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High Achievers Are the Ones Who Make the Most Mistakes

High Achievers Are the Ones Who Make the Most Mistakes

The impact mistakes have had on most people’s lives is tremendous.

At school, you were taught to answer questions with model answers. At home, you were taught to be disciplined, have good manners and follow social etiquette. And at work, you’ve become accustomed to a constant expectation that you operate in a mistake-free manner!

The problem with all the above scenarios is that they punish mistakes. A teacher deducts marks for a wrong answer – a supervisor scolds people for failing to take the right action.

It’s no surprise, then, that from a very young age, people have been made to feel bad about making mistakes. Some have even felt like a complete failure. This constant negative feedback leads to most people desperately trying to live their lives without making any mistakes. It can actually become a compulsion. It may even lead to them trying to hide or lie about their mistakes.

But there is more to making mistakes than most have been led to believe.

The Unexpected Positive Side of Being Wrong

The truth is, by forever seeking to avoid mistakes – we actually end up making more mistakes!

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It’s time to start looking at mistakes from a different perspective. They aren’t the monster they’ve been made out to be. They’ve the remarkable ability to help bring about powerful and rapid personal growth.

If you try to avoid mistakes, then you’ll also be missing opportunities to experience something different from what you planned or expected. Imagine that you miss a connecting flight while traveling to an exotic location. By missing the flight, you are forced to stay for 24 hours in a destination that you’d never been to before. To your surprise, though, you find that the nearest city to the airport is picturesque, cosmopolitan and friendly.  In fact, during your time there – you begin to fall in love with everything the city has to offer. When you finally have to leave the city to go back to the airport, you feel genuinely sad. The city captivates your interest and warms your heart.

Clearly, if you hadn’t missed your flight, you would’ve never visited the city – and never discovered your immediate liking for it.

Life can be like that. Mistakes can lead to adventures and opportunities. And beyond that, mistakes can help you to understand how to make better decisions in future situations.

Making Mistakes Does Not Fend off Success, Avoiding Them Does

Unsuccessful people put the bulk of their focus and energy on avoiding mistakes, whereas successful people put the bulk of their focus and energy on making continual attempts at reaching their goals.

Jim Carrey, on his debut comic stand-up at a club called Yuk Yuk’s in Toronto, he was booed off stage. However, he didn’t let this break him. Instead, he used the experience as a wake up call to improve his performance. This wasn’t the only set back he endured. When auditioning for the Saturday Night Live 1980-81 season, he failed to land the part.[1] Again, he didn’t let this destroy his confidence or ambition, but instead he kept on pursing his dreams until he finally broke through to the mainstream in 1994 with the blockbuster movie “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective.”

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    Jim Carrey wasn’t so successful as a comic stand up at the very beginning.

    And then there is Michael Jordan. His profile on NBA’s website describes him as “the greatest basketball player of all time.”[2] And this is how most people think of him. However, Jordan himself said that:

    “I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shot, and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life.”

    But he clarified this statement by adding some vital information: “And that is why I succeed.

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      Each attempt they made was open to mistakes. With more attempts made, the more feedback they received, and the more chances they gained to do better.

      So, if you really want to avoid mistakes – attempt nothing and take no risks. Your record may remain clean, you’ll make few mistakes, but you’ll also have few achievements to write home about. In other words, avoiding mistakes is the easiest way to become and stay unsuccessful.

      From Making Mistakes to Mastering Mistakes

      Failed attempts are only futile if you don’t learn from them.

      Let’s say that you expect that mistakes will happen after you’ve made a choice. This is natural. You’re aware that choices come with risks, and risks can lead to mistakes. However, if you allow the same mistakes to occur time and time again, then you’re not learning or evolving – but instead are stuck in a rut. Albert Einstein said it well:

      “The definition of insanity is repeating the same mistakes over and over again and expecting different results.”

      A much better approach, is to analyze your mistakes, and to see if you can work out how to avoid them in the future. Put another way, make every attempt count and learn from it. By doing this, you’ll quickly overcome foolish mistakes, and begin to make real progress in your life.

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      As a hard-hitting example for you to think about, if you know that drunk driving can kill, and you still do it because you think it’s about “making more attempts and mistakes,” that’s a foolish act – not an attempt that will help you grow.

      On the other hand, if you plan a business project with some risky ideas, but expect there will be mistakes, then even if these efforts turn out to be unsuccessful, you’ll learn from them.

      A mistake is just a mis-take, start over by learning from your last mis-take.

      Making mistakes doesn’t equal failure. Not making any, however, will mean that you miss out on tons of attempts and learning opportunities. This guarantees failure.

      Be brave, be bold, and be prepared to make mistakes.

      Reference

      More by this author

      Leon Ho

      Founder & CEO of Lifehack

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      Last Updated on June 13, 2019

      How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You)

      How to Attain Self Realization (Step-By-Step Guide for a Better You)

      Chances are, you’re busy hustling between the 40 hours a week you need to work, the family you need to provide for, and the bills that need to be paid.

      As the years pass by, you’ve begun to feel the burnout from all the needs and expectations required of you. You don’t feel like you are in control over your own life. In fact, it feels like the circumstances in your life are controlling you.

      What if there was a way for you to be able to have better control of your life and create all the positive changes you’ve been aching for?

      This can be done through self-realization.

      You’ve probably heard of this concept before, but you’re not really sure what it really is or how it can help you.

      I’m going to dive into what exactly self-realization is and the exact steps you can take to attain it for yourself. Read on if you want to learn how to unlock your potential and find a way to decrease your stress and anxiety, and gain crystal clear clarity about who you are and what you’re capable of.

      What Is Self-Realization?

      Self-realization has a few big definitions. In the Western world, it’s generally defined as the activation of one’s full potential of talents and abilities.

      How Psychologists Define Self-Realization

      Humanistic psychology also follows a similar train of thought about self-realization.

      Psychologist Abraham Maslow has named people he considered to have reached self-realization such as Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln and Eleanor Roosevelt to name a few. His famous hierarchy of needs theory states in order to achieve self-realization (or in this case, Maslow uses the term “self-actualization”),[1] one needs to have a certain set of needs met before achieving it:[2]

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        For example, self-realization cannot be achieved if you are struggling financially and too caught up in worrying about how to pay for the rent and provide food for your family. Unfortunately, this is usually the case for many people, which leaves little opportunity for them to maximize their abilities.

        How Religions Define Self-Realization

        In religions, the concept of self-realization is taken from a different perspective altogether. Connecting with your truest self has a lot to do with transcending your own mind and body. This self is often considered as an eternal being that is not confined to the physical space that your mind and body take up. Many recognize this part of yourself as the soul.

        To put all of these definitions together, self-realization is ultimately learning the answer to the foundational question, “Who am I?”

        The answer lies from understanding that you are not your emotions or your thoughts. Who you really are is not even your body or your mind. These are all things you as a self experience, but they are not you.

        And when you are too caught up in these things that are not yours, that’s when you fall victim to and get stuck in your negative experiences such as stress, anxiety and fear.

        While your thoughts, feelings, and physical body always changes, you do not.

        I know this concept can be a bit confusing to understand, so here’s a great video that explores who you really are explained by Prince EA. It was a video made in response to a bizarre interview session with Comedian Jim Carrey at the red carpet interview at the 2017 New York Fashion Week.

        Here’s the video:

        Why Self-Realization Matters to You

        How often are you distracted, lost in your thoughts, or overwhelmed by difficult emotions?

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        Being in the present is more difficult than ever with the technology today. People are often buried in their smartphones or laptops while others around are craving their attention.

        Most people spend so little time in the present. They’re usually either hurt and having trouble letting go of their past, or busy worrying about their futures:[3]

        “People spend 46.9 percent of their waking hours thinking about something other than what they’re doing, and this mind-wandering typically makes them unhappy.”

        Here are some amazing benefits to self-realization:

        • The ability to monitor your emotions. Rather than being controlled by your emotions, you can now use your observations about them during the experience to learn how to effectively handle things like fear, anxiety and stress. Self-realizations helps you do this by giving you the skill of letting go of debilitating feelings and taking hold of the empowering ones instead.
        • Improved focus and concentration. Guided by your own inner goals and values, self-realization helps you easily identify when you are entering into distractions and eliminate them. By getting rid of the meaningless things in your life, you stay committed to what matters most and you begin to see real results as you reach your fullest potential.
        • Increased confidence, self-awareness and self-esteem. By being connected deeply to your truest self, self-realization frees you from any insecurities, worries, and low sense of self worth that you feel tangled up in by helping you really grasp the truth that you are not defined by them.
        • Becoming more accepting of yourself and of other people. You are able to be more authentic and express emotions freely and clearly. As a result, you are able to form deeper relationships and spend more time connecting with people rather than trying to impress them.

        When people don’t have a strong sense of their own self, they get easily swayed to live life the way other people tell them to live it.

        The truth of this has been shown through Bronnie Ware’s famous work, which has shown that one of the top regrets of people who are dying was:[4]

        “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

        There can be tons of pressure whether it’s from work, society, and even friends and family for you to be a certain way. Maybe your rough upbringing instilled a strong need for other’s approval in you so you do what others expect of you. Maybe you’ve stopped trusting people because of your struggles with letting go of the thoughts and experiences that hurt you.

        Whatever the situation, self-realization gives you the safe space you need to heal and grow.

        How to Start Developing Self-Realization

        1. Start Meditating Regularly

        Aside from all the scientific evidence that shows the health benefits of meditation, it is also a prime way to achieve self-realization.

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        One of my favorite apps that guide you through meditation is Headspace.

        I particularly love this app because it is very straightforward without all the woo-woo types of things you normally associate with meditation. It does a great job of demystifying what meditation really is and how it can benefit you to achieving self-realization.

        Here’s a great explanation of what meditation does for you:

        You can get the basic meditation guidance for free or pay for a premium version for access to more specific meditations that improve things like self esteem, creativity and relationships.

        In case you don’t want to download the app, here is the simple meditation practice you can do right now:

        1. Sit comfortably on a chair.
        2. Start by leaving your eyes open with a relaxed soft focus.
        3. Take about a minute to take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
        4. After a few deep breaths, gently close your eyes while you are breathing out.
        5. Resume normal breathing.
        6. Take a moment to pause and enjoy being present in the moment with having nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to check.
        7. Take a moment to feel the pressure of your body on the chair beneath you, the feet on the floor and the hands and the arms just resting on the legs.
        8. Gently bring the focus back to your breathing.
        9. As you sit there beginning to notice the breath and the body with its rising and falling sensation, don’t try and stop your thoughts. Simply allow them to just come and go.
        10. At this point, the only thing you need to do is when you’ve realized your mind has wandered, gently bring the focus back to your breath again.
        11. Gently bring the attention back to your body, back to that feeling of contact to your chair and the space around you and when ready, gently open your eyes again.

        Even if it’s only 5-10 minutes a day, learning to train your mind to be present is so important to your journey towards self-realization. You need to take a step back from the craziness of life and recompose yourself to be present for the things that matter most.

        Another great method that can be used to achieve self-realization that involves a bit more body strength is yoga. While there are many variations of yoga and has also become a very popular form of exercise in western culture, its original purpose served as a meditative practice to achieve the higher level of consciousness that comes from self-realization.

        You can access plenty of free Yoga channels on Youtube or join a gym to get started.

        2. Make Time for Self-Realization Every Day

        I know what you’re thinking.

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        “I don’t have time for this!”

        I beg to differ.

        About 40 percent of the things you do in a day don’t involve you actively making a decision. Instead, it is actually a habit.

        Out of all of your habits, there are probably a handful of bad ones. If you can observe your daily routines, there is a simple way to change a bad habit into a good one, which is to start making changes to your environment to make it easier for you to change your habits.

        The idea is rather than trying to squeeze in more time to do something, simply alter a daily habit you have into something else.

        For example, let’s say you start your morning by brewing your coffee and sitting down on the dining table for 20 minutes to browse the internet to catch up on the news.

        The news is usually full of negative information, so why not spend those 20 minutes in meditation instead?

        One easy way to make this change is to change your environment up by keeping your laptop and phone in a different room so you don’t have immediate access to it when you sit down on the dining table. You make it easier on yourself to spend time meditating rather than staring at a screen.

        Want some more great tips on breaking bad habits? You can try out Lifehack CEO’s secret Control Alternate Delete method, which was the method he used to break 3 bad habits in less than 2 months.

        Final Thoughts

        Self-realization doesn’t happen overnight. It will take some time and practice, but if you turn the practices into a habit, you’ll be guaranteed to get there. Once you do, you’ll finally feel like you are in more control over your life and be able to get yourself to the next level.

        Now that you have a better understanding of the importance and benefits of self-realization, why not take a moment to put everything down and give it a try?

        More About Self-Realization

        Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

        Reference

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