Why We’re Incapable Of Making Mistakes

Of late, it seems that many of my friends have become bogged down by the fear of making mistakes. Perhaps it is because we are coming to the end of another year. This always seems to give us reflection, doesn’t it? What did I do this year? What did I not do this year? How can I improve next year?

Frankly, I love dispensing advice. It’s probably a good thing I’m not a mother, because I can just see how that would play out. It’s far better to share my thoughts with those who will actually appreciate it.

Here’s my honest belief – we don’t make mistakes.

Allow me to get freaky for a second as I delve a bit deeper.

I think that every person comes into this world with a list of lessons that they are to learn. Every incident that they encounter, every “mistake” or “misstep” pushes them toward a deeper self-awareness.

I also believe that because we have these lessons to learn, the “end” of our lives comes once we’ve learned those lessons. So we can float along in life taking it as it comes, or we can have a crazy, wonderful time – but at the end of it, we’ll somehow have learned the same things, made peace with the same conclusions. We’ll have the same wishes and regrets, the same joys and sorrows. You’ll wonder about the life you didn’t live – but don’t lose faith, my friends, for it was not the life meant for your journey this time around.

People ask me how this can be. After all, children leave this earth often, don’t they? Babies, even. People are raped, murdered, live in horrible poverty, lose both parents at too young an age, there’s cancer and AIDS and hepatitis and mental illness and a slew of other things that can go wrong. People are shot or killed in car accidents or freak accidents and it seems as if they leave us so suddenly. How did they earn such fates, such…lessons, as I call them?

I don’t know. I’m not saying my view is right. For some people it’s probably naïve – stupid, even.

That’s okay.

I just know that since I’ve adopted this viewpoint, I’ve flung myself into life whereas before, I was pretty damn cautious. I find that I’m living, not in fear of screwing up but in the joy of learning and pushing boundaries. It’s almost like I gave myself permission to stop being such a priss.

And it’s wonderful.

Do you have a view on life that others might find weird? Share it in the comments below.

Leaders are Born…or Made?

The old saying goes that great leaders are born, not made.

What. A. Crock.

Needless to say, I completely disagree.

See, I was not born a leader. There was not, for nearly 29 years, a single bone in my body that ached – even a little – to lead others.

Not that I wanted to follow, per se. Though that’s often what we find to be the easiest path, isn’t it?

You follow. You work for others. You concede to your friends and family. You smile. You hide your quirks.

I was a follower for many years. This included the first two years of running my own business. I allowed my ideas to be stolen and steamrolled, my schedule to be determined by the client, my limitations to be tugged and poked and prodded until I stepped into unfamiliar, unwelcome territories.

That last one was when I finally said “enough is enough.” Not that I’m against learning or change. I’m all for being shoved out of the nest. I’m not a fan of being shoved off the cliff.

Something occurred to me: I work for no one but myself.

Suddenly, it was like all of these doors swung wide open. I don’t rely on my clients, my clients rely on me. Sure the money that they send me is great. It pays my bills. But no invoice amount is worth my sanity. I can find another client. I can find another job. I can do something that makes me happy, not crazy.

So I fired a bunch of people. I’d never fired anyone in my life. I didn’t know how. I poured over books and blogs and how to manuals. Nothing I read made me less uncomfortable about what I had to do.

That’s the thing I’m realizing about being a leader as I find myself warming to the role.

I might be uncomfortable firing people or interviewing potential clients or asking for someone to pay their damn invoice, but at the end of the day, I’m all I’ve got. I am…a leader. And I wasn’t born this way. I made myself.

Broken Hearts and Fresh Starts

New relationships, for all of their excitement, are some of the most nerve-wracking experiences anyone, anywhere can have. For all of the differences that we as humans have, the cultural divides, the religious divides, the political divides, our sexual orientation- whether we are white, black, brown, olive, purple, green, pretty, ugly, sexy, nerdy, or downright weird…I think that it is safe to say that we will all, at some point, have feelings for someone.
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Lessons and Learning to Wait

I was a child of immediate gratification. I think that’s just the household/society I grew up in. My parents were not wealthy by any means. They were two, lower middle class kids who were working their butts off in entry level positions, just trying to scrape together enough money to make the house payment, the car payment, the utility payment, the daycare payment, groceries, and have a little left over for a box of diapers or some extra formula.
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