” How many mistakes do I have to learn from until I become anything more than a failure?”
This is a real thought that went through my mind just today. There was nothing horrible that happened, there was no one hounding me, and there was no legitimate reason for such a harsh remark to cross my mind. Fortunately, I was able to catch this and think about it today. This led me to an unfortunate discovery though, thanks completely to a beautifully crafted post by Marc, here. That discovery being that this is a daily occurrence. This thought in particular is fairly tame, and there are many more that come every day.
It is actions like these that cause people to falter in their day to day lives. Having these thoughts day to day, or even on a less frequent basis is very counterproductive. It drags down your mood, it kills your performance and brings about a sullen air around you. No one likes this feeling, which is why you don’t need to bring it upon yourself and in turn spread it to others. Here are a few reasons I hope you take to heart, to stop these thoughts from occurring, just like I need to…
1. Perfection is impossible – The journey to perfection is full of disappointment. As people, our strength is in our imperfections. Every mistake we make is only a stepping stone, whether we are meant to learn from it, grow stronger from it, or have it take us down a whole new route in life, it was meant to happen. You cannot control these things, you can only control your reaction to it. Take life in stride, because you will fall, you will stumble and there is only one right thing to do in that case, keep moving.
2. You are your harshest critic – In our day to day life, we see hundreds of people a day as well as many mistakes a day. You will see car crashes, hitting a pothole, saying the wrong words, writing the wrong number, forgetting to take out the trash. When you see this happen, you don’t verbally beat them up do you? You can’t beat yourself up over legitimate mistakes. No one else honestly has enough time to care, they are too busy beating themselves up too. We take things so personally because we expect more from ourselves, because it hits home. Critique yourself, it helps you grow, but remember to detach yourself first.
3. Long term, it won’t matter – When people are on their deathbed, they won’t think of the time they broke someone’s laptop. There are so many other things that are more important, things with real value. Instead of hating on yourself for something you can’t change, take the time you have to turn it around and focus on what is important. Focus on what will matter years from now, your friendships, your family, your passions.
There is no reason that you should be displeased with your day to day life. You have to cut the bad from your life, you can live on less. So long as you make yourself happy, you can make others happy too. There isn’t enough time to live a hollow life, a homeless man could live a much happier life than a rich man, it is all in your priorities. Change them, make them right.