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Happy People Admit and Correct Their Mistakes

by Charly Mann

Common sense makes us believe that we learn from our mistakes. Yet if that were true two of the biggest mistakes people make would rarely be repeated – divorces in second marriages and war. Instead the divorce rate for first marriages is 41%, while it is 60% second marriages and there are still numerous wars being fought around the globe.

The primary reason we repeat our mistakes is that we find comfort in the familiar and we develop ingrained patterns to cope with the world. As a result we feel emotionally safe repeating habits we have developed, and the consequence is we continue to make the same mistakes. The truth is humans are much more creatures of than beings that change.

I have made many mistakes in my life. Most I have overcome, but some I have yet to conquer for more than a brief period. Fortunately the majority of my major ones I have been strong enough to correct.  What works for me is to acknowledge my mistake to myself, and those closest to me, on a regular basis, and to say I am committed to overcoming it. This usually starts with a presentation I make standing up in front of these people in which I admit my error and then detail the specific changes I plan to make to avoid repeating it. I also make an audio recording of this as an additional incentive. This methodology has been quite successful for me, and has given me the confidence that I can overcome almost any mistake or bad habit. However I am not arrogant enough to think it will be easy, and I am daily humbled everyday by characteristics that I have not tried hard enough to fix.

I do believe it is true that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. Success in life is all about making mistakes, changing our strategy, and improving our skills until we become perfect at what we do. The key is to acknowledge them and fix them. The real sin is ignoring mistakes, or worse, seeking to hide them.

 


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Comments:

wmarkhay      6:58 AM Sun 2/19/2017

I made a comment about self-assurance being antidote for negativity toward others below your most recent post, and it's equally or more applicable here. Coming from a self-assured base, one is much more likely to take a legitimate criticism to heart with the idea, "I hear you, and want to make myself better if I can." The self-doubter will tend to try to defend the position or method being criticized, perceiving it as an attack rather than as an opportunity for improvement.

It's easy to see how many things affect this. Think what raising a kid or treating a spouse extremely negatively does to their self-esteem... which more or less locks them into a spiral of non-improvement as they're driven to defend things that could/should be changed for the better.
 

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Charly Mann in a Hawaiian shirt
Charly Mann

About Me

Ever since I was very young I have been intrigued with how one could live happily ever after like the characters I read about in fairy tales. As a child I noticed most of the adults I was exposed to were often anxious and angry, and only a very few seemed to be calm and happy. By the time I was a teenager I was scouring philosophy and psychology books looking for instructions on how to have a marvelous life. I also began questioning scores of adults I would encounter about their philosophy on life and what they thought one needed to do to be perfectly contented. In 1967, at the age of 17, I started a daily journal that compiled all the information I acquired that day on the subject. Today that journal includes three dozen large notebooks and more than 3,400 pages on my hard drive.

I have had a marvelous life thus far - most of it incredibly happy, healthy, and successful. Since 1968 I have also tracked how happy and successful I was in the previous year. Through the end of 2013, each year has been significantly better than the year before. I believe much of this can be attributed on what I learned and implemented in my own life about achieving good health, success, and happiness. As I mature and learn more my methodology for making my life great has changed a lot. I achieved enormous financial success before I was 25, which contributed greatly to my enjoyment of life for almost a decade, but even before I was 30 I found that there were things far more important than wealth that made my life great and I keep discovering more. I have had financial independence since I was very young, but almost all the joys and pleasure I now derive from life are free or cost very little.

On Uplifting Visions I share insights that I have gained from my own experience, observation, and a life of research on attaining happiness, health, and success.

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