The Overlooked Practice for a Better Future

When I was in my early 20s, I started experiencing weird symptoms in my legs. They would tingle. They would randomly fall asleep. My left heel would ache.

Thankfully, Google didn’t exist in that ancient world (27 years ago), so I imagined my worst-case scenarios instead of googling them. After months of anxiety, I went to a doctor. My diagnosis was simple. “You have gained too much weight, inflaming your sciatic nerve.”

My extra weight negatively impacted my physical, mental, emotional, and relational health. 

While it is usually not physical, most leaders carry the weight of regret. They brood over financial losses. They bemoan horrible decisions. They mourn their broken dreams. 

It negatively impacts their physical, mental, emotional, and relational health and undermines their leadership. 

One of my positive mental health exercises is to listen to encouraging podcasts. And this week, I heard an interview with Neil Pasricha, author of The Happiness Equation. 

Neil encourages people to begin their days by finishing three prompts. I will let go of . . . I am grateful for . . . I will focus on . . . 

I have written about the last two in previous blogs but neglected the first. 

Neil explained it this way, “Did you know almost every world religion has a form of confession baked into the religious practice? Thousands-of-year-old doctrines across the world, and they all think that this is important. 

But the fastest-growing religion right now in the United States and Canada is NONE. (According to National Geographic, the fast-growing faith in this continent is NONE.)

I don’t have a judgment or opinion one way or the other, but I will say to look at the science. Dr. Brassen wrote a report in Science Magazine called Don’t Look Back in Anger. It says the same thing. When you can crystallize and eject a regret, you’ll live your life with more contentment. 

Once you’ve cleansed your brain of the thing that’s been bothering you, it takes it out of your mind for the day.”

So, if you are serious about moving into 2023 with a more positive mindset, you’ll need to let go of your mistakes, failures, foibles, and follies.  

Set a timer for 5 minutes. Grab your journal. Finish the sentence, “I will let go of . . .” 

It will wipe the slate clean and give you a fresh start. 


Brian Rutherford

Brian Rutherford is Director of Content and Product Strategy for Leadercast. Brian has been telling stories professionally for twenty-five years. Stories that inspire people to see themselves and the world differently. Stories that challenge people to take meaningful action in the world.

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