A guest post on making deliberate mistakes. By: Greg Audino.
Hello everyone, I'm Greg — an actor and certified life coach with a self-development YouTube channel.
Today we’re back with yet another juicy look into the lives of strangers.
We have a new question from one of our video viewers, and I think the question at hand is extremely relatable to all of us. So pay attention closely, see how it applies to you, and hopefully you’ll get as much out of it as the person who sent this question.
Here we go!
“I was talking to one of my friends about making mistakes. For her, she wants to stay in touch with her ex-boyfriend even though she thinks it's a bad idea. For me it’s if I should pursue someone I’m interested in that I know I probably shouldn’t be. Is it okay to do something you’ve been wanting to do even if you know its wrong, like intentionally making a mistake and learning from it first hand? A lot of people talk about making mistakes while you’re young so you can get answers for yourself. What do you think?”
— Viewer Question
Great, great question. As I said, it pertains to each and every one of us in our own way, so let’s break it down further and see how to solve the structure of this question without necessarily needing specific examples.
Making Mistakes: Is There A Right or Wrong?
I think an important thing to acknowledge from the get go is that there really is no right and wrong. Many spiritual practitioners would argue that the pinnacle of spiritual practice is not labeling things as good or bad, but to see each event, thought, action, whatever as neutral. Now, what does that mean? A lot of people think that sounds like some hippy B.S. — of course there’s good and bad.
But at the risk of sounding like one of those hippy BSers, it IS important to realize that we generate our ideas of good and bad from past experiences; how similar situations have panned out and how we’ve perceived those situations.
For example, most would agree that it is good to give to charity. It’s a good thing for me to drive 8 bags of clothes and other assorted items over to Goodwill, and to compound that, it’s best for me to do it on the weekend so I don’t miss work. Pretty cut and dry. But what if I get into a fatal car accident on the way there that I wouldn’t have gotten into otherwise? Based on experiences of how things usually pan out, it would’ve been a good thing to do, but in this case, it wasn’t.
Or say you’re on your way to go kill someone, which most well-adjusted people would deem as a bad thing, but on the way there, you have a spiritual awakening, turn your life around and end up devoting your life to helping others avoid living lives of crime. This is probably an awakening you wouldn’t have had, had you not gotten so close to the moment of actually killing someone.
Ask Yourself Tough and Honest Questions
I think in retrospect we can all agree that life throws a lot of curveballs and that things we plan on doing don’t always pan out, but in the moment of decision making we resort instead to our assumptions. And yes, those assumptions are based on very high percentages, but it’s often the things that don’t go according to plan that we remember most and have the most impact over our lives.
However, that’s not to say you should ignore any risk calculation, either. For the person asking this and your friend, what are the likely risks you see, inside and outside? Ultimately, we’re more used to these calculations and since most of us BELIEVE in the calculative process and therefore it’s what we’re most likely to act on, don’t ignore it.
Make a chart, seek patterns in yourselves. Ask questions like:
- What circumstances did your friend’s relationship end on?
- What has happened when she’s maintained relationships with exes in the past?
- Is her desire to keep in touch with him coming from a place of strength or weakness?
Or for the viewer who asked the question:
- What’s the real downside of pursuing this person? Are people at risk, or just your idea of how things should be?
- Where does your interest in this person stem from?
- Have you had similar scenarios in the past?
- How long have you wanted to pursue this person?
Questions like this can often give us a roadmap to the path of least regret, and even if it blows up in our faces, many will find catharsis in knowing that at least they didn’t go it into haphazardly because again, sometimes we just can’t plan things and life happens anyway.
How Do You Accelerate Your Personal Growth?
Also, here's a throwback to one of my earlier and favorite videos, Telling Temptation.
I really can’t stress enough the fact that temptation exists for a reason.
The urges that you, your friend, and all of us have are presenting themselves because some part of our being is being left unattended to.
Again, it’s not a bad idea to dismantle this temptation by asking yourself tough and honest questions like some of the ones I laid out a moment ago. But those who do decide to act on temptations find that they get answers not only about the scenarios themselves, but also the true weight of said temptation and how much it meant to them.
Your friend might find that talking to her ex once reminds her of how stupid he was and that she doesn’t need to talk to him again, that little temptation is gone now and she can move on. She might also end up getting back together with him, marrying him and living happily ever after and that temptation will prove to have been coming from a bigger and better place. Either way, she wouldn’t ultimately know unless she tries. Same can be said about you and the person you’re considering pursuing. Hopefully it’s not her ex boyfriend.
In summary, action can be the fast track to answers.
Information Gathering vs. Action Taking
Although it’s never a bad idea to truthfully weigh options before deciding whether or not to take action, we’ll never have enough information to know which route is the most right and the most wrong. Being reminded of that — and thereby removing a lot of the power that we think that tough situations have — can be enough to shake ourselves up into a new way of thinking.
Though it may be difficult to apply this mindset to your whole life, offering yourself the opportunity to do so right now, before taking action on something is what I believe to be a great and freeing start.
Forget what you assume is right and wrong.
The knowledge you’ve acquired will only help you plan so much, so only depend on it so much to get started.
And that about wraps us up, folks.
As I said, it can be very tricky to understand why people aren’t responsive to us when we’re trying to do what’s best for them. Hopefully the principles laid out in this episode are principles you can take with you in any situation you might find yourself in that’s similar to this one.
In the meantime, keep doing your best to be kind. There’s only so much you can know about how someone else thinks, no question about that.
If you have your own question you’d like answered here on Optimal Living Advice you can email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
FYI we’re sending free books from our collection to those who send questions in. So we’d love to hear from you and if you’d like to hear more from me outside of the podcast, you can head to gregaudino.com or check out my instagram, username @simplygreggles. There’s a new kitten in the family so it’s as good a time as any to follow me, it’s not gonna get better than a baby kitten. He’s so precious. 🐱
Anyway, that does it for this one, so thanks so much for dropping in, and looking forward to talking to you next time!