Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Don't Dwell on Mistakes.

One of the main purposes I created this blog was to inspire others. I feel like I have to get back to that, so I’m going to talk about a common problem we all have.

Regretting our mistakes.

Of course we don’t mean to dwell on mistakes, but at times it’s hard not to let it happen. We might not even realize we are doing this at times. People are imperfect and mistakes will happen. When an important decision comes up, we make the best choice we can at the time. I find myself looking back on some of those decisions and wishing I would’ve made a different choice.

For example, I worked for a school district for ten years. I had a secure, stable, although somewhat boring job processing payroll and other data. But when I was there I wanted to be a stay at home mom. My son had asthma and it was triggered by colds. He was getting stick constantly while in day care. When my husband got a better job with benefits, I quit my job. I loved being a stay at home mom. But I didn’t know I would end up divorced or that the economy would collapse. I look back on that and it’s hard not to think that “If only I would’ve known. I had a secure job there with good benefits (dang it) I should’ve stayed. I would have nothing to worry about right now.”

But, I won’t let myself dwell on it. At the time, I had the best intentions. I wanted more time with my kids. I was naïve that nothing could ever go wrong. In fact, I find that most of my mistakes come from being naïve, but that is another story.

Dwelling on a mistake is not going to help things get any better. So when you think back on something you feel is a mistake, think about the good intentions you had when you made that decision. Think about other decisions you made that went great. The best part is that we learn from our mistakes. We don’t have to repeat them.


"Do not fear mistakes. You will know failure. Continue to reach out." - Benjamin Franklin

"Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations." - Steve Jobs

"Mistakes are the portals of discovery" - James Joyce

"There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting" - Buddha


Rusty Webb said...

Really good advice. Worrying about past mistakes can paralyze us when we have to make future decisions. Just do what we think best at the time and hope for the best.

CherylAnne Ham said...

This is so true and can be so hard. I can let certain things go as I know making that choice was the best decision at the time. It's when I make choice where I should have known better from the start where I really beat myself up.

All we can do is live, learn, and move on. Thanks for the great post!

Botanist said...

And then there's my favourite (but can't remember who said it): If you don't make mistakes, you're not trying hard enough.

Michael Offutt said...

All the best of us can do is to live our lives with as much vim and vigor as we can muster every day. We cannot control much of what happens to us in this life. I wish that wasn't so but yeah...shit just happens. I think there is at least one positive thing to come out of all your makes you a better writer.

Cindy said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

Botanist, I like that expression.

Mike, Yes, adversity does improve writing.

Manju M said...

Hi Cindy! Really nice post...guiding one!
Its true that we are humans and we will continue to err...But, the only thing we can do, and must do, is that learning from it..and not repeating..not to cry over it endlessly...
Leave behind the pain, and carry the experience throughout..
Times change and so do our priorities..this gives rise to the 'Wish I made a different choice!'
All the best for the future!