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Learning from mistakes of the past: a method

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SoP

Contributor
Nov 5, 2018
12
24
17
Denmark
Hello, Fastlaners

Yesterday I was really tired after a lot of work and a lot of things going through my mind the last week.

So I did something, which was very beneficial to me.

I wanted to share the idea with you guys. Maybe it will be valuable to you too.

What I sense is common for many entrepreneurs and freelancers is that they experience a lot of changes in their life. This means a lot of feelings, experiences, people, mistakes, memories that need to be interpreted.

But to interpret big experiences and changes demands a lot of time, energy and cognitive effort.

And, to me at least, it seems easiest to just go on with life/work and not give past memories too many considerations.

It is certainly the case for me. It is like I have a blurry understanding of some events in my life. So I have been confused about how to understand some things because I haven't had the time to sort them out properly.

Therefore I decided to get an overview of my whole life so far. So I wrote down the significant periods in my life. e.g. "Studying abroad for 1-year". And then added keywords that described that period. Then what mistakes did I make? What have I learned from these mistakes?

It showed the mistakes I've made. It showed patterns of behavior. But it also showed why I did these mistakes.

It became 14 significant periods in my life

I made a structure like this:

- Name of period
- Place
- Timespan
- Year
- Keywords
- Mistakes
- Lesson Learned

So here's an example of how I set it up:

Name of the period: Studying abroad
Place: Italy
Timespan: 1 year
Year: 2010
Keywords: freedom, new friends, learning, enjoy life
Mistakes: too impulsive, over-spending
Lesson learned: being too eager can be counterproductive.

It gave me confidence and understanding of myself to write these things down. And I planning to reconsult it once in a while and maybe specify things or change words, to get it as clear as possible.

Anyone has experience with these things or have thoughts about this method, I would love to hear your inputs!

Either way, I hope it's useful to you!
 

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Last edited:

Startup Steve

Contributor
Oct 29, 2018
81
82
102
We live from one decision to the next. Life is simply the outcome of decisions made up this point. Its ok to have a temporary lapse of judgment, that is human. We fall into a pattern of poor decisionmaking when the pattern of good decision making is not a habit. Focus on making the best next decision you can by evaluating risks, assumptions, issues, dependencies. The key, however, is to act! That is how we produce outcomes. We can always adjust fire to the target.
 
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SoP

Contributor
Nov 5, 2018
12
24
17
Denmark
We live from one decision to the next. Life is simply the outcome of decisions made up this point. Its ok to have a temporary lapse of judgment, that is human. We fall into a pattern of poor decisionmaking when the pattern of good decision making is not a habit. Focus on making the best next decision you can by evaluating risks, assumptions, issues, dependencies. The key, however, is to act! That is how we produce outcomes. We can always adjust fire to the target.
Thanks for your thoughts.

I agree that to act is key. But, if you act the same counterproductive ways, again and again, it is of course not good.

To act is to value something as important/good (as Jordan Peterson often points out).

The reason you act in a certain way is that you believe (consciously or unconsciously) that the action will get you to the thing you value.

But if the value that is guiding your actions is outdated or is imposed on you by others, then the action you take becomes counterproductive, meaningless to you or even self-destructive.
 

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