Mistakes are an interesting concept.
We all want to move forward and we only get there by learning from our failures and mishaps – yet hardly anyone wants to go out there and stuff anything up.
If this is you, then listen carefully.
There’s something you need to realise about yourself.
And the quicker you grasp this, the quicker you can get on with life for what it really is – as opposed to what you perhaps thought it was supposed to be.
Are you intrigued?
If you spend too much time criticising yourself for a mistake –
If you waste energy worrying about the future, missing out on the here and now –
If you’re an alcoholic, porn addict, or workaholic that can’t take a break –
Or if you think you need to make more money, but simply don’t know how –
If you suffer from anxiety from the second you wake –
If you’ve ever sat jealous in the background, while your sibling takes a bow –
If you’ve ever felt regret for the opportunities you didn’t take –
Or if you’re aiming to think the happier thoughts your brain just won’t allow –
Then know this:
*Cue scientific jargon*
There is a grey/pink squiggly part on the outside of your brain called your neocortex.
*End scientific jargon, and move on with article*
This relatively modern upgrade in the human brain is responsible for a number of higher order functions including conscious thought and logical reasoning.
The very same conscious thought and logical reasoning responsible for that little voice inside our heads that tries to remind us of the idea that we are anything short of a living miracle.
The very same conscious thought and logical reasoning that allowed us, as a species, to venture into outer space.
The very same conscious thought and logical reasoning that suggests we should go to war, hug a tree, protect thy borders, and love thy neighbours all in the same day.
The very same conscious thought and logical reasoning that suggests stealing is justifiable, that buying that car will make you happy or that a relationship could be the answer to all your problems.
The very same conscious thought and logical reasoning that devised the invention of the light bulb, the revolutionary force of the Internet, and with it the thriving instantaneous connection powers of social media.
That’s right, the neocortex is capable of some incredible thought patterns.
It knows the strategy to both save and destroy your own happiness or stress, pride or arrogance, success or failure.
It contemplates and decides whether you should love yourself today or hate yourself tomorrow, whether you should be yourself or wear a mask, choose self-acceptance or feel regret.
And of course with such massive untapped powers there comes a catch:
In terms of our grasp on actually knowing how to use it – we’ve still got our training wheels on.
And the training wheels are lopsided at best.
The neocortex is actually very new in the brain’s big scheme of things – its overall timeline, if you will.
And unless the powers that be are hiding it from us, it didn’t come with an instruction manual.
And what is the only way we learn anything new in a world when there’s no expert to show us the ropes, nor an instruction manual to hand us the step-by-step to success?
Easy, it’s the same way we learn to do most things:
The same way we learned how to talk.
The same way we learned how to walk.
The same way we learned not to touch anything that was hot.
Or the same way we learned to trust our friends and move on from those we couldn’t.
It’s simple really:
We realised we weren’t perfect, we stuffed things up, and then learned from those mistakes.
In reality making mistakes is practically the only way we learn anything at the end of the day.
But somewhere along the line we decided that we had to get everything right.
Somewhere along the line we were told we weren’t allowed to stuff it up.
Somewhere along the line we decided to keep perfection in our sight.
And somewhere along the line we decided we weren’t worthy without a half-full cup.
When really all along, all we really were was the total sum of all our mistakes.
Our perfectly human, perfectly evolutionary mistakes.
Mistakes realised through the reflective and introspective abilities of which brain structure?
Yep, the neocortex.
The neocortex between your ears needed to hear this. Because chances are you’ve been telling yourself you were supposed to have this ‘living’ and ‘thinking’ thing mastered on some level.
And if that’s the case its time for you to learn that you can’t master it – and you won’t.
Because the neocortex is still finding out how to walk, how to talk, and how to stuff up as many times as possible.
It’s in its infancy remember, it hasn’t been told it needs to be ‘perfect’ yet.
Thinking you were supposed to have all the answers in this life is like taking the training wheels off a toddler and expecting them to take home the Tour De France.
So you can stop thinking you’re supposed to have this nailed by now. You are merely a contributor to the thousands of years of human brain evolution that will follow you.
It just so happens that the period of evolution you are reading this within is one where the neocortex is still making mistakes.
And so if you’ve read this far it means you now have two options moving forward:
You can continue to act as if you’re the master of life, the know-er of all and have the ability to avoid mistakes like oil passing through water.
Or you can forgive yourself for your past mistakes and begin living like the imperfect human that you are.
Only one of them is mentally, physically, and spiritually possible.
The other is a damn fine way to ensure your short years on this earth are painful.
The choice is yours.