Monday, July 10, 2017

Are You Making Enough Mistakes?

By Richard Kent Matthews - Coach | Author | Speaker

Oops! I did it again...

Your Job is to Make Mistakes: Make Them Often, Make Them Well, Make Them Wisely

“While one hesitates because he feels inferior, the other is busy making mistakes and becoming superior.” Henry C. Lusk

Talk about fun! 

I recently contributed to a thread on Facebook about whether life has meaning or not. Is there really a God? Do we give everything its meaning? Is the universe an energetic blank slate? No one really had The Answer but the answers kept coming. Some folks even believed their own rhetoric, insisting that their view was the Right View. 

Oh, well.

In the mean time, the whole game spawned an article in me. No ultimate answer or anything. Just a thought or two…

“I know that chances are, it’s quite possible to think that maybe the universe has no meaning unless we give it or whether there is a Universal Source or not.” 

No, that isn’t the article sub-title. Rather, it’s the crux of the Facebook thread. Bizarre, eh? Some would say gobbledygook. 

Where is this going? With all the discussion about Ultimate Reality—on Facebook and everywhere—perhaps, by admiring rather than disliking your mistakes, you can come to a more enlightened opinion, sense, decision—whatever—about the direction your life may be taking, ultimate reality not withstanding.

How do mistakes create meaning?

You’ve made both large and small mistakes in your thinking, your acting, your craving for attention, your job, your religion. That’s a no-brainer. So have the rest of us. And we’re living the results. Let’s make some new ones together and perhaps discover a solution or two as well. You won’t be an angel at the end, but you’ll be a little closer to heaven. That is, however you perceive of heaven...or not. 

First, when you begin your day, notice any sense of unease. That may be your Inner Voice trying to get your attention—or your bladder. You have to admit that you don’t pay as much attention to that Voice as you could, right? It doesn’t seem quite as urgent as the bladder. 

Mistake: Not listening. Solution: Pee, then listen better. It will make the day much more interesting.

Second, during the course of your day, watch for any insincere emotions—mostly your own. How do you really feel about any given issue? Are you still carrying your mother’s, father's or priest's opinion? Can you be honest or will that honesty step on others'  toes?  Tricky, eh? 

Mistake: Dishonesty. Solution: Self-assessment. “How does dishonesty serve me?” It has, or you wouldn’t use it as often as you do. None of us would; we're in this together.

Third, look for denials, contradictions and inconsistencies in your words, deeds, and responses to other people—and to yourself. These things suggest a shaky undergirding—emotionally, socially, spiritually. They produce whatever results you’re currently getting in your life, nice and not so nice. 

Mistake: Stepping out of integrity. Solution: Admitting it, then stepping back in again. You make your habits and your habits create your character. Make integrity the habit of choice.

Fourth, when you see, smell, hear, or taste the truth, don’t ignore it. It will continue to come ‘round until you acknowledge it. Lies scurry into the dark, even though well dressed. Truth is naked and seeks light. It usually finds it. 

Mistake: Trying to hide from the truth in any given situation. Solution: Recognize that truth is an ally while lies are your enemy. Befriend your enemy and live the truth.

Fifth, you have a certain amount of days on this planet. Begin to relish each one. Each day brings new gifts, challenges, risks, hurts, joys, and people. Jump out to meet them all. Don’t pass over them. They all matter...deeply. Another blink and they’re gone. 

Mistake: Taking your days for granted. Solution: Deliberately choose to make each day grand. Use your imagination. There are plenty of ways. Like, go on Facebook and join a thread. (I know. Some of you think it’s a waste of time. So, come up with something else already!)

 (By the way, our current President is tweeting like crazy. If he can do such things, you can come up with ways to make a grand day of it, right? Right.)

Sixth, learn from your mistakes. I know. You’ve heard this one a million times before. If it annoys you to hear or read it again, work is still needed. 

Mistake: Thinking mistakes are bad. Solution: Apply lessons learned. Make better mistakes. “Every noble work is at first impossible.” Thomas Carlyle

And finally, trust yourself. Wherever you are on your current journey, you’ve made it here. Sure, you’ve screwed up along the way. Maybe a lot. But something, someone, or a lot of someones, have cleared a path for you. You have taken at least a few good steps, made a few good turns, did a few good deeds or all those someones would not have let you pass. You’d have been in the grave or on the cremation pyre by now. 

Mistake: Taking yourself way too seriously. Worse: Feeling sorry for yourself. Worst: Blaming others. Solution: Lighten up. Your best is still to come.

All in all, you’re doing a good job. There's always room for improvement, of course, but as "they" say, one day at a time. Besides, in the overall scheme of things, no mistake has been made and you have every right to be here. If the universe had not happened exactly as it did, you wouldn’t have made it.

It has been said that the spiritual journey is not in the saying but in the doing. “To know and not to do is to still not know.” Buddha

With that in mind, I leave you with this powerful recommendation:

“Let us be glad of the dignity of our privilege to make mistakes, glad of the wisdom that enables us to recognize them, glad of the power that permits us to turn their light as a glowing illumination along the pathway of our future. Mistakes are the growing pains of wisdom. Without them there would be no individual growth, no progress, no conquest.” William Jordan

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