Mistakes don’t define you they refine you

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The pain of the past Mistakes are only carried through time via a thought

Mistakes can often paralyze us in moving forward with our lives but it doesn’t have to be that way when we realize that the pain of the past mistakes is only carried through time into my present experience via a thought.

The feeling is in the meaning we give to thought

If I didn’t give it so much meaning, so much power, then I wouldn’t be so paralyzed by them. In my early years as a young man when I finished studying my Rabbinical studies in Seminary, I left the seminary in 1986 and a short while after that my parents died 10 months apart from each other.

The rough ride of losing the two most important people in my life

Boy oh boy was it a hard time from me.  I just finished my studies and my family of these two loving beings suddenly disappeared out of my life.  I went from a house and a family to an empty house with no family! It’s funny how you appreciate someone more when they have passed on than when they were always around you.

My brother and I split up the family inheritance and within a very short time, I lost the house that I inherited.  At the time I borrowed against it to invest in land and shares and lost everything in the share crash of 1987 as well as the land I invested at that time.  I eventually moved with my new wife in 1990 to an apartment full of these cockroaches that eventually destroyed all of our electronic equipment.

Beating myself up

I was so depressed psychologically at the time.  Life looked really bleak and I used to beat myself up for this. I never fully recovered from this till I learned this new understanding of what it takes to get a clear mind.

I would regularly go into bouts of depression because of what I did with my parents hard earned money with blood and sweat over the years.  It was a long messy story with finger pointing not only at myself but at others who also ‘helped’ me invest the money ‘wisely’ in their Gold mines at the time.  I was friends with the rich and I wanted to become rich too, but it didn’t work.

The Life Lesson

Today I’m not angry at myself or anyone else and I have looked for the lesson rather than wallow in pain and self-criticism over it.  The main lesson I’ve learned is that you’ve got to make sure you are in control over your own money and when you want to get out of an investment, make sure you have the power to do so. In my case, the people who were ‘helping’ me wouldn’t let me bail out of my investments in their companies at the time because they had control of the money.  They were hoping the market would recover but it didn’t and their companies went bust as well.

When you learn the lesson, you don’t need to have the experience any more

It was a costly lesson, but if I look at it from a lesson point of view, I can move on and I don’t need the negative experience of it any more and I become the wiser from it.

I’m not defined by failure rather I’m a student of failure

Now instead of defining myself as a failure, I see myself as a student of my failures and use those mistakes as guidelines to learn from rather than use them as sticks to beat myself up with.  I’m now out of my psychological paralysis and can move forward with confidence knowing that nothing really bad happens from making a mistake.

Course corrections

When you travel on a plane it makes mistakes too.  That’s when it slightly drifts off course and then the autopilot keeps on making small adjustments all the time to correctly steer the plane back on course.  So next time I make a mistake I’ll do the same.  Just see the error for what it is without judgment and make those ‘course corrections’ and even if I don’t get to the exact destination that I would have liked to, I will certainly get closer to where I wanted to go.

Takeaway

So remember, next time you make a mistake, use them to refine you and help you elevate your game rather than crush and paralyze you. And if you want to further consolidate this idea watch  the video below if you haven’t done so yet.

 

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