I’ve made a lot of crappy decisions before I reached the good ones.
- Focused on the wrong projects.
- Met the wrong people.
- Spent money on the wrong clothes.
- Purchased the wrong items.
- Traveled to the wrong places.
- Trusted toxic people.
Except… that I could not make good decisions now, if I didn’t make those then.
This is a part of life few understand. In order to get good at decision making, you need to screw things up a lot. Experience comes from trying and trying involves some degree of failure.
At the start, you fail a lot more than you win.
Then you learn and slowly, you balance the scale, until you have a hold on things.
But to be honest… each time when I look at some bad decision and how little sense it made, I need to remember myself two things.
FIRST – It’s easy in hindsight to judge anything.
Knowing now what I know, of course it was the wrong path. But I didn’t knew it back then and I was operating at another level of knowledge.
And that knowledge was the best I had available.
I acted at the best of my abilities and wisdom at that moment. I can’t use something I knew only after doing it to influence my decision to do it in the first time.
Life doesn’t work that way. Time flows in one way only. There is the past and there is the present and the present can’t change the past.
So punishing yourself for something you’ve done in the past, based on a standard or realisation found in the moment is an exercise in futility. Unless you also work on time travel and you are sure you’re not going to trigger any paradoxes, then just move on. It’s useless.
SECOND – You need to go through A in order to get to B.
Sure, I look at some of the decisions I make right now in my life and I’m saying to myself… I could have done that six months ago.
Except… I couldn’t.
Every decision is a cause set in motion. Decisions don’t happen in a vacuum. Things happened that triggered them. It’s like a domino.
What am I doing now is a refined vision of the world built around theoretical and practical knowledge. Sure, this decision was available to me at all times…
… but just because something can be done, doesn’t mean we will actually do it.
I remember this time in Taiwan… when I was just after a breakup and I really, really wanted a girlfriend. It took me meeting seven girls until I’ve met one.
Each time I’ve made different mistakes.
Each time I was closer than the last time. It was almost like mathematical progression. The first one was an awful date. The second one a bit less awful. The third one even less awful. The penultimate one was almost a closed deal and the last one, was a closed deal.
I took the experience from each date and I realised what I’m doing wrong, modifying my behaviour.
And so it is with day to day life.
I do things. And I learn from them. And in many instances, there was a faster, cheaper, easier way of doing them. But I had to do it the hard way before I could have realised that. The process of modelling from NLP may shorten the process but I feel it’s not something I can escape, I must make un-optimal decisions before I can make optimal ones.
Right now in my life I feel like I’m kicking ass…
… and that I’m finally doing everything right. But in a year from now on, I’ll look back and realise there were easier ways.
Just as a year from now, I thought I’m doing my best and this is the best way. We operate at the best of our abilities in general and that’s usually enough.
Because at the end of the day, it’s not about doing things perfectly. It’s about simply doing them. I may struggle and I may be slow and I may be stupid in accomplishing some of my goals.
It may take two times… or three times the time and money I thought to accomplish them.
But I’m accomplishing them no matter what.
It’s just as with money…
- In the first year you may make only $10.000.
- In the second year you may make $10.000 in six months.
- In the third year… $10.000 in three months.
- In the fourth year… $10.000 in one month.
- After ten years, you may even make $10K in a week or a day.
The important thing is to…
FIRST – Know what you want.
SECOND – Define it as goals you can pursue daily / weekly / monthly.
THIRD – Work on them and get them done no matter if you feel like it or not.
Because at the end of the month you can look back and see a lot of random efforts that lead nowhere… or you can see how you put brick after brick and built another room in the castle of your life.