them.

The second method, Carpe Diem, is much more pertinent to the Twitter Compilation video. Carpe Diem, a Latin phrase, means “seize the day”; don’t let any opportunities slip past you. Almost always be prepared to say “yes” when new opportunities present themselves to you.

For the girl in the twitter video, unfortunately it was when she was presented with the reality of a significantly shortened lifespan; she immediately reassessed her priorities and, Carpe Diem, went to South America and Cuba. The rest of us should keep in mind our fortune of health and take full advantage of it. I don’t mean run off to Spain on a whim, but certainly don’t let great opportunities pass you by due to fear or laziness.

Regret is a lot worse than failure. Be a doer more often than not. It will change your life. Think about Jia Jiang and his 100 Days of Rejection, where spent 100 days requesting ridiculous favours from strangers and how he was sometimes pleasantly surprised, such as his wonderful Donut story.

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3. Rejection Therapy

I hope you enjoyed the Sunday entry on Rejection. The TEDTalk speaker, Jia Jiang, did an eloquent job at showing the effectiveness of rejection therapy and its inspirational side-effects (putting yourself out there and breaking the chain of self-defeating regret!) You can read more about Rejection Therapy at Jason Comely’s website.

I have been practicing Rejection Therapy on my own through my own small ways. As Jia Jiang points out, you don’t have to be rejected by something huge; it can be as small as asking for a strange donut order at a restaurant.

I have done minor rejection therapy sessions for myself. These have been mostly on the small scale (save for a couple of more ambitious tasks).

I asked the security guard at my best friend’s condo if I could have some of his food; he raised an eyebrow and said in a deadpan tone “Are you serious?” It was a “no” but we all did get a chuckle out of it. One of the benefits of rejection therapy, particularly if you request ridiculous things, are moments of laughter, which funny enough lead to the OPPOSITE of the anxiety which is typically associated with rejection. Never forget that sometimes those supposedly awkward and anxiety inducing moments can lead to bonding moments and bring us joy. This was a positive outcome from this tiny interaction.

I also tried shooting for the moon a couple of times and got rejected for my writing. I had written a science poem and a political short story; I sent the science poem to a famous science magazine and the short story to a Canadian author and political figure.

I had asked the science magazine if they were interested in publishing the poem: no reply. I am sitting here, reflecting on this experience; I kind of knew that the request was completely ridiculous, but I would have regretted not sending it to them.

The author said he would look at my short story but he has yet to get back to me. I don’t think that he will get back to me, but I have gotten constructive feedback from friends on how to improve the story and where to add details.

I realized, in both instances, that I was not disheartened, but rather thankful that I did take the steps to get my writing out there. It may not have gotten anywhere yet, but even the great Dr Seuss was rejected time and time again before his manuscripts got published.

Rejection therapy is a humbling experience but also one that allows you to live your life without regrets. It is something we should all practice and preach!

That about does it for me today, but before I go:

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Tony Burkinshaw for liking my post on Rejection. Being new to this, I am grateful for any and all support. Check out his blog post on how to prioritize a to-do list, and how to have a much more relaxed Holiday season (I realize the Holiday season has just ended, but it is applicable for the entire year!)

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Picture source: https://www.facebook.com/Gav.Nascimento

2. Surprising Lessons From 100 Days of Rejection: Jia Jiang at TEDxAustin

Ever feel horrified at the thought of getting rejected? So much so that you will not even put in the effort to try it out in the first place? The first resource I would like to share with you is this fantastic video of Jia Jiang and his inspirational message: Get rejected! And see what happens!
Hint: You won’t die! The world will not implode in on itself! You learn, and move on! Simple enough? Watch the video and see what magic Rejection Therapy weaves!