So Many Mistakes!
Thoughts from my stumbling, fumbling, humbling life
Many years ago, on a beautiful Saturday morning, I had just finished a short run with one of my best friends, Benjo Marquez. While we were walking around the track to cool down, he asked me what I knew he had been wanting to ask since he suggested we go for a run (Benjo never runs), “So, David. What lesson have we learned from this latest escapade?” I had just broken up with someone I had been seeing, who, to everyone who knew about it, thought was a complete mismatch. (Technically, it wasn’t really a breakup since we weren’t really “together”. It was more a cease fire, if you ask me. These relationship stages confuse me!) I turned to Benjo and said, “I now know what I knew.” We both laughed at my admission that there really was no new information from the experience, just a new way of understanding the same information that came from a more honest way of looking at things. I knew the relationship was going nowhere. What I lacked was a way of seeing things honestly and applying that honest knowledge in a maximizing way.
My life is full of these kinds of mistakes. Mistakes when I should have known better not to make, mistakes when I did know better, but made the mistakes anyway. Is it because I am an idiot? Maybe. There is certainly a case for that. Is it because I’m a rebel? Maybe, as well. It could be either of these, another reason, or a combination of reasons, but the bottom line is: I’ve made many mistakes.
This High Impact Guide to Life is dedicated to my early subscribers. Thank you for inspiring me to organize something that is useful and not just resonating. I hope this is of great value to you.
This is why I’m making this very very simple guide as a reminder to myself and for my younger friends, to help give us some benchmark for our decision-making in a world that’s constantly changing, multifactorial, and where decisions are rarely just black and white. I’m hoping that somehow we can lessen our mistakes, and if that’s not possible, like in my rampaging example, have a framework by which to realize our mistakes and turn them into lessons.
I hope this guide is of value to you in your own life. More than following it, I hope it inspires you to develop your own rules for living, rules you’ve thought through and embraced yourselves. I wish you a wonderful journey.
I’ll be adding one new post every week, starting with this week on The 4 Layers
Why a Membership Series?
This is a paid membership series. All posts (except this introduction and excerpts) are only for paying members. The trigger for adding a paywall to my blog happened during Covid-19, when three tweet-series of mine caught the attention of some easily offended people. What were those tweets?
- Be careful of who you listen to on social media because not everyone is an expert. (In a world where everyone is free to say what they want, responsible and wise listening is important.)
- All lives matter. (Don’t be a thematic social justice warrior. If you really want a better world, love the people around you excellently and consistently, and extend that circle of love to more and more people,)
- Too many people think that the quality of their lives is mostly a function of the actions of others around them. (Don’t be like others who feel entitled to things. Instead, focus on paying the cost of your dreams, and you will have them.)
I had all kinds of people attacking me, questioning me, cursing me, accusing me, even lying about me. I found a couple of things interesting from the experience, but three have stuck to me the most:
- Bad behavior is not political but personal – My first tweet (about experts) was sent because of an article I had read about a very influential political blogger who was caught spreading fake news multiple times. Which is why I was very surprised that the most offended people on my “experts tweet” were people from the opposing political party. This whole time I had this bias in my head that the troll farms, fake news, and online bullies were all on the other side of the political spectrum. Now, here I was getting aggressively bullied by people I actually would agree on in matters of party. Unlike them, I looked at their profiles to understand where they were coming from (which, I think should be a minimum before believing the worst about another person), and I found they seemed like decent people that are quick to anger, quick to speak, and unable to give the benefit of the doubt. This led me to the second lesson.
- There’s no use reasoning with unreasonable people – These people, for all their titles, their followers, and high-mindedness, were unreasonable. What is unreasonable? Simply, it is the inability to reason. What does it mean to reason? It is the power to think, , understand, and form judgements through a process of logic. Reacting and resonating does not require reason. It does not go through a process before a judgement is made. People who do not take the time to understand another side before they make a judgement are biased people. And bias prevents us from truly making a true judgement because bias blinds us from other pieces of information that may have changed our conclusion. There is no use reasoning with people who won’t use reason. All your reasoning will be met with reaction. It is a waste of energy. I told myself, “I don’t want to waste my energy encouraging unreasonable people to care, love, and build. I don’t want to waste my energy writing for virtue signalers and people who are so good at tearing down with nothing built to show for. I want to focus it on people who actually want to care, love, and build, who want to see results so badly, they’re willing to pay the price for those results. So I decided to transition to a membership site. Here’s what I found: more visits, more minutes read per post, and less headache.
This Simple Guide to Life is dedicated to my early subscribers. Thank you for inspiring me to organize something that is useful and not just resonating. I hope this is of great value to you.
- Success (real success) is not a publicity stunt but a private achievement – One of the most important things to remember, especially in a social media-soaked society, is that success, real success, is not obtained from winning the approval of others. To me, success is the attainment of goals, and making the approval of others is one of the dumbest goals there is. Why should I judge the quality of my life by the quality of the judgement of others? Why should I let a biased mob who won’t take the time to actually look at contributions and positions before reacting affect me? I shouldn’t and I don’t have to. What should affect me, what should concern me most, is the quality of my character, the serenity of my spirit, the understanding of my soul, fitness of my body, the strength of my relationships, and the value of the impact of my work. I don’t need others to approve. But I do need to know, for myself, in my honest inner assessment, that I am growing and improving in these areas. All the opinions of others, the passing judgements people make of others to avoid having to judge themselves, are of little value to me. True success is a private achievement not a publicity stunt.