No regrets. I heard it many times in my athletic career. It always motivated me. And made me want to give maximum effort. I’ve carried the mantra with me throughout my adult life.

Of course, everyone has regrets. You can’t do everything right, we all make mistakes. With more life experience comes greater insight about choices we’ve made or actions we’ve taken.

But it turns out that what we regret most is not what we’ve done but what we didn’t do. Cornell University psychologists surveyed hundreds of participants in six studies asking them to name their biggest regret in life. 76 percent said it was not fulfilling their ideal self.

The researchers identified three elements that make up a person’s sense of self. Your actual self consists of the qualities you believe you possess. Your ought self is the person you feel you should be with your responsibilities and obligations. And your ideal self is made up of the qualities you want to have.

In other words, when it comes to our dreams and aspirations we fail to act on them and then later in life we are filled with regret about it. We are quicker to take steps to rectify failures with our responsibilities and obligations than to fulfill our dreams and goals.

In the short-term we regret our actions more than our inactions but in the long-term it is the inaction that leads to greater regret. It’s vital to act on our hopes and dreams. Putting them off indefinitely will positively lead to regret later.

Having a vision for your life is the beginning point. An excellent definition of vision is seeing the invisible. Unlike physical vision, this vision is something you can see for your life but it is not yet visible in your life.

When you act on your vision you will experience opposition. Joseph experienced this. In Genesis 37:19-20 we read, “Here comes that dreamer! They said to each other. Come now, let’s kill him... Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.”

People will usually try to hinder your dream through criticism and discouragement. But don’t let it stop you. Your dream may tap into the insecurities of others and they react with words of criticism or take actions to discourage you.

Act in spite of the opposition. Let the pursuit of your dream shape you. The pain will make you more compassionate, the struggle will make you more patient, the support will make you humbler.

Whatever is the vision for your life – act on it now. You won’t regret it.


About Rick McDaniel

Rick McDaniel is a noted author, international communicator and church leader. He is the founder/senior pastor of Richmond Community Church in Richmond, Virginia. The church is known for its contemporary and innovative services and has a worldwide reach through McDaniel has earned three degrees including an advanced degree from Duke University and is the author of​ six​​ books including his latest "Turn Your Setbacks Into Comebacks." He has traveled and spoken at conferences and churches worldwide spanning six continents.

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 New Devotional from Pastor Rick McDaniel: Vida De Alto Impacto con Rick McDaniel

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