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6 Lessons on Making Smooth Transitions in Life

6 Lessons on Making Smooth Transitions in Life
Smooth Transitions

Last week I started working on my new job as a lecturer. The job is pretty flexible, but it takes quite a lot of time for preparation, especially because I’m relatively new to some subjects. Since I’m still adapting to the pace, my life was pretty disorganized. I couldn’t do my morning ritual as it should, and I didn’t even have enough time to write for my blog. It’s now getting better, though I haven’t coped with it completely.

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In the process, there are some things I learn about how to make such transitions smoother:

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  1. Reject new commitments
    Since I’m still organizing things, I decided not to accept any new commitments. Sometimes it’s not easy to say no to new commitments, but I’ve learned to say no without feeling guilty. In the past, I tended to say yes to new opportunities without thinking about the effect they may have on me. And more often than not, I ended up unable to handle them and failed to produce optimal results. I’m now more cautious and think in longer terms before saying yes to a commitment.
  2. Know what you want
    Sometimes it’s difficult to decide which commitments to take when there are several options. But, if you know exactly what you want, making such decisions is easy. By knowing what you want, you can easily see which commitments are helpful to achieve your goals and which are not. You can then quickly make decisions when you need to.
  3. Maintain focus
    To achieve your vision, you need focus. I learned this the hard way. For years, I set goals and saw that none of them were achieved. It was terrible. So I changed my approach and focused on only one or two goals a year (now I set only one goal). Since then, I started to see significant progress in achieving my goals. My attention and energy are used on only a few things, so the chance of achieving them is much higher.

    I apply this lesson to my current situation. While previously I could easily get distracted by various things, now I anticipate the distractions and avoid them in the first place.

  4. Maintain balance
    While we should focus on what we want, we should not be so obsessed by it that we sacrifice other parts of our life. Keep your life balanced. In my life, I always try to balance the four facets of prosperity: financial, spiritual, social, and physical.
  5. Anticipate unexpected events
    This is what I didn’t do well. I didn’t expect that class preparation would take so much time, and I ended up being disorganized for some time. I should have anticipated such potential busyness beforehand.

    For instance, I didn’t have ready-to-publish posts at that time, and since I didn’t have time to write, I missed a posting schedule on my blog. What I should do is to always have some ready-to-publish posts which can be used in such situations.

  6. Identify the weak points
    To stabilize the situation as quickly as possible, I identified the weak points I should give special attention to. For instance, I noticed that there are some days in which I’m busier than the rest. By realizing this, I could better anticipate them in the future. Another possibility is there are certain things that take too much time to do. By identifying them, I can work to make them more efficient.

Of course, these are just what I’ve learned from my experience. I’m sure there are still many other tips that I haven’t covered here, so feel free to share them in the comments.

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Last Updated on October 16, 2019

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

Do you like making mistakes?

I certainly don’t.

Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

  • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
  • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
  • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
  • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

  1. Point us to something we did not know.
  2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
  3. Deepen our knowledge.
  4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
  5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
  6. Inform us more about our values.
  7. Teach us more about others.
  8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
  9. Show us when someone else has changed.
  10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
  11. Remind us of our humanity.
  12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
  13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
  14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
  15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
  16. Invite us to better choices.
  17. Can teach us how to experiment.
  18. Can reveal a new insight.
  19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
  20. Can serve as a warning.
  21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
  22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
  23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
  24. Remind us how we are like others.
  25. Make us more humble.
  26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
  27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
  28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
  29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
  30. Expose our true feelings.
  31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
  32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
  33. Point us in a more creative direction.
  34. Show us when we are not listening.
  35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
  36. Can create distance with someone else.
  37. Slow us down when we need to.
  38. Can hasten change.
  39. Reveal our blind spots.
  40. Are the invisible made visible.

Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

The secret to handling mistakes is to:

  • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
  • Have an experimental mindset.
  • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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