Facing the Mistakes of Life VII

We cannot relive our old mistakes, but we can make them the means of future immunity from the folly that caused them. If we were impatient yesterday, it should inspire us to be patient today. Yesterday’s anger may be the seed of today’s sweetness. Today’s kindness should be the form assumed by our regret at yesterday’s cruelty. Our unfairness to one may open our eyes to the possibility of greater fairness to hundreds. Injustice to one that may seem to have cost us much may really have cost us little if it makes us more kind, tender and thoughtful for long years.” William George Jordan

I’ve known some people who used the idea that mistakes provide lessons for our tomorrows as an excuse for not giving their highest and finest now. “There’s always tomorrow,” they say, believing that so saying gives them permission to slip up with impunity. Thank goodness that the phoenix can rise form the ashes, but that should only be the approach of last resort and never Plan A!

There must be sufficient momentum to sustain progress individually and collectively. If you, for instance, go through a day where your thoughts, words and deeds only hit the mark in 10 percent of the cases, the resultant drag will likely grind your life’s momentum to a halt if you’re not careful in the days to come. If, on the other hand, you maintain your crown of individuality and as a result, your integrity, dignity and poise, you are more likely to hit the mark, say, 75-95 percent of the time. This has the dual effect of reducing drag and increasing thrust.

Navigating the world we’ve created for ourselves, which is essentially the culmination of eons of free choice and other lesser-known causal factors, is akin to flying. If your airship is well-built, has structural integrity and is free of maintenance squawks, you’ll likely do well, regardless of the occasional turbulence. If, however, you’ve put off the maintenance, disregarded the growing rust on your wing spars and failed to make the adjustments necessary to keep your craft in top shape, the slightest bobble in the air will be sufficient to produce knots in your stomach.

There is mercy in the fact that – up to a certain point – we can learn from our mistakes and move on. Let that not be an excuse for subpar function, in fact, don’t just shoot for average. Go for the gold! The more refined your function, the more aligned your body, mind and heart, the less corrections you will need to make and what’s more, the slight adjustments you’ll need to make to your course will become almost imperceptible to others!

It is true in sports, it is the case in relationships and this principle works out in every other department of life. Just watch those who excel and you will see it in action. Learn to cooperate with it and I can assure you that your life will be a thousand times easier, more productive and less stressful!

7 thoughts on “Facing the Mistakes of Life VII

  • It certainly helps if deep down inside you truly want to do your best, act and behave ito the highest standards. These standards have to be freely accepted in time, where at first they may seem a bit incarcerating. I’m thinking for example about my grandmother who was a stickler for table manners, and there was nothing I could get away with that did not meet her expectations when I came of ave to learn them. Luckily, these I freely accepted in time for I truly believed in the value of this particular social grace.
    In a similar way, I think we all have to come to terms with what is right, proper and fitting in our behaviors. Now where to learn all that is the difficult part today, partly because I feel our social structures have changed so dramatically and quickly that we don’t have the links of tradition to carry forward the gems of what we have learned. I mean, who today has spent a significant amount of time living with their granparents, and no to mention even great grandparents? Very few I would imagine, at least here in the west and other developed countries.
    I’m not saying that all traditions are perfect, as there are many examples I’m sure of those we would wish to forget. But mainly that standards have been set, and if we can’t find them around us today, we’ve got to look into our past and see eras of greater sensitivity where people did uphold different values and where there were different expectations placed on each one. Different standards. People worked hard and were thankful for everything they had, however little that may have been.
    This is not resurrecting the past, just not letting the golden nuggets of wisdom that have been gathered through tough experience be wasted so that we don’t have to start all over all the time. Moving elegantly, victoriously, courageously into the future!

  • Why cripple tomorrow if you know your present course will do that. There are too many things we can’t anticipate that are out of control. I think some people never get a break because they don’t give it to themselves.
    I’m enjoying these posts, they have given me some good food for thought, thanks.

  • Momentum is an interesting phenomena, it can propel us through the uncertainties which would slow our progress but it also has an attractive power that draws more advantages it to us. It can’t be instantly manufactured, it’s like an engine that gains speed but it can be started the moment you realize it’s value in life. It is the luck most people wish they had!

  • We certainly cannot afford to trade on the inherent forgiveness in life, as much as we may recognize and appreciate that quality. Each day’s circumstantial array must be met with thoughtfulness, sensitivity, wise planning and openness to the unexpected. Even so, there will be those results that diverge from what we might assume to be a perfect path, given our own factual limitations and also the turbulence around us over which we have limited influence. Often we may find it necessary to assume responsibility without feeling particularly blameworthy, and on other occasions of course we may recognize that we missed or ‘blew’ an opportunity, and that recognition may be incorporated into a more sound basis for future action.

    These are such practical and pervasive lessons, each well worthy of our active meditation.

  • It is amazing to me how different it feels when you are hitting the mark consistently. When you are missing the mark constantly, life is drudgery, but when you are aligned in yourself, life is easy and fun. If you feel like you are constantly toiling, take a step back and make sure you are allowing momentum to build. Just like flying an airplane would be impossible if you had to push it, a successful life is impossible without momentum management. Once you get off the ground, make your habits the ones that let you keep your momentum the most easily.

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