Mistakes Are Information: Living Your Life; Not Others

“It’s been repeated literally thousands of times in hundreds of our courses. We’ve proven that the deadening (albeit well-meaning) mistakes made by parents, teachers, spouses, bosses, colleagues, and friends can be rectified” (Hermann, 1990)

A Teaching and Learning Environment

Life is a teaching and learning environment, if we view it that way. Sometimes we have good teachers, mentors, and friends to help us see what is happening in the mileu. Sometimes we don’t, yet each day we achieve small successes, and make mistakes that we can learn from.

It’s important to learn from life and not let is just happen. If we let life just happen we may wake up one day and realize we have no idea how we got there. We may realize we are caught up in living a life that developed by the sway and fears of others. We may realize we don’t know who we are and not even understand how to figure that out.

Mistakes are Information

We want you to change and grow the organization. I did that. It took seven years. It consumed my life, because I let it, and when I left I was physically, and mentally exhausted. I lost my identity, all sense of what I wanted in life, and no understanding of how to get that all back.

Life changed when I wasn’t paying attention. A series of major life events demonstrated that I had spent so much time concentrating on the wrong things. I had followed everyones else’s idea of what life should be, and when I stepped away from that life I was alone, and clueless of what to do with my life.

Since then I have made several career and life mistakes, but I am learning from them, and isn’t that what is key? They are showing me what isn’t going to work right now in life, and what is. They are giving me a clear picture of reality.

Reclaim Our Rights to Function

What do we do when we figure out that where we are, and what we are doing are not indicative of our right to function?

The reality is I am not geographically where I need to be to pursue a new career, and new life. We need to move. We are working towards that goal. No one we know shares our passion for changing life whether in small or large ways.

That’s okay. We need to reclaim our lives. Your life might include spending 20 plus years in a job and location, and if it is then good for you. My life might include selling everything we have and moving, and that’s okay too. Reclaiming our right to function is doing that in such a way that fits who we are not who others think we should be.

Validate Ourselves & Others

I walked into the job that I thought was it. This is what I strived for the past two years. I had grandiose ideas of driving to this city to work, and entering one of these buildings. Three days into that job I knew I had made a mistake. There was nothing grandiose about this, and I had completely made a wrong assessment about how this would help my career.

It’s okay. I am working towards getting to a job that fits where I am in life. I understand now that I just need to work to make money, and that my purpose in life isn’t necessarily going to be found in my job. I understand now that what I really want to do is found in what happens outside of work. Maybe one day my job and life purpose will collide, but for now they don’t.

What would that mean for you? How might you validate, or confirm what you want to do, and what might life look like if you follow your purpose?

Retain the Benefits of Understanding

I am like a child when it comes to remembering. I forget so easily. To help me remember I started journaling. It’s so easy to get caught up in what everyone else is doing, but we must persevere. We don’t want to get caught up in someone else’s idea of life.

~Move, not sure where but we we are narrowing it down.
~Must exercise. Keep up the weight training, outdoor workouts are essential for good mental health, and to deal with stress.
~Reading is breathing. Remember Marcy, it’s always been about books, and it will always be about books. If you are not reading you are not living.
~Writing. Not sure what it will lead to, but it’s just something I need to do right now.
~Travel. Have some trips scheduled this year, and more to come.
~Etc., etc., etc.,

I encourage you to find a way to record what you learn. Draw, paint, write, make a video, do something that helps you retain the benefits of understanding.

Continue to Grow and Develop

One day I will sit in my new and much smaller home. I may enjoy a short drive to the beach, or look out on a beautiful lake. I will enjoy a new life, with new friends, and travel to visit old ones. I will either be living out my purpose at work, or after, and when I do I need to continue to grow and develop.

We can do so by learning from our mistakes, and proactively participating in activities that help us grow. I am not sure what that is for you? For me it will include reading, taking classes, trying new things, going on new adventures, and having lively conversations with others who share my passion for life.

What are your mistakes teaching you?
Are you living your life or others?
I hope you are living yours. If you aren’t I hope you will figure out how to.

Marcy Pedersen

Hermann, N. (1990). The Creative Brain. US: Brain Books.

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