Mistakes = Guidance

I have made my share of mistakes.  I am far from perfect and will never deny my faults.  In fact, I take pride in most (not all) of my mistakes.  Number one reason why is because I have no regrets.  The mistakes I made were because of what I wanted and chose during those times.  The second reason being, I actually use my mistakes as my guiding light which paves the way for how I aspire to live now and in my future.

Growing up I was the oldest child of a first generation immigrant family.  We all lived based on trial and error.  I never really had the appropriate guidance that I wish I had.  I was often the guinea pig in the family, whereby my parents made all their mistakes with me versus my younger brother.  I was the first generation high school, college and university student and graduate.  I was deprived of the freedom and opportunities my brother was offered through school and extra curricular activities which helped develop and refine certain skills and passions he had.  I experimented outside of my cultural norms and developed relationships with various people from various backgrounds and predominantly used their experiences as my guidance.

Naturally this way of living affected my personal choices and I made poor decisions based on misinformation and lack of direction.  This affected all my relationships, ie. family, friends and coworkers.  I would put myself in one way relationships where I would give far more than get back, emotionally speaking.  I would choose to be in relationships as a means to complete myself when in fact I should’ve been focusing on my self development to achieve completion.  I would make poor choices which affected my education thus, delaying my educational growth.  Finally, my work and financial progress was affected because of my self defeating attitude.

So now I look back and feel blessed because I value those mistakes I once made.  All my past mistakes  have helped me see what I no longer want, need, or desire versus what I actually deserve.  I am able to clearly see what does and does not serve my purpose.  My past paves a way that steers clear of what I once used to be.  I use my memories and feelings from those moments to help decide how I wish to handle my new dilemmas or decisions differently than before.  I owe it to my past because it helped me understand that I deserve to be the best I can be now and going forward.

Finally, I use my mistakes as guidance for others who share similar journeys.  Anyone suffering from an identity crisis, a broken heart, or if you’re feeling lost within your inner world can learn from my mistakes.  I want others to avoid making similar mistakes to help gain time.  Time is limited and if I can help save you even one extra minute and help guide you, then again those mistakes have served their purpose.  So ultimately, even if we do not find guidance through a role model or in the form of a person helping or directing us, we can at least take comfort in knowing we do have a guiding light.  That guiding light is known as our mistakes.

Time to reflect:

Look back at your past mistakes and catch yourself to see if you’re repeating the same mistakes.  It’s time you look at those mistakes differently and use them as your light.  Use your mistakes as a beacon to guide you toward what you actually want and deserve.  Your mistakes should help eliminate options that don’t necessarily work for you or teach you how to apply things differently.  Practice looking at your faults this way and turn yourself into your own life coach.  

mindbodysoul

“Our greatest mistakes, if we look at them, and digest them, and interact with them, and learn from them… they can be the greatest moments of our lives.” 
~ Dan Pearce

Temporary highs

I got to a point in my life where I was tired of all the temporary highs.  The reason I only experienced temporary highs was because my gratitude for everything was short lived.  Every time I gained something new or experienced something exciting I felt a momentary high of bliss and joy.  Everything felt like it was in perfect harmony.  My desires, wants, needs and expectations were all met at that exact moment so I felt a great high.  However, that same high came crashing down very quickly.

I could never seem to maintain that elated feeling of happiness and bliss.  This was because I was conditioned to believe that happiness isn’t supposed to last.  This misinformation was the leading cause of all my burn outs and crashes.  I lived a life chasing moment after moment never being satisfied with the stillness that occurred after an event or incident.

I was always moving on to the next thing in pursuit of happiness, failing to see the importance of basking in the ambience of feeling good from the previous or current event.  It was always during the hallow chase that my high would dissipate into nothingness and leave me feeling empty and useless.  It left me feeling unfulfilled.  I needed to change this horrid feeling and fast.

I changed by consciously forcing myself to take an extra 10 mins to focus on the good from the current event I was occupied with (I know this might not seem like a long time or it might not seem like it makes a difference but applying this regularly drastically impacts life).  Rather than instinctively jump to the next situation, I made the effort to remind myself of how I felt.  If I felt good, I would allow myself to concentrate on that feeling for an 10 extra minutes because I know I wouldn’t make the time otherwise.  By doing this, it prevented me from starting something new immediately, it prolonged the blissful sensations and kept me feeling content and fulfilled for a longer period of time.  My time spent was now being redirected to feeling good and allowing those feelings to be and last.

It’s important to remember that gratitude is attitude.  By changing our attitude in our pursuit for happiness and taking the time to feel grateful we allow those temporary highs to become more permanent or longer lasting highs.  By being grateful for the event/situation at hand and allowing ourselves to consciously focus on feeling good longer, we build up our tolerance for happiness.  We realize that we can remain happy longer all thanks to how we perceive that happiness.

Time to reflect:

Do you face temporary highs because you’re constantly chasing after the next thing that will make you happy?  How long does the high last?  A day, a few hours, or maybe even a few minutes?  Try to practice consciously focusing on feeling good or the high you get from whatever it is you’re doing.  If your instinct is to naturally feel bad as soon as the good feeling is experienced or is over, then consciously try focusing on feeling good for an extra 10 minutes on top of what you already felt or did.  By doing this, you are conditioning yourself to prolong your “high” and ultimately feel happier for much longer.  

mindbodysoul

“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy”.
~  Guillaume Apollinaire