May 9, 2013

How Making Mistakes Gets You Ahead In Life

Are you worried that you are messing up a lot in your life?

One of the most common concerns that I get from my clients is that they feel like they are failing. They feel like they are failing in life… in their careers… and in their relationships.

If you sometimes feel this way, then you are exactly where you should be.

One of my favourite ways of looking at life… is that it is a never-ending series of mistakes. You are constantly messing up, and there is no other way around it (cue my perfectionist readers’ panic attacks).

Commercial airplanes are off their flight path 95% of the time that they are heading towards a destination. Stan Lee juggled dozens of crappy jobs until he invented Spiderman (at 40 years old). Halle Berry and Jim Carrey were homeless before they found fame.

All this is to say… if you feel like you don’t know what you are doing with your life half of the time, then congratulations, you are doing just fine.

In fact, here are three areas in which you should start making more mistakes…

1. Your career

Finding your ultimate career will usually take going through a ton of jobs that you don’t enjoy.

Hugh Jackman worked as a party clown. Young Brad Pitt wore a giant chicken suit to advertise for a fast food restaurant. Harrison Ford was a carpenter when George Lucas hired him in to the Star Wars franchise.

As long as you’re finding out what you don’t like, you’re always getting closer to what you do like.

2. Your habits

Emotion exists in relation to itself. If you have never felt devastating heartbreak or grief, then you will not fully appreciate the joy and happiness in your life.

It’s a good idea every now and then to slide back in your habits to remind yourself of the consequences.

You’re not generally a big drinker but one day you go overboard and get wasted? The hangover will remind you why you don’t drink. Do you get a lot out of seeing your friends? That week away from them will affect your emotional fulfillment more than you think. You’re usually a full-time gym rat but you haven’t been going for a few weeks? That sprint towards the bus will remind you of your fitness level.

3. Your relationships

It’s a too-common cop out for people to tell themselves “I don’t want to date right now, I’m waiting for someone who is truly special“.

Although having high standards is certainly important, if you don’t have much of a dating history under your belt then you might not know what you’re looking for in a partner.

Just as it is rare to fall into your dream job right out of college, it is equally unlikely that you will find your ideal match in your first lover. So get out there, taste the rainbow a bit, and discover what you do and don’t like in your partners.

And remember…

As long as you are on a continuous loop of messing up and learning, then you’re doing just fine.

Experience comes come from getting things wrong.  A lot.

Think about it…

To your continued success,

Jordan

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