“From the errors of others, a wise man corrects his own.”
—Publilius Syrus, ancient Syrian writer
A highly notable technique to support personal growth and development is to encourage people to embrace failure. When we fail, we have the opportunity to pick up experiential lessons from the event.
Today’s quote, however, suggests that not all lessons need to occur from our own failures, setbacks, and stumbles. All we need do is pay particular attention to the misadventures of those around us. From them, we can glean additional nuggets of knowledge and wisdom.
Given the fact that there is only one of you, and so many people in your personal and professional worlds, the odds favor the open and receptive mind in picking up a higher proportion of lessons this way.
Where and in what ways can you use the errors of others to pursue greater success and mastery throughout your day?
One of my favorite and longest standing clients – a man named Stephen – was recently on vacation. This may not ordinarily be remarkable except that he and his family were in Antarctica. On Facebook he posted the ultimate “Ice Bucket Challenge,” by jumping into the frigid waters of the Antarctic Ocean.
How many of us would have said “Yes” to such an experience?
Stephen and I have worked together for 19 years. I admire and respect his “Yes!” attitude and intention to be fully alive.
Examine the opportunities that lie in front of you today, professionally and personally. Where would saying “Yes” and leaping into your own life waters help you live an even more extraordinary life?
When I think of cutting strings, I think of the times in my life I broke off a relationship or quit a project, where I might have been frustrated or unsuccessful.
Untying a knot, on the other hand, reminds me of times I was actively engaged in solving a particular problem or simplifying a complex matter.
Explore your professional and personal life issues to determine if they truly require a pair of scissors. How could a set of patient and diligent fingers reconcile or resolve selective challenges you are facing?
There is no such thing as an “overnight success,” but there is a formula to become one. Before you argue the inherent contradiction in that statement, consider this:
An “overnight success” is the result of the journey of personal mastery, which is built on continuous self-improvement gained through experiential learning over considerable time. The “formula” IS the journey, which demonstrates itself through the phenomenal capacities we achieve beyond those of our previous selves.
Envision the simple, ordinary, and daily problems you are solving today. How might they be the beginning or early stages of your journey of personal mastery, in some aspect of your professional or personal life?
“There is a great difference between worry and concern. A worried person sees a problem and a concerned person solves a problem.”
—Harold Stephens, American Author
Image from Flickr by Debs
Have you ever watched a mouse racing around one of those circular wheels, never getting anywhere? They run and run and always end up in the same place. Alternatively, think about running on a treadmill. We get all worked up and sweaty, but find ourselves in the same place.
Worry is like that. In this case, the treadmills are in our minds. Concern, on the other hand, seems to have more of a mobilizing quality that takes us out of our heads and off those treadmills so we can set out on a journey to an eventual solution.
Where would a shift from worry to concern mobilize your thoughts and actions toward a successful solution in some important professional or personal issue today?
“You cannot dream yourself into a character, you must hammer and forge yourself into one.”
– James Anthony Froude, English historian
Image from Flickr by Hans Splinter
We sometimes hope for a quick-fix that will resolve our problems, and dream of how our future lives would look. If only we could find that magic bullet!
Dreaming is important, as is having a vision. But neither comes to pass without the work it takes to realize our dreams.
The great leaders and people of our time had dreams and shared their visions. To realize those visions, though, they all worked hard, and put in tremendous effort over many years. These people of character have the bumps, bruises and calluses to show for it.
Here is a secret: Find something of extraordinary value and meaning in your life. Pursue something you truly love to do, and you will enjoy the process.
What do you envision and dream about that would be worth a lifetime of hard labor?