Life Wants You to Learn Something

I have a strong belief that everytime I fail, life wants me to learn something. It’s the only certain way to avoid sliding downwards on the cycle of success.

Remember the last time you failed. Big-time, screwing up so bad that you thought there’s no point in going on. No light. How did you feel? Did you feel like starting over? Or like throwing it all away and giving up completely? Whichever way you felt, I bet you it wasn’t a pleasant feeling. I usually think of giving up in moments like this. I get totally depressed and start bashing my head against the wall :)

There is, however, a simple way to avoid this negativity. Instead of crying and whining and filling your brain with pain and regret, wipe your tears and ask yourself two simple questions:

  1. What happened? Shortly describe (in written) exactly what made you feel bad, but make sure you don’t exaggerate. Keep as close to the truth as your state of mind permits. Try not seeing the situation worse than it actually is.
  2. What have I learnt? I’m sure you know of a way to avoid situations / problems like that in the future. What is it? Write it down. Got more than one good idea? Remembered a quotation that could help you in the future? A slogan? Write down whatever you think will keep you away from wrong decisions in the future.

I know what you’re thinking now: ‘Nah, it’s useless. I know I’ll step into the same pit again. I’m such a loser!’ See, that is, indeed, the loser in you speaking. Make it shut up. Wake up the optimist in you. I know this sounds difficult, but try it once and you’ll see that it will make you feel better. Suddenly the dark is not that dark after all! And if you keep a list of what you’ve learnt from your mistakes, eventually you’ll run out of things that can go wrong!

“Success is the result of good judgement.
Good judgement is the result of experience.
Experience is the result of bad judgement.”

(Tony Robbins)

7 Responses to Life Wants You to Learn Something

  1. Alex says:

    Very nice strategy. In fact, I use it myself, except that I don’t put it down on paper. The advantage is that you don’t necessarily have to organize your thoughts, thus you can generate many of them; and the disadvantage is that the results of the meditation will likely be lost due to our ‘fantastic mnemonic features’.

    As a result, one actually learns from their mistakes better if they occur several times.

    After going thru this iteration multiple times, I found a solution – to share my thoughts with people via email. This ‘forced’ me to organize my thoughts, and the results of my meditations would never be lost (because my email archive is always with me).

    The next step was to defeat my lazyness and actually read my old mail from time to time.

    People say that reading old letters may not be a good idea, thus my web-site was created. It is a log of my thoughts and conclusions, wrapped into a shiny cover which (I hope) I am not ashamed to show to other people.

    Advantages:
    – organized
    – stored not in the form of letters :-)
    – can be read by others, and so experience is shared
    – before posting an entry, I read it multiple times and apply many updates; as a result I am very very familiar with the content, hence there is no need to repeat the mistake multiple times (as I wrote initially)

    p.s. there’s no ‘preview comment’ button, I would use it :-)

  2. Constantin says:

    Actually, I don’t use paper either. I use Basket. Having a “basket” of ideas and thoughts on my local machine has at least three advantages:
    1. it’s private (this blog is for the public stuff)
    2. it’s available offline
    3. it’s readily searchable and highly customizable

    And sorry about no preview button. WordPress.com doesn’t give it’s users full control over the wordpress installation, thus I can’t find such an option anywhere. But I really don’t want to host this blog someplace else.

  3. Alex says:

    Hmm, Basket seems to be a great tool. Do you know a similar program for Gnome?

    I also have a Windows PC, I use Microsoft OneNote there, it’s pretty flexible and it looks a lot like Basket (judging by the screenshots).

    Finally, since we’re here; do you happen to be using any flavor of mind mapping software? Have you used FreeMind or VYM?

  4. Constantin says:

    Basket was inspired by OneNote I think.
    I don’t know of any Gnome alternative. You can still launch Basket under Gnome, but that will carry the burden of loading kdelibs.
    I tried FreeMind once and found no use for it. For the little planning that I do from time to time paper is just fine :) What do you use mind-mapping software for (if you do)?

  5. Alex says:

    I haven’t yet found the ultimate mind-mapping tool. I am looking for one, because I noticed that all my lecture notes, as well as the notes I make at work and anywhere else – look like flowcharts, with lines and all sorts of bubbles and connectors, etc.

    Each time I make a note in OneNote, I find myself spending some time thinking about the best way to convert a thought into a plaintext-form. Naturally, I concluded that if I could lay down my thoughts ‘as is’, I would optimize the process and save some time which could be invested in generating new thoughts ;-)

  6. Eujen=) says:

    Thanks for the advice! i appreciate it, and i’ll try it…i’ll try to try=) usually, in such situations like those described upper , i try to believe that nothing can’t be changed(if it really can not)… i just think of the future… the future is the one that frees me from my failures… i don’t know… i guess it just depends on the person itself… thanks for the article!

  7. Constantin says:

    Yeah, sometimes the vision of a happy future is a powerful motivator.
    Thanks for the comment.

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