You do know I could go all year on this topic.
And I am now committed to writing a short, compact book, on 18 ways we make life harder than it needs to be (and more easeful alternatives), which will be published by the end of the year.
But for now, we will keep the conversation going, which we started 2 weeks ago.
If you didn’t see the first list of 5, check it out here.
This week, we will continue the theme.
Essentially the theme is this:
By the choices we do or don’t make and the actions we do or don’t take, we make life much HARDER than it needs to be in the long-term and for a majority of our waking hours.
And for you, me and everyone on the planet, I think we could all do with less HARD and more PEACE.
Plus if we do hard, it is because we chose to, knowing the highly positive benefits at the back end.
So let the conversation continue…
“Shit! Why did that happen…again?”
Can you relate to this?
Making the same mistake AGAIN?
And then, worse than that, is making the same mistake AGAIN and then AGAIN!!
It makes life feel a bit like a crazy merry-go-round, where the fun bit stopped about 200 laps ago.
So what to do?
Why do we (sometimes) keep making the same mistakes again (and again and again)?
Here are a few reasons I have observed in my work:
- We didn’t truly learn the first time around.
- We decided to use the strategy of “I hope that I get a different result this time” (rather than doing the work).
- We went unconscious and slipped into a past learned behaviour (note the word ‘past’ which may not be useful for the ‘present’).
- We decided not to trust our intuition (which evolved over millions of years) and ‘do it anyway’.
- We are stubborn as a mule and think if we just do it HARDER (or longer) this time, it is bound to work.
- We actually have no clue what we are doing, and we are too proud (aka: unwise) to ask for help.
Can you relate to any of these?
This list is a great reminder.
But let me go deeper into the first one, and show you what a remedy for this one might be.
The principles of ‘learning and growing’
Also known as out-growing past mistakes.
Or at the very least, significantly reducing the probability you will make them again.
I am a big fan of learning and growing.
In fact I have a belief, which says EVERYTHING in life (i.e. 100%) serves us as an opportunity to learn and grow.
With that belief, I see nothing as 100% “BAD”, but everything as another opportunity to learn and grow (aka: evolution!!).
But here is what I see hampers most people, and why they don’t learn and grow, and worst case, why they make the same mistakes again.
The main issue is this:
They run away, or move on too quickly, before they have fully mined the MISTAKE for potential lessons, which will help them grow and EVOLVE.
The reason most people run away is because it is UNCOMFORTABLE to stay, to own, and to wade through your F-ups to find the learning lessons.
In order to truly mine a poor outcome or result, we need to put on our grown-up pants and wade into the mess.
We need to move through the discomfort.
We need to embrace the embarrassment we might be feeling.
We need to ignore the comments from the cheap seats.
We need to overcome the impulse to do the fight, flight or freeze thing.
THEN we need to fully AUDIT the experience to understand what went wrong.
We need to be 100% honest, take full responsibility, and be willing to own our part in the outcome.
The way we do this is through the lens of CURIOSITY, with an open, non-emotional, intelligent, and consciously aware mind.
We don’t judge.
We ask great questions like:
- “What is the reality?”
- “What worked and what didn’t?”
- “If I was to do this again, how would I do it differently?”
- “What is my own skill gap, which contributed to this outcome?”
- “What were my blind-spots and how might I overcome them in the future?”
Ask without blame.
And ask in a way where the outcome you are after is to learn and grow, so you don’t make the same mistake again, and make life any harder than it needs to be.
Making the same mistake, time and again, because you choose to move away from discomfort, rather then lean in and learn, is not a great strategy for getting more peace out of life.
Back to that old thing of some short-term pain for long-term gain.
Ensure you fully learn before you move on, or you are destined to make the same mistakes again.
And that is unlikely to lead to an EASIER life.
My Parting words
As we see again, a more PEACEFUL life is usually not the result of ‘luck”.
And the more we make choices to have more PEACE in our life, the more we will gravitate away from a life that is HARDER than it needs to be.
It really does come down to choice.
And putting those wise choices into action.
It is integrating what we learn that helps us grow and evolve.
And at some point we evolve beyond past mistakes, not through avoidance, but by out-growing them.
But again it takes effort in the short-term to create a life of more ease.
Which is so worth it in the end.
And on that note, have a peaceful day and a learning and growing abundant week. 🙂
See you next week.