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Editor's Note

Feeling behind in life?

Have you ever felt so far behind in life that you’re wondering where it all went wrong? Or perhaps you’re afraid that you took some wrong turns, and you’re starting to regret the decisions that have shaped your entire life so far?

While it’s natural to regret particular events or actions that you’re not proud of, getting trapped in a spiral of regret will only damage your character and leave you feeling behind without a clear way forward.

If you’re feeling behind in life, there are two things you can do right now to stop torturing yourself and wasting more time living in regret. Let’s look at them now.


Let go of the things you can’t control. 

Far too often, people spend time ruminating over things and events that have shaped their lives that they have been unable to control. Stoic philosopher Epictetus told us:

“The chief task in life is simply this: “To identify and separate matters so that I can say clearly to myself which are externals not under my control, and which have to do with the choices I actually control.” -Epictetus

It’s a sad reality that so many of us work ourselves into a state of depression over things that we cannot influence. Whether it’s other people’s opinions, the global economic situation, or a mistake in our past, worrying about things that we have no control over will leave us feeling behind.

To liberate yourself from such thinking, you need to let go of the things you can’t control and focus instead on your response to a particular situation.

Investing your energy into the things you can control allows you to stay focused on your goals and prevents you from getting caught up in negative thinking that pulls you back.

Treat mistakes as opportunities for growth. 

Many of us hold ourselves to such ridiculously high standards, and we treat perfection as something we should strive for.

We treat even our most honest mistakes with disdain and punish ourselves for our poor judgment. Instead of looking to the future, punishing our mistakes and reflecting on the past leaves us feeling stuck, tied to the past, and unable to progress with our lives.

The reality is that there isn’t a person alive today that hasn’t made a mistake. Granted, some mistakes are more significant than others, but they’re mistakes all the same.

People who get ahead in life recognize mistakes as opportunities for growth. Instead of beating themselves up and repeatedly going over what they could have done differently, they evaluate their mistakes and move on.

Mistakes are an unavoidable part of life; it’s how we respond to them that defines who we really are.

Closing thoughts.

If you’re feeling behind in life, you’re not alone. It’s a common affliction that is hard to shake, but you need to realize that you’re the only person going to get you out of the rut.

If you have let go of the things you can’t control and treat your mistakes as opportunities for growth, you’re in with a great chance of getting your life back on track.

Resources for this episode (for your reference or more info!)
Self-mastery through Stoicism
Self-Discipline: The Complete Self-Discipline Masterclass


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© 2021 Merrymen.

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