Some of the smartest people I know continuously struggle to get ahead because they forget to address a few simple truths that collectively govern our potential to make progress. So here’s a quick reminder:
All people possess dimensions of success and dimensions of failure. Trying to be perfect is a waste of time and energy. Perfection is an illusion. Behind whichever polished storyline we publically promote, there lies a multi-dimensional human being with a long list of un-professed failures. Sometimes this person is a bad husband or wife. Sometimes this person laughs at the expense of others. And sometimes this person merely takes their eyes off the road and rear-ends the car in front of them.
Every mistake you make is progress. Mistakes teach you important lessons. Every time you make one, you’re one step closer to your goal. The only mistake that can truly hurt you is choosing to do nothing simply because you’re too scared to make a mistake. And no matter how it turns out, it always ends up just the way it should be. Either you succeed or you learn something. Win-Win. Remember, if you never act, you will never know for sure, and you will be left standing in the same spot forever.
People can be great at doing things they don’t like to do. Although I’m not suggesting that you choose a career or trade you dislike, I’ve heard way too many smart people say that in order to be great at what you do, you have to like what you do. This just isn’t true. I could come up with dozens of other examples just like this, but I’ll spare you the details. Just realize that if someone dedicates enough time and attention to perfecting a skill or trade, they can be insanely good at doing something they don’t like to do.
The problems we have with others are typically more about us. Quite often, the problems we have with others – our spouse, parents, siblings, etc. – don’t really have much to do with them at all. Because many of the problems we think we have with them we subconsciously created in our own mind. Maybe they did something in the past that touched on one of our fears or insecurities. Or maybe they didn’t do something that we expected them to do. In either case, problems like these are not about the other person, they’re about us. And that’s okay. All we need is the willingness to look at things a little differently – letting go of ‘what was’ and ‘what should have been,’ and instead focusing our energy on ‘what is’ and ‘what could be possible.’
Emotional decisions are rarely good decisions. Decisions driven by heavy emotion are typically misguided reactions rather than educated judgments. These reactions are the by-product of minimal amounts of conscious thought and primarily based on momentary ‘feelings’ instead of mindful awareness. The best advice here is simple: Don’t let your emotions trump your intelligence. Slow down and think things through before you make any life-changing decisions.
Just remember that significant moments of opportunity for personal growth and development will come and go throughout your lifetime. If you are looking to make positive changes in your life you will need to embrace these moments of opportunity even though you will never feel 100% ready for them.