The Environment Making mistakes is not always bad. When we make a mistake, we think all the outcomes are going to be terrible. Some time ago, I used to be that way; I regretted of every bad decision and every mistake I made.
As soon as you start blaming other people or the universe itself you distance yourself from any possible lesson. Admission of a mistake, even if only privately to yourself, makes learning possible by moving the focus away from blame assignment and towards understanding.
Wise people admit their mistakes easily. They know progress accelerates when they do. This advice runs counter to the cultural assumptions we have about mistakes and failure, namely that they are shameful things.
This sense of shame combined with the inevitability of setbacks when attempting difficult things explains why many people give up on their goals: The larger your ambitions, the more dependent you will be on your ability to overcome and learn from your mistakes.
But for many reasons admitting mistakes is difficult. An implied value in many cultures is that our work represents us: If you make a mistake then you are a mistake You may never have felt this way, but many people do.
It explains the behavior of some of your high school or college friends. For anyone than never discovers a deeper self-identity, based not on lack of mistakes but on courage, compassionate intelligence, commitment and creativity, life is a scary place made safe only by never getting into trouble, never breaking rules and never taking the risks that their hearts tell them they need to take.
Learning from mistakes requires three things: Putting yourself in situations where you can make interesting mistakes Having the self-confidence to admit to them Being courageous about making changes This essay will cover all three. First we have to classify the different kinds of mistakes.
The four kinds of mistakes One way to categorize mistakes is into these categories: Absurdly dumb things that just happen.
Mistakes that are avoidable but your sequence of decisions made inevitable. Mistakes that are understood but require effort to prevent. Mistakes that have complicated causes and no obvious way to avoid next time. Examples include making tough decisions that have bad results, relationships that fail, or other unpleasant or unsatisfying outcomes to important things.
We all do things we know are bad in the long term, but are oh so good in the short term. However mistakes are defined in your personal philosophy this essay should help you learn from them. Once you recognize the problem and know the better way, you should be able to avoid similar mistakes.
But these kinds of mistakes are not interesting. I got an Oreo stuck in my underwear. The kind of mistakes you make define you. The more interesting the mistakes, the more interesting the life. Their time is better spent learning from bigger mistakes.
But if we habitually or compulsively make stupid mistakes, then what we really have is an involved mistake.
Involved mistakes The third pile of mistakes, Involved mistakes, requires significant changes to avoid. These are mistakes we tend to make through either habit or nature. But since change is so much harder than we admit, we often suffer through the same mistakes again and again instead of making the tough changes needed to avoid them.
Difficultly with change involves an earlier point made in this essay. Some feel that to agree to change means there is something wrong with them. But this is a trap: This happens in any environment: This is why success in learning from mistakes often requires involvement from other people, either for advice, training or simply to keep you honest.
In moments of weakness the only way to prevent a mistake is to enlist someone else. The biggest lesson to learn in involved mistakes is that you have to examine your own ability to change. How to handle complex mistakes The most interesting kinds of mistake are the last group: I remember as a kid when our beloved Atari game system started showing static on the screen during games.
The solution my brother and I came up with? Smack the machine as hard as we could A clear sign I had the intellect for management.If learning from your mistakes is a true thing, then the entire world is made up of mistakes. Everyone and everything around me is one big mistake.
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