I have often written about the need for us to be gracious and forgiving to our younger selves. We often, surprisingly, give less mercy to ourselves than we would to others.
As a person with, often extreme OCD, I will mull over things that I did many years ago that I consider foolish and stupid in reflection.
How about you? Are you one of the many of us, in a certain generation, that is thankful that we did not have cell phones with cameras back then recording our every moment? All of those slips and stumbles in judgement from our lack of maturity in those days.
While we did silly things, we also did some brave things, some of which have borne great fruit in our lives.
I have come to believe that nothing is wasted. It is either a step forward or a lesson on how to or not to step forward. Most of our errors have not cost anyone life or limb and are mostly sources of the ‘cringe factor’ as we look upon our bruised egos and severely smashed pride.
Thomas Edison, who by some accounts was an eternal optimist, once stated when telling of his adventure with trying to invent the light bulb:
“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”Thomas Edison
Another Edison story goes that when he witnessed his laboratory burnt to the ground he exclaimed that all his mistakes were now erased.
It is unwise to advocate blind leaps of faith without the necessary work and research done beforehand.
Most of these leaps of faith are performed by people who want a quick fix and do not want to grow through the, often necessary, hard lessons. More often than not, they are pursued in a desire to escape something rather than to be moving progressively forward.
However, we all do need to take steps of faith in a well researched and quantified risk. In nature, when something is not growing, it dies. Settling is not a viable long term option.
“Let your fear of regret be stronger than your fear of failure.”Ruth Soukup
I have watched many older people express their regret at not pushing the boundaries and seeing what was possible. Some researchers have found that most elderly people regret more what they did not do than what they did do.
Often we proclaim something as unequivocal truth, only to find later up the track that we missed something or a piece of the puzzle was missing that we just couldn’t see at the time.
Let’s be like those elders who make the mistake of sometimes having their ‘mind’s making dates their bodies can’t keep’. Those who keep looking forward and dreaming of the next thing as if they will always be here; those older gracious ones who are grateful and happy for their lot.
I knew such a person who was in his 90s and still laughed and had a spring in his step. He had lived well and used what was given him to live a good life and enhance the course of the life of others.
Reflect for yourself on where your considered actions and responses have brought peace and more beneficial outcomes.
Thanks for reading! I’d love you to share your thoughts in the comment space below!
Dave is an Adult Educator, Speaker and Youth leader living in Western Sydney, Australia. He has Diplomas in Business and Training, a Bachelors Degree in Adult Education, Vocational and Workplace Training and a Masters of Education with a major in Career Development. He has lived with Tourette’s Syndrome, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety Disorders since an early age, you can read his story online. He is married with 6 children. He is a passionate coach and mentor to young people especially in the vocational guidance and career development areas. Dave is a professional member of the Career Development Association of Australia and has authored a course on Living with Tourette’s which you can study and purchase online through his website – www.davebrebner.com.