6 Questions to Help You Avoid Regret and Live with Greater Clarity in 2016

I hate regret. It’s an awful feeling. As I look back on this past year, if I’m really honest, I have some regrets. There are some things I did well, but there are also some things I wish I could go back and do differently. There are areas of my life I wish I’d given more attention, and others I wish I had focused a lot less on. My disdain for regret is one of the reasons I have a love-hate relationship with the end of the year. The end of the year is a time to look back as we prepare to move forward. This is not always a painless exercise. It takes courage to look in the review mirror and honestly assess what we see, but I believe it’s absolutely necessary if we are to live next year better than the last. And that of course is the beauty of a new year. It is a chance to start over. The beginning of a new year bring with it the opportunity to learn from our mistakes, to turn the page and to begin a new chapter.

So for those who like me want to live this next year better than the last, this post is for you. And to make this personal and prove I’m not just blowing smoke, I’ve also included some brief reflections in italics on how I am applying these to my own life in the coming year.

Here are 6 questions to help you avoid regret and live with greater clarity in 2016:

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Jesus And Cynicism

CynicHave you ever been around a cynic?

I’m not talking about a critical thinker or a skeptic. Those are different. I’m talking about a cynic: someone who typically assumes the worst of people and their intentions for doing what they do; a person who sees the flaws in just about everything and goes out of his or her way to point them out. You know the kind I’m talking about? Have you ever had a cynic focus his negativity your way?

If so, I am going to guess you probably just had an emotional response to that question. Chances are that emotional response wasn’t a positive one. Perhaps it brings to memory a time when you felt your family, your work, or your character were unfairly criticized. Perhaps it brings back feelings of hurt, betrayal, or insecurity. Those can stick around for a long time, can’t they?