Don’t Look Back and Regret What You Didn’t Do

Author : Osman Sabir

16th November 2018

“Crushed under someones fragrant armpit on a packed rush hour train into work. Day in, day out. For years on end. Living for weekends and holidays”

When I was a child and as I was coming out of university, I didn’t imagine that this comment would come to characterise a big chunk of my life.Having had a 12-year career as a professional economist in large organisations across both the private and public sectors, the opening statement above sums up my working life when the giddy heights of being new to the corporate world gradually faded

Over time, working in these large organisations became a treadmill existence. It numbed my mind, dulled my senses and made for a pretty frustrating experience. I suffered personally, as do many others. Stress, anxiety and depression are all chronic challenges in the corporate world and I can completely understand why…

As with many people, things certainly weren’t bad in the literal sense of the word. I had a pretty prestigious career and a great salary that afforded me a comfortable lifestyle. I worked with mainly good people in a career that I’d wanted since I was 18 – or at least I thought I’d wanted at the time

In an alternative reality, I might still be in this career. However, a series of life-changing, often traumatic, events brought things to a head. This included family deaths, money problems, mental health issues and addiction.

I’ll spare you the details, but needless to say, bringing all of the above together, along with a job that I didn’t particularly enjoy, didn’t do wonders for me and things got progressively worse until one day I had to go to A&E because my mental health had go so acutely bad. I was lying in my bed so depressed that I thought why bother. And wondered whether I could make it through another day.

That’s obviously not a great place to be. However, on the long road to recovery, I was gradually able to really reflect on how fragile life is. There came a point at which I decided – genuinely decided – that something had to change.

During this time, I was introduced to a coach by my old Personal Trainer. Starting off as a cynic, I actually went on to work with this person for an intensive six-month programme. I often describe it as being taken by the scruff of the neck and being dragged back to “living” again. This man quite simply helped me turn my life around. That was in 2012. I still sometimes have coaching sessions with him, such as the value I attach to the work he does with me. I choke slightly when I think of the multiple thousands of pounds I have spent, but it remains the best investment I’ve ever made – even taking into account London property!

Through this, I knew that I’d found something that instinctively felt right for me to pursue. I wasn’t sure whether it would become my new career going forward, but it was the first time I’d ever felt that sense of “this may just be it and I have to give it a shot”

Fast forward to the present day and, after completing an amazing training course at Animas, here I am as a full-time coach. Walking away from a career as an economist and everything I’d ever known from a professional perspective, along with the security of well-paid employment, and into a business with a very uncertain future was a huge leap. It created a huge amount of anxiety. But fundamentally it’s one that felt right.

I work with professionals in the City and corporate world who want change, either in career or lifestyle, but aren’t sure how to make it happen or are fearful of things not working out. These are folks who are very successful but who feel stuck in a rut. These are people whose public perception of them as success stories are often at odds with how they feel about themselves and their own situations. They’re wondering how to get out of said rut and how to be the best they can be – not just from a financial or career perspective, but as a person as a whole.

It is genuinely fascinating speaking to such successful people and working with them to help them live in a way that leave them with no regrets. I love doing this because I get to work with people who I ‘get’ due to similarities in our backgrounds. I love that there is so much opportunity in how their lives can change. Sometimes these will be big tangible changes. For example, I’ve had one client who quit his job as an economist, ran his own Youtube channel and then proceeded to sell it as it had become so successful. Sometimes it will be small tweaks that have huge a impact – such as simple shifts in mindset that on the surface may not have a visible impact, but which can fundamentally reshape how someone feels about themselves or their lives.

So, here’s a question for anyone reading this. How would you have to live your life for you to look back in the future and have no regrets about the decisions you’ve made?

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