..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

..and when the sun rises again tomorrow, we'll see how far we've come ...

... just to remind myself why I'm doing this ...

Depending on our personalities, the world can be a crowded place or a very lonely one. For those who seek comfort in numbers, there is no shortage of hangers on, but for those who avoid that circus, keeping thier own counsel can leave them feeling quite alone and disengaged from the mad place we call home. Life is a trade off and most of us choose how we live it.

For me, I'd rather work things out as best I can, using my own thoughts and feelings to sort things out. Following the crowd has never been a temptation to me, but that has its price, one that I'm totally comfortable with every day I get to stand up and be the person I aspire to be. When I sometimes lose track of who that is, I come here to remember, to reconnect and to resume my quest.

These posts are a reflection of some of what matters to me and it's a privilege to have the opportunity to collect these thoughts as they form in my head, as they prepare the way for my life, as it evolves from one day to the next. They re-inspire me when things seem to be floating about, with no particular aim or purpose, and it does happen from time to time.

So, today I had these thoughts that I think are worth writing down for the future me to look back on when I need to ...

Saturday, May 3, 2014

is it wise to try to 'FIX' a mistake?

I got to thinking about what we call "mistakes". Are they actually mistakes, and if so, why? I think we tend to call a decision a mistake when things don't turn out the way we expect after making a decision. So in reality, mistakes are only decisions that have outcomes that do not reflect our intentions. When that happens, we just try to fix the 'mistake' and carry on.

However, it has also occurred to me that fixing a mistake, any mistake, is nigh impossible. I say that because once acted upon, the circumstances that led to the decision that led to a mistake have been affected and have therefore altered the arguments involved. Essentially you have a new problem or issue before you, not the one that existed before the mistake was made.

Perhaps we'd be wiser to re-evaluate the new circumstances in their own light as opposed to the glare of a decision gone wrong, a 'mistake'. I think that looking at such a decision from a fresh perspective instead of seeing it as a repair job is more likely to produce a better result than what a patch job might. A fix will likely be based on the original circumstances that brought about the original decision and will likely not take into account the changes that were introduced when that decision was enacted. Inevitably, that will also not result in the newly revised intended outcome and result in yet another "mistake". That process will simply repeat itself as long as the objective is to 'fix' the problem.

While experience brings with it many benefits, it is after all, only a compilation of results realized by many, many decisions, and the underlying circumstances that led to those decisions. Experience without wisdom is a waste of time. It's the wisdom component that evaluates results based on their originating circumstances and not the conglomeration of endings they produced. I think the best application of experience is achieved when attention is aimed at prevailing circumstances and the intended result, regardless of what has happened up to that point. It's about stringing together a series of such processes at a smaller scale and having each such decision set up the next circumstance to be evaluated in light of the objective. The final result will more likely be the desired one, regardless of any 'mistakes' made along the way to those decisions.

I would illustrate this concept by using the example of a ship navigating by applying course-corrections all along its route. Every correction sets up a new course with new circumstances such as different wind and current directions relative to the pre-correction course. It would be folly to make corrections based on the original plan, leaving little chance of reaching the intended goal.

Mistakes are actually just tools in the arsenal one needs to evaluate circumstances that present during the decision process and therefore should not be seen as a problem. 'Mistakes' are inevitable; 'mistakes' are indispensable; 'mistakes' are invaluable and I'm not going to call them 'mistakes' anymore; to me they're decisions with outcomes that are different than what was intended, that's all. That way, I won't be deterred from making decisions that have the potential for outcomes that are not what was intended. Who knows how that will affect the future? I'm betting on breakthroughs more than on predictable mediocrity.

All of this brings me to the thought that started this whole mental exploration, using history to extrapolate the future. It seems that all too often, history is seemingly all we have to draw some degree of guidance when we want to lay our future plans and chart a course to get us there. I've also come to the conclusion that such an approach is much closer to the ship example earlier than to the application of the wisdom component of using experience to guide us. My approach to decision-making on where to aim my future is not going to be determined by the potential for having outcomes that are different than what I intended. My future is going to be much richer in outcomes, intended or otherwise, and the pursuit of ever deeper wisdom is my goal.

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