But first you need to find the mistakes and look at them… That is against our current culture that only wants to deal with what is “good”. 1
I remember when I first saw, on a product, the words: “New and improved”. I was thinking that it means that it is still not good… it still has mistakes, and I didn’t buy it any more. I was much like you: I avoided even the idea of mistakes.
Like you, I wanted to celebrate my successes, what is good about me, and avoid even looking at my mistakes.
One of my students comes to every call talking about what she loves, what she has accomplished. And while it is really important to acknowledge growth, acknowledge success, if that is all you are paying attention to, you will experience diminishing returns, and an eventual reversal of the trend: you will experience no results and no success.
The path to success that was so wide and so exhilarating in the beginning, slowly but surely starts to close in, get narrower, and then it disappears.
I get people reporting about this all the time: this is real and this is an overwhelming experience in self-help especially. Good results in the beginning, no results after a while. In meditation, in healing, in growth.
Why would success lead to no success? I will liken it to driving a car.
Your life isn’t going anywhere… You are sitting in your car in a parking lot, not going anyplace. When, after so long, sitting in a stationery car, waiting for it to move, you finally figure out that the pedals are some kind of levers, and you put one foot on the break and one foot on the gas, the car will finally start to move.
Amazing, isn’t it? Amazing, was my first experience driving: being intoxicated by the feeling of my power: the car is moving because I am pressing a pedal with my foot. For me that was my first real experience of having any power.
Why haven’t you moved your left foot? Because you don’t even know it’s there. It’s an unconscious mistake first. If somebody enlightened you, you’d have to change, change your position, and everything, but more importantly, you would have to deal with the fact that you did something stupid. That there was something you didn’t know.
Correcting mistakes, eliminating mistakes causes change and you are afraid of change
Most people cannot deal with change too well, so they deny the mistakes instead, and continue pressing the brake pedal in their lives.
Driving the car with its two pedals is, of course, a simplistic visual, because there are hundreds of pedals in your life that you don’t know you are pressing.
Eliminating mistakes, misconceptions, habits that don’t serve you are the shortcuts you so fervently desire.
Each mistake eliminated has the same value to your growth towards happiness and a fulfilled life as 10-100 success principles.
Using now another analogy, putting together a jigsaw puzzle
You have your moments, but that’s it.
If you don’t ferret out the pieces that are the wrong pieces not fitting the final picture that’s on the puzzle-box’s cover, you’ll be stuck with the wrong picture, forever. Because the new pieces you get from “other people” don’t fit. They are pretty, but your picture is already built… so the new pieces don’t fit your life. They are now extracurricular activities… and there is only so much time, so much energy for extracurricular activities, so your results are so-so or none at all.
When you, instead find a piece that is at the wrong place, you can remove it, and replace it with the right piece… Little by little, piece by piece, you’ll arrive to the picture that you wanted to build, that is on the box cover.
This is my methodology. Finding mistakes.
The first mistake you need to get is that mistakes are good… they are the shortcut to what you want, really. Instead of them being thorns in your side, something to avoid.
You can try doing this on your own, or you can join one of my beginners’ coaching programs, the Happiness or the Playground
- The method Japan learned from Deming, the small steps improvement method was all based on mistakes, and caused Japan to be a leader in industry, in spite of it being destroyed in WW2. Since they have become more like Americans, and are now losing their leading edge… I think, though I am not following the news at all… it’s just a feeling.