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Seeing Mistakes In Perspective . ..


Epictetus

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The biggest and most tragic mistake a person can make is one that results in the loss of their life or the life of someone else. If you are alive today and have not committed a m*****, then any other mistakes you might have made today are small in comparison. To put it another way, if you have lived this day in such a way that you have survived it and allowed others to survive it, that is a great victory. All other so-called "successes" and "failures" pale in significance compared to this.

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Amen.

And bow many times have we watched something on TV - some error someone made that resulted in a loss of millions of dollars or a satellite or something - and gone "I'd hate to be THAT guy!"?

We all make 'em, and we need to remember that. Billionaires, star athletes, politicians, corporate heads, everybody.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The world is finite an no single finite thing can contain the fullness and plentiude of being and perfection. Flaws and mistakes are inevitable in a finite world. EXPECTING perfection and near perfection from oneself or others is UNREALISTIC. First of all: absolutely perfection in a finite being is literally impossible and therefore unrealistic by definition. "Near perfection" whatever that means is rare compared to how common imperfection in finite things is.

Expecting oneself to be "near perfect" is strength, courage, wisdom, beauty or goodness is unrealistic. The unrealistic expectation is going to be disappointed and therefore engender frustration, unhappiness, outrage, sadness and loss of peace of mind.

Why are people who are poor, sick or otherwise in hardship situations . . . why are these people often happier and more at peace than those who are in better circumstances? The answer has to be "expectations." People in hardship situations often have lower expectations for themselves, others and the world than those in better circumstances. So they are not as easily frustrated, enraged, disappointed and miserable as those with high expectations.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I wonder where this assumption that poor and sick people are happier than others come from. I think they are just as susceptible to unhappiness as anybody else. And why do people only talk about perfectionism when some of us don't want to be perfect but just good enough? Is it because I'm the only one not remotely close to perfection in this world?

But what I really came here to say had to do with seeing mistakes in perspective. I'm learning to drive and whenever I screw up and make a mistake I feel absolutely crushed and feel like I should just quit already and think of all reasons I'll never be a suitable driver. But then I remember that some people drive through shopping windows, drive while drunk and do a lot worse. It is important to remember that certainly not everybody is perfect.

(Not that I've drived anywhere near any shopping windows yet and I'm already shuddering at the thought. Can't glass just be forbidden?)

Edited by bellbottoms
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