We all make mistakes – that’s natural, we’re human after all.
But not everyone is able to learn from them.
Some people make the same mistakes again and again and can’t figure out why they don’t see any progress. However, Santayana once wrote: ”Whoever forgets his history is forced to repeat it.”
The Dalai Lama says: ”A mistake can always be forgiven, if we have the courage to admit to it.”
But why do we need to have courage to admit a mistake? Why is it hard to admit when we have made an error? Why do we think that a mistake reduces our value, when just the opposite is true? A mistake makes us wiser and admitting the mistake is the only way to avoid repeating it.
Humanity is divided into two groups. People in the first group vehemently refuse to acknowledge their mistakes (“That would mean I will never be good enough at what I am trying to do.”). Those in the second group, in contrast, know that mistakes work for them (“At least I can see what I’m doing wrong and what I have to change; that’s the only way to do better.”).
Everyone makes mistakes – no one is immune. However, those who learn from their mistakes do not make the same mistakes twice.
How do I recognise that I am going round in circles?
How do I recognise that I have to change something?
1. I always do the same thing, yet expect different results.
Albert Einstein claimed this was madness: To do the same thing repeatedly and expect different results. To add 2 + 2 over and over, for example, and expect the result to sometimes be 5.
Wisdom is born when a person only needs to go through a frustrating experience once for it to become clear that this is not the right way.
Einstein literally says: ”Following the same procedure, using the same ideas, we always achieve the same results, regardless of how much we hope otherwise.”
If we want to achieve a different result, we have to change our procedure or approach. Although sometimes it may seem like hard work, it pays off.
2. I always believe someone or something that seems too good to be true.
Dreams are what most often trap us in a vicious circle. We over-idealise something or someone who impresses us enough for us to believe them a second time. We fall for the word, yet we do not realise that words mean nothing – until the person who says them puts them into action.
In a relationship it is nice to hear I care about you, I’ll do anything for you and to close your eyes in pleasure at words like that. It is then much easier to overlook the actions.
How many times do we have to be burnt before we finally understand that while words can lie, actions always speak the truth?
3. I always try to be someone I’m not.
I understand that people yearn for appreciation from others. It’s why they dress nicely, brush their hair, make themselves beautiful. They believe it can have a positive influence on how those around them perceive them. Fair enough.
However, the way we are seen by the people around us is not what defines us. If we need people to praise and admire us, we run the risk of falling prey to one paradox: Although we don’t like pretence in others, we ourselves could start to pretend.
Unfortunately, in putting on a guise we always lose our own face. Sooner or later we drop out of the role, or even come into conflict with our own selves, when we are unable to see that WE are destroying ourselves, WE are responsible for losing our job or partner; WE are missing the opportunity of a lifetime, and all because we are pretending to those around us that we are someone else.
What about making life as simple as possible?
What about being ourselves, authentic?
What about doing what comes naturally to us and surrounding ourselves with people who accept us for who we are?
Wouldn’t they find it easier to accept our mistakes?
Please, continue to the 2nd page.