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Why making a mistake is great

Recently, I was dead set on having the tattoo in the image for this article done on my arm, as a firm believer of the message therein. Fortunately, as if by fate, a wonderful Arabic speaker came into my life and she told me that it is neither a native expression nor is it correct. So I saved myself the embarrassment of carrying a mistake around with me for the foreseeable future.

Nevertheless, the expression is something I live by, without its erroneous presence on my skin. I carry it through the decisions I take and the reflections I make on the actions I commit in my life. I have thought about the implications and the reality of the quotation, which I eventually discovered the origin as:

I, like everyone else, admit to making better decisions and others which are not so good. The more I think about it, the more I realise that it is only really the decisions which did not give me the results I needed which have given me the opportunity to investigate the reason why. That is where we can all learn from what we do. For this reason, I decided to share this insight, albeit not for the first time.

Sometimes, when we are faced with a complicated situation, the fear of making the wrong choice is so overpowering that we cannot pick which route to take. The process of imagining the possible implications of our decision and how it will affect those around us becomes the reason we cannot sleep. We keep going through the different scenarios, each time we do so, adding new factors which further complicate the original dilemma. The longer we fester in doubt, the more difficult the decision becomes and the greater impact we imagine the consequences may have.

Hence, the procrastination when deciding is the greatest mistake we can make, because it does not allow us to overcome the situation which gave cause to the doubt in the first place. Therefore, it is important to approach the decision at our earliest convenience. Before committing ourselves to one path or another, there is something I consider of upmost importance to bear in mind: If we choose an incorrect or inappropriate solution, does that necessarily lead us to a worse situation?

If we choose correctly, then we can evidently continue our journey through life, without any problems. More often than not, this is not the case. Still, If we choose an alternative, it could be an option which we would not have considered otherwise and which gives us an unexpected outcome, better than that which we had hoped for. This is because we all have a habit of going through life using the same strategies to confront all of which may arise, regardless of the situation. This is a common behaviour which people use the dreaded term ‘comfort zone’ to explain these days.

“You never change your life until you step out of your comfort zone; change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” ― Roy T. Bennett

As irritating as this term has become, the truth behind it rings true. The best solutions to our problematic situations are almost invariably in adopting a behaviour which is outside of our so-called ‘comfort zone’. The problem is that we are reluctant to step outside of it for fear of exposure to failure. In this case, if you are unwilling to take a risk, you cannot change, neither for the better nor for the worse. So, you will not be able to make any progress.

Doing nothing is, evidently not the way forward. In the worst-case scenario, we may choose an option which does not work. Contrary to what we fear, the result of this is the real opportunity here. In the case that we make the wrong decision, we know what we should have done and we can make the changes needed to work towards the a better and more definitive solution. There is no shame or disgrace in not reaching the desired situation on our first attempt. In fact, if the solution to a problem is easy to reach, it is probably not the underlying cause but merely a symptom of it, in which case addressing the problem opens the possibility to discovering the real challenge and even preparing the ground to face it.

In summary, all options lead us to a better situation. Whichever way we walk, all paths lead us to a brighter future. We learn from taking decisions and, as you can see, even more so when the selection process is not perfect or easy. Be brave and make those choices and be ready to change your life and, at least, be enlightened and closer to the dream you have for yourself.

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