No More Regrets!

30 Ways to Greater Happiness and Meaning in Your Life

Marc Muchnick (Author)

Publication date: 12/13/2010

Bestseller over 155,000+ copies sold

No More Regrets!

This down to earth, witty, and heartfelt book offers an insightful analysis of why we have regrets and a comprehensive approach for ending them.

  • By the coauthor of the bestseller The Leadership Pill

  • Offers an insightful analysis of why we have regrets and a comprehensive approach for ending them

  • Muchnick brings his ideas to life through inspiring, funny, and moving true stories

We all want to live a life without regrets, but few of us succeed. Certainly whenever we do something we wish we hadn't -- or don't do something we wish we had -- we vow it won't happen again. But do we ask ourselves why it happened in the first place?

Inspired by the final conversation author Marc Muchnick had with a friend who died too young, No More Regrets! explores the deeper pitfalls and the themes they have in common. We get stuck in ruts and become prisoners of our habits and circumstances. We take the good people and things around us for granted. We lose our authenticity and at times fail to live true to ourselves. We stop growing, learning, and evolving. We become overly self-absorbed, insensitive, and judgmental.

The thirty ways to greater happiness and meaning outlined in this book are expressly designed to help you avoid these sources of regret. Just one or two of these insights could potentially change your life. Taken together, what Muchnick offers here is nothing less than a comprehensive approach to banishing regret forever. His suggestions are straightforward, thoughtful, and easy to implement -- often just a matter of shifting your perspective, of seeing the world differently. Each is illustrated with a personal story that firmly grounds his ideas in the real world.

No More Regrets! will show you how to live in a way that allows you to confidently move forward rather than constantly look back.

 

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Overview

This down to earth, witty, and heartfelt book offers an insightful analysis of why we have regrets and a comprehensive approach for ending them.

  • By the coauthor of the bestseller The Leadership Pill

  • Offers an insightful analysis of why we have regrets and a comprehensive approach for ending them

  • Muchnick brings his ideas to life through inspiring, funny, and moving true stories

We all want to live a life without regrets, but few of us succeed. Certainly whenever we do something we wish we hadn't -- or don't do something we wish we had -- we vow it won't happen again. But do we ask ourselves why it happened in the first place?

Inspired by the final conversation author Marc Muchnick had with a friend who died too young, No More Regrets! explores the deeper pitfalls and the themes they have in common. We get stuck in ruts and become prisoners of our habits and circumstances. We take the good people and things around us for granted. We lose our authenticity and at times fail to live true to ourselves. We stop growing, learning, and evolving. We become overly self-absorbed, insensitive, and judgmental.

The thirty ways to greater happiness and meaning outlined in this book are expressly designed to help you avoid these sources of regret. Just one or two of these insights could potentially change your life. Taken together, what Muchnick offers here is nothing less than a comprehensive approach to banishing regret forever. His suggestions are straightforward, thoughtful, and easy to implement -- often just a matter of shifting your perspective, of seeing the world differently. Each is illustrated with a personal story that firmly grounds his ideas in the real world.

No More Regrets! will show you how to live in a way that allows you to confidently move forward rather than constantly look back.

 

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Meet the Author


Visit Author Page - Marc Muchnick



Dr. Marc Muchnick is a leading authority on human behavior who is on a mission to help people live life with no more regrets. His last book, The Leadership Pill (co-authored with Ken Blanchard) was named on the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, and Amazon.com best-seller lists, has sold over 125,000 copies, and has been translated into eighteen languages worldwide.

Beyond being an engaging author, Marc has been an online professor and research mentor for over fourteen years in the doctoral and masters of business administration programs at Capella University's School of Business and Technology. He has chaired over seventy doctoral dissertations and taught over 150 courses in his academic career.

In addition, Marc is a sought-after motivational speaker, life coach, and consultant. He is also the Founder of People First Group, LLC, a consulting firm serving leadeing organizations including start-ups, small and medium-sized businesses, and Fortune 500 companies, such as Dell Computers, Sony, Invitrogen, Hilton Hotels, Delta Air Lines, McDonald's, AT&T Wireless, Fidelity Investments, IBM, Bayer, Boeing, Estee Lauder Companies, Cox Communications, Zales Jewelers, Petco, Marriott Hotels, JC Penney, Republic Waste Services, Symantec, National Car Rental, the Federal Reserve Bank, Cigna Healthcare, the Central Intelligence Agency, Aveda Salons, the University of Nebraska, and the Ritz-Carlton Hotels.

Marc lives in San Diego with his wife, two children, and dog Cali and is in his nineteenth year as a Big Brother in the Big Brothers/Big Sisters Program of America. Marc is a leader, a motivator, a coach, an educator, a problem solver, and an individual who inspires others by walking his talk.

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Part One: Get Our of Your Rut

Chapter 1: Stop Doing What Isn't Working

Chapter 2: Pick a Place to Start

Chapter 3: Make Peace with Yourself

Chapter 4: Turn Adversity into Opportunity

Chapter 5: Avoid Victimitis

Chapter 6: Steer Clear of Toxic People

Part Two: Take Nothing for Granted

Chapter 7: Live Your Life the Way You Want to Be Remembered

Chapter 8: Greet the Day

Chapter 9: Stay in Touch

Chapter 10: Make Every Day Count

Chapter 11: Freeze the Moment

Chapter 12: Put Your Stuff in Perspective

Part Three: Aim for Authority

Chapter 13: Live Your Vision

Chapter 14: Listen to Your Heart

Chapter 15: Find Your Own Voice

Chapter 16: Speak Your Mind

Chapter 17: Be True to What You Value Most

Chapter 18: Pursue Your Happiness

Part Four: Stretch Yourself

Chapter 19: Give It a Shot

Chapter 20: Trust Your Inner Strength

Chapter 21: Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Chapter 22: Overcome the Obstacles

Chapter 23: Broaden Your Cultural Perspective

Chapter 24: Match Up with a Mentor

Part Five: Be a Force of Goodness

Chapter 25: Keep an Open Mind

Chapter 26: Love Unconditionally

Chapter 27: Take a Mulligan

Chapter 28: Do the Right Thing

Chapter 29: Strive to be Selfless

Chapter 30: Make the World a Better Place

Next Steps

The No More Regrets! Game Plan

Giving Back

About the Author

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Excerpt

No More Regrets!

Introduction

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.

MAE WEST

NONE OF US want to look back on life with regrets or to be that person who reflects on the past and says, “If only I would have spent more quality time with the people I love most in my life …” “If only I would have taken that vacation instead of working so much …” “If only I would have gone with my gut … ” “If only I could take back what I said … ” But how often does that person sound a lot like you and me?

Gary’s Gift

Not too long ago a good friend of mine passed away—he was in his early forties and left a lot of loving friends and family behind. Gary’s battle with cancer lasted several years, and during that time I learned what a true fighter he was. When he was first diagnosed, the doctors told him he had only a few months to live. But Gary refused to give up and remained dedicated to working hard, traveling, and most of all spending quality time with his children in the midst of grueling chemotherapy regimens. Gary had always lived life to the fullest and was a shining example of how to seize the day and live in the moment.

Six months before he died, Gary came to visit me. We sat on the back patio enjoying the beautiful summer day and reminiscing about old times. But when I asked Gary how he was feeling, he didn’t want to talk about it. Instead he asked me lots of questions—what my family had planned for vacation, how work was going, and what my dreams were for the future. Then he asked what my biggest regret was.

“My biggest regret?” I repeated.

“Yes. If there was one thing in your life that you could go back and do differently, what would it be?” he clarified.

“I need more time to think about it,” I replied, “but since you brought it up, what’s your biggest regret?”

I watched Gary’s tired face grow tormented in the uncomfortable silence that followed. Finally he spoke. “There was a girl I dated many years ago … I should have never let her go.” Gary paused, then said, “She was my soul mate, yet I didn’t realize it until twenty-three years later. When I got sick, she started calling me in the hospital. It was then that I realized what a deep connection she and I had, one that I somehow failed to recognize when I knew her back in college. I can’t help but wonder how my life would have been different with her in it, and I kick myself because now it’s too late. When people say that life is short, I literally know what they mean. As my longtime friend, you must promise me that you’ll always do your best to live your life without any more regrets. For that you will always thank me.” Gary hugged me, and I knew it was the last time I would ever have the opportunity to spend a quality afternoon with him.

Three things became clearer to me on that day than ever before:

• We all have regrets.

• Our regrets go with us to the grave.

• There is no time like the present to start living life without any more of them.

This wake-up call was Gary’s gift to me and one I now want to give to you. The choices we make in life, as well as the missed opportunities, have a profound impact on our happiness in the end. To start working toward the goal of a life with no more regrets, we first have to understand what regrets are and why we have them in the first place.

What Are Regrets?

My definition of regrets is as follows:

Regrets are the things we do that we wish we hadn’t done and the things we fail to do that we wish we had done, both of which result in unhappiness, disappointment, or remorse.

In other words, regrets are all about our actions and inactions. Therefore, regrets are about our behaviors and the feelings of unhappiness, disappointment, or remorse we attach to those behaviors. For example, if you’ve ever broken a promise, acted inconsistently with your values, made poor choices, or hurt someone as a result of what you’ve said or done (or failed to say or do), it was your behaviors that led to your feelings of regret.

Understanding regret as a product of our behaviors has direct implications for how we make decisions. Typically we bring a number of elements into our decision-making framework, such as timing, context, opportunity, cost, how we’ll feel about the decision after it is made, what the impact will be, and so on.

What this book brings to the table is that for every decision we make, we must also ask the following two behavioral questions as a standard part of our decision-making process:

• Will I have regrets if I do it (or don’t do it)?

• Will I avoid having regrets if I do it (or don’t do it)?

For example, will it cause a fight with my wife? Will I cut it too close to make it to my destination? Will he forgive me if I do it? If I don’t speak up now, will I regret it forever? The takeaway here is that many of the decisions we make need to take into account the regret factor. Be sure to ask yourself these two behavior-focused questions as you make decisions going forward if you want to have a life with no more regrets.

Keep in mind that regrets are not necessarily the same as mistakes. We can learn a lot from our mistakes, but we don’t necessarily have to regret them. In fact, some of the best lessons in life come from making mistakes. Essentially, our regrets and our mistakes can differ by the positive or negative feelings we attribute to them. While we will all make mistakes, the key is to avoid making mistakes that we ultimately regret.

One additional aspect of understanding regrets is that our regrets have some common themes, though the sources of our individual regrets are unique to each of us:

• We get stuck in ruts and become prisoners to our regrets.

• We take some things or people for granted.

• We sacrifice our authenticity.

• We stop growing, learning, and evolving.

• We become overly self-absorbed, insensitive, and judgmental.

What This Book Offers

The thirty ways to greater happiness and meaning that I present to you in this book are divided into five overarching strategies for having no more regrets, each of which is based on an identified theme of regret:

1. Get out of your rut.

2. Take nothing for granted.

3. Aim for authenticity.

4. Stretch yourself.

5. Be a force of goodness.

I am confident that out of the thirty ways I offer for living life with no more regrets, at least a few chapters will really resonate with you. Just one or two new insights can be the key to greater happiness and meaning in your life, career, and relationships. In other words, choosing just one action or new way of doing things can lead to a potentially life-changing moment. For example, when you’re stuck in a rut, learning a new way to look at that situation might help you get out of the rut and change your trajectory. Likewise, if you view yourself as being a victim of your circumstances, focusing on what is within your control is empowering and can make you realize that you can break out of this state of mind.

Making the Most of This Book

So here’s how to use this book: first, you can use it for yourself, at work, in your career, with your family, or in your relationships. As you are reading each chapter, evaluate how well the message fits for you. If it’s a good fit, ask the following:

• What insights does it provide?

• What does it inspire you to stop doing or start doing?

• How will this impact your life?

Next, for a chapter that you feel would be a better fit for someone else in your life, be sure to share it with that person and encourage him or her to take action. Then move on to the next chapter because the key to living your life with no more regrets is there, just waiting to be revealed. At the back of the book, I’ve also provided easy-to-follow next steps for taking action along with a No More Regrets! Game Plan tool that I think you will find useful.

Finally, make “No More Regrets!” both your credo and your commitment for the future—avoid repeating past regrets and prevent new ones from occurring. Following are my stories, many of them personal, about what it means to do just that. My goal is to get you to reflect on your own stories of when you’ve been stuck in a rut, taken something or someone for granted, struggled with being authentic, stopped growing or learning, or needed a reminder of how to be a force of goodness in the world. I encourage you to share these experiences with me and a growing community of enthusiastic readers on the official book Web site: http://www.no-more-regrets.com .

I look forward to hearing from you!

None of us want to
look back on life
with regrets.

What is your biggest regret in life and how did it impact you?

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Endorsements

"Required reading for anyone who is seeking a life rich in happiness. When you start living your life without regrets, life is good!"

-- Marshall Goldsmith, author of the New York Times bestsellers What Got You Here Won't Get You There and Mojo

"Frankly, I doubt there is one person who would not benefit from reading Marc's thirty down-to-earth, common-sense-loaded suggestions to find greater happiness and meaning in one's life."

-- Colleen Barrett, President Emeritus, Southwest Airlines Co.

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