Welcome to another episode of Life Unsettled New Path, Better Future. You’ve all heard things like, “Everybody makes mistakes. Learning from mistakes. Don’t worry about your mistakes. It’s just part of the process of growing and learning.” I’m going to as usual disagree with many of the gurus out there that tell you to just continue to make mistakes as you progress.
This episode is extremely important but maybe a little bit more complex. As I understand the general logic that people have, you learn from your mistakes so you should expect them and you just keep on making them as part of the learning process. The more mistakes you make, the better off you are because you learn from those.
Well that sounds good, but what are some of the keys to making those mistakes and why and what circumstances is that a bad idea? First of course the good. Yes, by not worrying too much about mistakes and realizing you can correct them and learn from them, you have less fear, less hesitation. You move forward and take on new things and do new things. That’s really, really important, and that’s where most of the stress or emphasis is.
But that’s also just in part. It is good in many situations, but when is it bad and how do you learn? Well when do you have to make a mistake? The idea is that first there’s two types of learning. One is from actually making mistake, another is actually looking, researching, understanding, thinking through something logically. You have the two differences. I refer to one as wisdom and one as knowledge.
Knowledge is something that you can acquire, somebody can pass it on to you. Wisdom is something for some reason you just can’t logically deduce it. It’s why over thousands of years we tend to make as human beings some of the same mistakes over and over again.
I have a chapter in my book, “The Mechanics for Breakthrough Success”, on that. You can find it on Amazon. Hopefully when they refer to mistakes, they are referring to wisdom, because otherwise you should be able to get it and learn from somebody else, something logically and then make progress a lot faster. That’s going to be a key thing and that is the speed and time.
If they’re referring to wisdom, what’s wrong with learning from other people’s mistakes instead of just your own? I have an episode there where we learn from other’s mistakes, OPM. That’s not other people’s money. It’s learning from other people’s mistakes. That is when you see something else, observe it, think of the why, think of what happened, learn from that. Or if you have somebody who’s a mentor or somebody that you truly trust in certain situations, in those situations should you take their idea over your own? One could say they already have the wisdom that you don’t.
So if you disagree, should you take your own idea or somebody else’s? I’ve explained that in another place where I actually was in that situation. As I thought it through, here was this some respected person. He was a professor at Hofstra University. He had an idea. He couldn’t really convince me or logically explain to me why his idea was better. Nor could I explain to him why my idea was better. So which one should I take?
Well it turns out that almost everybody will take their own idea. What’s wrong with that? Well, it makes think like the two of us staking our ideas like a game on it. Now imagine the Las Vegas odds makers are taking the bets and laying down the odds. What do you think is going to be the biggest odds on favorite? He will be of course. So why don’t I take his? Either way I’ll learn, but I might be on the right path. And it becomes even more important to be on the right path if it is time dependent.
What do I mean by that? What happens if you only get one shot? What if it’s going into an interview? What if it’s going to present something? Or what if it’s for your retirement? You only have one opportunity to live your life for your retirement. So why should I care? Because no many things are time dependent, and even then, think in terms of anything that’s not repeatable. Actually, somebody asked me if they could quote the last line from the introduction to my book.
It explained the fact that success is kind of like a train ride and that you may get off at any stop along the way, but the longer you stay on the train and work towards the end, you will have reached further success. If you get off at any stop to enjoy yourself, that may be a temporary change where you’ll turn around and say, “Okay, now I’m going to go back and go a little further.” But wherever you end up will not be as far as if you had stayed on the train. So very similarly if you are taking from choices that speed you along the track, you’re much better off than just learning from mistakes.
So yes, you’re going to have to learn from mistakes. But at the same time, everybody makes mistakes and you will make enough of your own. At the same time will you need to make as many or can you speed up your progress? Speeding up the progress is not a bad thing. Then there are some things where you will not get a second chance.
I’ve mentioned and I’ve heard that 97% of people over the age of 65 can come up with $600 cash. I think that was from Dave Ramsey. Given that, I propose and ask the following question. A lot of people, most people as you probably know, live paycheck to paycheck. Some of them don’t make it paycheck to paycheck. Matter of fact an awful lot of people don’t and that’s why they’re in so much debt. What happens when the paycheck stops? For many it’s happening at a much younger age, but it certainly does add affect retirement. So what do you do and what can you do at that point?
If you’re trying to learn from your mistakes, retirement, savings, those are things that you better take the wisdom of somebody else. Take somebody else’s ideas rather than figure it out yourself, if you can’t think of a very good plan. You do not get a second chance.
In your career as well there are times where taking that choice you make a mistake and you can’t go back. You have a choice. You’re given a job offer. I’ve had those. We’ve all had those. What do you do? Now I’ve actually made some offers to some people that really were excellent for them but they may say, “Well, I have a five year plan.” Sometimes plans change. Sometimes new opportunities come up. You have to be flexible, you have to be ready to make a change or to allow at least the thoughts of is this the right move or is this a good move. Why? That mistake can’t be corrected. You turn it down you’re gone.
You’ve also heard many times I’m sure the expression time is money. Well there again, you want to speed up your decision making.
So yes, you will make mistakes, everybody makes mistakes, and you’re learning from mistakes. But if you can limit them and if you get the choice, can you learn something from somebody else’s mistakes? Think about when you see things. Anything you see out there, take a look and try to figure out the why. What happened? Why did it happen?
That in itself puts you through the experience without having to make a mistake. It’s almost like playing a game or watching a TV movie. But I will bet over the next 48, 72 hours you will see a lot of things posted in different places about mistakes and the inevitability and then not to worry, just continue to make them. Take that argument or encouragement a little further and remember that learning and the right mentors or examples can reduce mistakes and accelerate growth.
It’s okay. Don’t be afraid of mistakes. They are learning experiences, but at the same time, can you reduce them, can you increase the speed of progress, can you accelerate your success? Good luck. Enjoy.