Tag Archives: mistakes

Day 314: When Work Does Not Go Very Well

Some posts ago I wrote about being calm and stable in relation to work and learning to embrace failures, mistakes, fuck-ups, and other unwanted, negative occurrences in my job. Today, I had the perfect opportunity to observe this point in action. I do not need to give more context than the fact that I made a BIG MISTAKE at work – and people got upset, worried and nervous – yet – still – even though my world was seemingly shaky – deep inside of myself I experienced a calm.

Where did this calm come from? It came from knowing and understanding how reality operates, that in learning a new trade, there will be mistakes, and in walking day-to-day living, there will be unforeseen and unwanted outflows – they can be minimized through practice, presence, thoughtfulness, and discipline – but they cannot be removed – as long as we live in a physical reality with a myriad of dimensions, most of them unknown to us, moving and interacting at the same time, things will happen that we cannot control and today, such a point manifested.

Instead of going into a reaction, instead of judging myself, instead of becoming worried, fearful, and nervous, I took a breath, and I looked at the point objectively – and what I have seen to be so important when it comes to living calm is the skill of retaining perspective on things. And with perspective I mean the following: It is so easy to exaggerate and blow things out of proportion – we make a mistake and we feel awful about it – though in the grand scheme of things – it is only one bad day that eventually will become but a memory – that we might even laugh at and enjoy later on – because WOW what a fucking mistake we made!

I find that old people are generally better at approaching mistakes with light heart, probably because they have seen so much shit, walked through so many mistakes, and experienced so many negative occurrences, that they are just used to it; hence – they have perspective on things. I am however still young, so I have not accumulated that amount of experience, but it does not stop me from creating perspective in me when things go wrong. The solution I apply is that I ask myself: How bad will this look in fifty years? And the answer I get is that – I will probably be dead at that time or at least – not remember ANYTHING of what happened. Thus, fretting and worrying over mistakes is a WASTE OF MY TIME.

Though, that being said, mistakes are also a gold mine, because for each mistake, there is something that can be learned. For example, a couple of days ago I made the mistake of forgetting a task that I had committed to take on. Instead of becoming worried about it, I asked myself: What can I learn from this? And I saw that when it came to remembering duties, and directing responsibilities, an effective rule of thumb is to either act immediately and get it done when the point is here, or immediately take a physical note, and make sure that I get back to the point later on. Applying this rule of thumb I can avoid having to face a future moment where I again forget something, and thus, I can create a positive physical outflow for myself, that will become more than a memory, but actually a gift in my life, and something that will assist and support me to expand.

To summarize: Mistakes will happen and usually we exaggerate and overreact – AND – mistakes can be used as LEARNING POINTS – and as a motivation to push ourselves to expand – consider more dimensions – develop skills and abilities – and become more effective at what we do.

Hence, when a mistake enters into our world – what we should say is: Cool! A mistake! Let me see what I can learn here!

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Learning By Doing

Today I’ve been out driving my car for most of the day. I’m practicing for a driving test that I must do in order to attain a taxi-driver’s license which I dearly want to have. So I am out driving at least every weekend.

Anyway, I wanted to share a cool point that I’ve realized in regards to learning new things, because that is what I am doing as I drive around. I learn new traffic rules, I learn to maneuver the car more smoothly, I learn to deal with new and difficult traffic situations with ease and confidence, and in essence I learn to become a more effective driver.

And what I’ve understood in terms of learning these new things is that it can’t be forced. I can’t force myself to learn new things through thinking about each mistake, or fault that I do. Actually – the more I think the slower I learn, and the more mistakes I make.

It’s fascinating – but the less I think, the more I learn. The less I talk in my head about knowledge and right and wrong, the more confident I become at handling the car. The less time I spend in my head, the more time I spend in the physical, and to drive a car is a physical action, so maybe it isn’t that strange after all, that learning becomes so much more effective when I stop thinking.

It’s interesting that you’re taught in school to learn just the other way around. There you’re shown that thoughts must be used, thinking must be applied, mistakes must be brought up and focused upon, and what is right is important, and what is wrong is important. So instead of physically, and actually learning things, one spend the most time worrying about right and wrong, what is correct and what is a mistake. Because of that learning becomes so slow, and tedious, and boring, as you don’t actually place your time into learning in the physical (where living takes place) but instead into worrying and thinking.

Thus, now when I’m out driving my focus lies upon having fun. I apply the rules that define what correct driving is; yet I’m not hard upon myself if I miss something. I don’t go back to the situation to think about what I made wrong, and what I’ve could’ve done better – I instead focus upon the next moment that is ahead of me and yet again I apply myself. Moving myself forward instead of looking back – not defining myself according to failures but instead proving that I am able to succeed and effectively learn to drive my car.

And when I move in this flow of breath, being present in each moment as it arrives, learning is much more effective, and my driving is much more smooth and confident.

A conclusion would then be that, no matter how beneficial we think it is to spend time in our mind, pondering mistakes of the past, and what we should do correctly and differently in the future, this doesn’t help us to learn how to in-fact live more effectively. Because in order to live you must actually spend time here in the physical and that can’t be done when you’re in your mind thinking about what you did wrong, or correct for that matter.

So, instead of holding unto a mistake, you simply see the mistake, and then move on, better prepared to make it right the next time around, without having to think a single thought.

And so instead of expecting ourselves to become good at something right away, we accumulate ourselves to perfection, slowly but surely, without becoming infested with the self-judgment of right and wrong, as thinking. Moving ourselves forward, letting our mistakes go, yet determined to accumulate ourselves into and as self-perfection, but still having fun at the same time!

Finding Problems Instead of Solutions

I’ve had a cool realization today that I would like to share. It all began when I was with my mother in our shed. We where going to check out some windows, which we were then going to use in order to re-place our other one’s that are already installed on the house – because we’re going to take the already installed one’s down for a while, due to maintenance, and that is when we need the old windows to take their place.

So, we where in the shed inspecting windows and I noticed how dirty it was in the shed. There was shit everywhere – metal, bathtubs, toilets, building material – and I started to complain in my head that it was dirty; then I started to speak it.

I actually thought as I started to speak to my mother, about how I thought it was dirty in the shed, that I was being self-honest, thinking that I am revealing this mess that is here, I am showing this mess to my mother. But then I realized, after a while of speaking, in this starting point of pointing out the shit that was everywhere around me, that I wasn’t actually doing anything supportive at all. I wasn’t taking responsibility for the shit that was around me and I didn’t have it mind to do it either – I simply wanted to speak about it and point out the apparent badness of it to my mother.

I realized that I was doing this because I wanted to present myself as mature and as a know-it-all, as a grown-up, putting my mother on the spot through showing how badly she had things organized. It made me feel superior and strong and that is why I did it. So, I didn’t realize what I had done until I was actually finished with it. But as I spoke the last word I noticed how I felt funny inside, like almost ill, but not like a sickness, but as a feeling. And I realized this was because I had spoken and shared myself in a way that wasn’t supportive, that wasn’t what was best for all.

Though, this is only one of my realizations – in the moment just prior to my moment of apparent maturity, I had accepted and allowed myself to participate in a similar construct.

This time my mother was standing by the windows attempting to figure out how to solve the problem of closing the empty hole that would be created when we removed the windows for maintenance – as we’ve figured out that the old windows we first wanted to use was to small. My mother then asked me if I could possibly saw out a shape in plywood that would resemble the size of a window, so that we could push it into the to-be hole.

Here is where I then entered the construct, because I started to speak about how difficult this might be, and how it would probably fail – and I did this, firstly, without being completely certain that it would fail, secondly, without coming with any solutions myself – it was like I wanted to focus upon the negativity, and the prospect of a failure, simply in order to be able to feel mature and ‘realistic’ and have my mother perceive me as a experienced and sensible individual – for apparently knowing the limitations of construction work.

So, fascinating – two points of communication with my mother, where I instead of standing here as breath, working with solutions, and taking responsibility for my reality, instead went into negativity, as in wanting to find problems with my reality – so that I could feel superior and more mature than the people in my reality.

Quite the fuck-up. Time to stop this.