Do you make mistakes? No? Really? Than thank you very much and enjoy your trip away from this blog as of… right now! This post is not for you. This post is about people who are making mistakes. Precisely, for people who are learning from their own mistakes.
Yeah, I know what you think: I won’t have a huge audience for this post. There aren’t a lot of people out there to learn from their own mistakes. And I have to agree with that. I know I was a pretty slow learner myself. But this doesn’t prevent me from trying to reach to them, anyway. For instance, you, the one who’s reading right now, you may be one of those people. Or you may want to become one, after you read this.
Because this article is about one of the most hidden and mysterious arts on Earth. An art so secret and out of sight that many of use never heard of it. Yet, it’s one of the most fulfilling and enriching techniques ever, an approach so beneficial that once you learn how to master it, you’ll never want to forget it. Ever.
It’s the fine art of making mistakes.
The Art Of Making Mistakes?
Yes! I can see you’re a little confused: how making mistakes can be an art? Mistakes are just mistakes, nothing more. Well, let me tell you something: we’re all making them, but only a few really know how to make them. The rest of us are sucking big time at this. Because like any other action, making mistakes can be evaluated and improved. There is a way to positively make mistakes the same way there is a way to improve your English accent.
Well, if there is such a way, why we’re not following it?
First reason: all mistakes are opportunities, but we somehow lost the ability to recognize them as such. We’re accepting only clear, black-and-white, capitals written opportunities, while constantly pushing gaffes in the back of our mind. Instead of accepting each error as an opportunity, we instantly push the guilt switch: we blundered? Oh, time to suffer. Big time.
Second reason for sucking at making mistakes: we never really accept them. We don’t really process and digest our faults. We developed this very popular talent of stacking up boo-boo’s in a secret personal history and chewing them every time we’re depressed. Oh, if only I would have done this the other way around, I wouldn’t be here, broke and alone. We’re very good at that. It’s called regret.
Third reason for sucking at making mistakes: we’re not practicing them. We’re not aware of the fact that there is a fine art of making mistakes, an art so empowering and liberating that once we really get it, we won’t go back to our clumsy way of blundering. Ever. We simply think that making mistakes is fundamentally a non-improvable process. We’re taking our mistakes for granted.
Well, time to change all of this. Read on.
The 7 Secret Rules Of The Art Of Making Mistakes
What’s following is a list of 7 simple rules. But as simple and obvious as they may seem, they’re really the cornerstone of this art. You can build on top of them, creating your own style, but you can’t avoid any of them.
1. Have Courage
If you’re going to blunder, blunder big time. Blow away everything, there will be enough time to clean up afterward. Go all the way up to the top. Dry out your possibilities and try everything. Have no fear. Just do whatever you feel you have to do and then watch for the results.
Courage is the ability to completely immerse in what you’re doing, while being aware of every possible negative outcome of your actions. Without courage, your impact on the reality will be drastically diminished. And with a small impact on reality, how can you change it?
A courageous mistake is worth a thousand times more than a fearful compliance. The fine art of making mistakes resides primarily in the ability to create complete, brilliant and marvelous mistakes. Look at them in all their beauty. Now you clearly know what to avoid.
2. Trust Yourself
One of the subtlest ways in which mistakes are affecting our behavior is at the self-trust level. Every time we blunder, our common reaction is to step back and re-evaluate our entire personal history. Pour in some shame and social pressure and you’ll have one big poisoned cocktail.
Do yourself a service: don’t drink this ;-). Trust yourself even when you’re barking up the wrong tree. The other option is to give away your entire experience and judgment for some ready-made solutions. There isn’t such thing as a ready made solution. You’re the only one able to see what’s right for you.
By practicing the fine art of making mistakes you’ll soon understand why always trusting yourself is fundamental and unavoidable. In the end, mistakes are just hints, pointers to a new, different way of doing things. If you don’t trust yourself, you won’t be able to decipher the underlying message of those signs.
3. Accept Mistakes
As part of the experience. And accept the fact that you did it. You were the one who took that bad decision or who did that stupid step. Not your friends, not your parents, not your partner. You can’t really assign responsibility to somebody else and still expect to manage the situation.
You can begin to change something only when you’re accepting it. If you continuously reject something, you’re practically giving away the handles, you have no way to actually grab that specific thing and turning it away. It’s like trying to talk to a person in a plane 10.000 feet above you. They can’t hear you.
The fine art of making mistakes will allow you to reverse the consequences of your acts but only from the moment you take full responsibility for what you did. Now you may start to understand why this art is so rare: accepting mistakes is still a pretty uncommon trend nowadays.
4. No Guilt
Ok, you really screw it up this time. Maybe you hurt some people in the process. Maybe you hurt yourself too. The social response to such a situation is guilt. Let’s feel guilty for what we did, let’s embrace sadness and regret. Like this will reverse the situation, or something.
Guilt is a waste of time. The biggest of all, if you ask me. Since all your life is right here right now, what’s the purpose of going back in time and feeling bad about something you can’t change anymore? Oh, because guilt makes you easier to be controlled. But that’s another story.
By practicing the fine art of making mistakes you will gradually eliminating guilt from your emotions portfolio. You will slowly learn that your guilt is one your biggest liabilities and it can only make you powerless. And you will also experience some rejection from the guilt worshipers around. Get over it.
5. Stay Actionable
At some point, if you’re really, really into making mistakes, you’ll hit a wall. Either the results of your blunders will be really overwhelming, either you’re going to develop some kind of an allergy to actions. Fact is you’re going to badly need a step back. Don’t. Stay actionable. Keep doing stuff.
The only way to get out from a hole is to keep climbing. If you’re not going to do anything, the Earth won’t start lower around you just to flatten your situation. It doesn’t work like this. Maybe you’re in a really big hole now, but the more you’re avoiding action, the more you’re sinking.
The masters of the fine art of making mistakes know that action is the only detail that separate an error from an opportunity. Do whatever you can to foster your actions, keep looking forward and, even if you’re making only baby steps, keep making those steps. If you stop moving, you’re as good as dead.
6. Laugh at Your Mistakes
Laugh is a dissolution agent, a very powerful one. It can melt everything around, if properly used. If not used at all, you’re going to become hard as a rock. And equally difficult to change. Allow laughing to dissolve some of your frozen approaches, attitudes or mental paths. Lose yourself in a smile.
Make a little fun of yourself every once in a while. Or let others do it. The trick is to keep a functional link between your mistakes and your sense of humor, as feeble as it may be at times. The dissolving effect of this link will help you overcome the consequences of your mistakes faster than anyone else.
Sooner than you think, the fine art of making mistakes will teach you the true value of laughing. Not only you’re going to develop a new, greatly improved sense of humor (which may seem strange to your peers, I agree) but you’ll start to actually enjoy your life. With all those mistakes. Or even because of them.
7. Don’t Quit
Quitting is the mother of all mistakes. Whatever you want, just go for it. Whatever you’re after, follow it. Follow your goal, don’t lose sight of your dream. Obsess over it, if that’s making it more real. Fantasize if that’s bringing it closer. Just don’t allow yourself to quit and ruin all the progress you’ve made so far.
If there will be only one fundamental principle of the art of making mistakes, that would be the one. You can forget all of the above, as long as you’re obeying this one. Quitters are just empty forms mimicking life. They lost their joy of life, their goals, their dreams.
Their infinite inner power is at lose, waiting for some random trigger to be used by somebody else. Yes, you did a few mistakes in your life and yes, you’ll probably do some more. But the fundamental question is not why and how did them.
The fundamental question is: do you really want to be the unconscious toy of somebody else? Because that’s going to happen when you’re quitting.
Now that you read the principles, it’s time to sum up the core of the fine art of making mistakes. And that would be only 3 simple sentences (sorry if you’re waiting for more):
1. You can’t grow without making mistakes.
2. You can’t grow without accepting the mistakes you made.
3. Whatever you want, just go out and do it: you may be wrong, but you can’t tell it unless you start doing it.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.