Dare to be Wrong

People romanticize perfection that they forget the art of being wrong and learned.

Our education taught us to avoid mistakes at all costs. Mistakes are a big no – if you want to excel. However, against this eclectic and counterintuitive approach, we have missed the whole point of learning.

Faults are a big portion of our lives. Whether they are directly or indirectly caused, they should be a reason to rejoice. For every lapse, there comes a lesson… even creativity and luck.

Think about it, oversights made Washington refined his military tactics in order to turn the tides of the American Revolution. Lincoln’s mishaps eventually led him to employ Ulysses Grant who brought defeat against the Confederacy.

The Texas Revolution showed General Sam Houston and the Republic of Tejas’ blunders. They acted too late and never sent reinforcement to some of the war’s most important early battles. That emboldened General Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana and made him complacent. At the time, being ahead of his main army, de Santa Ana’s battalion got lenient and forgot to fortify their position. Houston’s army advanced when they least expected, butchering most of the Mexican regiment. That one decisive action led to the capture of de Santa Ana and the eventual surrender of Mexico.

Let us be honest, being wrong can bring shame. But, derision is temporary if we eye improvement in the long run. Plus, we do not need to be caught up in the pangs of the past. Most of our miscalculations will pass. We must live and learn in the present.

Not all of us will be endowed to embrace faults. And not all will make that conscious effort to grasp it. It takes guts and harden determination to accept fault. Comfort at being wrong brings a certain mentality and a kind of character. It is a product of practice and willingness to espouse reflection.

In order to reach that level of comfort – engaging in fault – there are mindsets that create the whole experience.

Allowing Creativity to reign

One Reader’s Digest article mentioned of a maritime brainstorming session that happened during the first World War. At the time, the British Royal Navy was devising ways to clear shipping lanes of Axis Naval Mines. Several suggestions were laid out. But some of them were costly and impractical. It was until an officer trying to lighten the mood blurted about jumping on the mines. The idea was ludicrous. But shortly after he made that suggestion, another bloke proposed spraying the mines away to be approached and diffused by paddle minesweepers.

Taking Responsibility

Among the greatest entrepreneurial comebacks in history was Steve Jobs’. His Stanford Commencement speech recollected the times when he was publicly ousted from Apple to be back and later revolutionize the company decades after.

The speech showcased his reflections at the time and how he needed such medicine to improve. He admitted his shortcomings as founder.

It shows how one can rise from the ashes by taking responsibility – admit their fault – to reach the epitome of success.

Question your Beliefs – Reflections

Early in his political activism, Nelson Mandela embraced violence as a means to fight the apartheid government. His decade of incarceration led him to reflect on his past actions and how it molded him to be the unifier of the nation. In his memoirs, he mentioned – that his time behind bars led him to ruminate on the Gandhi type of approach and the Martin Luther King’s tolerance to unify all of South Africa.

In the end, his compassion led his countrymen to abolish the apartheid and summon a government which treated all South Africans – regardless of color – equal.

No matter where we are in life, it is never too late to admit and embrace fault. Aside from honing our skills, it is among our best ways to develop.

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All Knowledge is Arbitrary

Humans created knowledge to advance their agenda.

We built our civilization through the blood, sweat, and lives of our ancestors. These are the cavemen who evolved and roamed the landmasses to forage and hunt for food.

Without nature tempering our evolutionary luck, we could have been rudimentary apes looking for our next feed.

Our evolutionary tree forged a path for us – Homo sapiens. Until this moment, our theoretical heritage can be disputed as the next hypothesis comes mooted.

This derives the most irrefutable truth. Without humans, knowledge will just be a figment of our imagination – even our existence.

This might be hard for our religious friends to come to terms with. God created everything and can easily strike our luck as we sin. However, think about this, God (and its concept) is the ultimate arbitration. We gain or lose nothing by believing in Him. Our theological constructs and their propagation impact our norms. The canons create complex human multifactorial societies.

This predicament is hardly the truth. Further, this calls for reflection.

Finally, by this realization, we can break free from the shackles of determinism – which partly distances us from our accidental truth. We can arrive at our reality through our volition.

We can live our lives how we deem them to be – away from the textbook of how we conform. This elicits a little creativity away from our forefathers’ generalizations.

But, as our free will has its inherent gaps and limitations, we are subject to existential vagaries. We cannot get away from them being part of a society where everyone can draw their truths.

Pick a paradigm that brings the best of us. Our borrowed time gives the illusion of urgency. And some societies abhor idle. Take it easy. We got our whole lifetime to learn.

Static Knowledge

The recent world events struck fear and ignorance among us. We get our news but we know little. We understand things but our facts are superficial.

The advent of Trump’s megalomaniac fervor and Covid Pandemic have exposed all of us to what we call Static Knowledge.

What is Static Knowledge?

It is knowledge that is static. Funny, this is correct! However, we have to expand this idea.

The concept leans on the premise – “taking it at face value”. So, what we see is what we get. Purely, from a literal sense, we take everything as we read them.

This is a great start to build wisdom. But, we hardly stop here. Our scientific community has a way to subject hypotheses to which we should treat anything we read like data needed to be proved.

We can go the distance and test all we have read. Nevertheless, not all of us will have access to test them. Some situations cannot be tested – in the case of human emotions.

A great event to exemplify this was the Covid Pandemic. Our medical and scientific leaders were cramming to understand the emergence of a new strain of flu. Initially, it was thought of as such. As other symptoms and infections arose, our clinicians started to examine the virility of the disease. Evident that it will become a pandemic, some countries which had prior experience activated their containment plans.

Any knowledge will become static as soon as we stop subjecting it to questions and doubts. The true nature of knowledge and even wisdom is pounding them against empirical and logical rigor.

On the issue of intangibles such as human emotions, we need to quantify and objectify their subjectivity. An example in particular – Trump’s atrocities where most of his supporters clung to his marketed persona – the appeals of a leader of anti-establishment. The idea was sown into people who took it at face value. This was without duly questioning his negligence and amorality of most of his actions.

We should subject our assumptions to stringent inquiry. The only way we can decide and take a side is by duly examining all angles. Therefore, after we have taken an initial position, we are urged to thoroughly scrutinize its merit.

The presence of static knowledge confirms the need to be dynamic. Being static should be temporary or else, in prolonged periods – it becomes stagnation.

We suggest a few ways to reach out, expand and expound that knowledge.

  1. Take everything with a grain of salt. Like any knowledge derived from data, statistics can be scored by the angle at which they are examined. Specifically, the case of Gravitational Theories, where some concepts were later disproved by the Theory of Relativity. In turn, some arguments of Relativity were diminished by Quantum Theory.
  2. Place and expose ourselves in every possible aspect. As one says, put ourselves in the other’s shoes. By fully immersing ourselves in another paradigm, we truly grasp their essence. Then, we can decide whether they are worth delving into.
  3. Be quick to accept responsibility. We should face the hard ugly truth. That is one of the ways we can spring into the right direction by accepting responsibility. Without it, we will be pinned to our unexamined beliefs.
  4. Note our bias. It is okay. We have a predilection to a thought. This is what created civilizations. Without the enamor of Roman conquest, we would not see the Roman Empire and their societal contributions. Hence, we have to be aware of them, steer them to our desired end, and minimize their impacts.

It is worth noting that our aspiration to the truth will determine whether we will outgrow what we have. Besides, we are as good as the effort we put into things. Just like change, it is and will be in our best interest to surpass anything we have. It makes our lives worthwhile.

Mastering Chaos

Chaos is central to any advancement.

Our forefathers had to endure imperialism and colonization to establish a republic. If was not for the American Revolution, heroes like George Washington would not have risen to the occasion. Benjamin Franklin settled with his writings, experiments and discoveries.

Go back a bit further; our Mayan, Egyptian and Roman ancestors did not dare build granaries or some sort of grain storage – if they did not understand the havoc of famine. They built roads to reinforce those facilities.

Pre-date to the origin of our universe, Big Bang was necessary to build the stars and planets. Without fission, fusion and other cosmic reactions, the earth was just a figment of any being’s imagination.

Where are we going with all of these?

Think about it. The period of mess and disaster prequel discovery. It is a prerequisite to any development. For as long as we – humans recognize this, we ought to exploit its utmost.

Imagine, without World War 2, America will take another decade to realize its global capability. The United States settled for isolation in their golden era. Franklin Roosevelt convinced the masses to join the fight for democracy. This brought the United States’ industrial might to the world.

The inefficiencies of Chinese Communism facilitated Deng Xiaoping’s reforms. China in its form is a product of growth harnessed by the previous ideological mishaps. In their current state, they are a formidable manufacturing powerhouse.

We need to embrace chaos. Most of us avoid it for a reason. However, chaos evokes the best in us.

The likes of Kobe Bryant comes to mind. He wanted to be the best. To achieve, he had to endure chaos accompanying every missed shot. Every ache, distress and frustration defined how the next game will be. The more he embraced disaster in each game and practice, with every moment allocated to his development, the more he became resilient. His battle-hardened persona with skills he developed early on, made him among the greatest.

Mastering chaos takes skill. It is not for everyone.

Some of us will settle with issue resolution. After identifying the issue, we inexplicably place the solution. That is it. Make life simple as the adage goes.

For the rest of us, we do not want to settle. We want to know more. Resolution is a small integral part of the issue. We want to understand what triggered the event. We ask beyond what is intended.

Why go through the hassle?

Every disaster, issue and difficulty hones our problem-solving skills. Our approach of asking the right questions mature. At the same time, our calm and demeanor smoothen at each tribulation.

Mastery of chaos comes with practice. We want to imbue this ability. No matter what setback lies ahead, whether big or small, this prowess certainly comes handy.

Why we do what we do

We survive in order to live.

We came to this world without a perpetual reason. We are a product of two beings who decided to procreate. Whether, it was planned or not, our reason depends on the limit of that situational existence.

If so, then, our being is dependent of our choosing. We can define who we are and what we want. Simply by our affirmation, we uniquely identify our “state of living” – our choice on how to live life.

Equivocally, we go through the trouble on how to live life. Our family teaches us the norms.  Some of our kin are quick to pass judgement on how we should live our lives. Religions command to follow their tenets. Sects and cults arise because denominations cannot suffice the vast individualistic understanding. Some our experts and teachers impose lessons. And our police and political leaders have mandates to impose laws. It seems no freedom at all. However, in the end, we choose our bearing. There is no right and wrong on this world. It is all about what is humanly good and evil.

Volition is the most powerful tool endowed to us. Whatever situation limits it, the fact, we decide on our discourse… It is the best thing that happened since our ancestors became conscious.

The fact our decisions do not go away even at incarceration. The ability to choose and reflect never fleet. Even at our deathbeds, we can premeditate where to be laid.

Though some of us have not consciously decided on anything, our being are implied to choose – with or without awareness.

So, the purpose of this exercise is to the fundamentally argue our bearings to why. We choose our aspiration. We choose our own purpose. Even if it is to inflict pain, our lives are bound by that. We choose our own end.

By such, we are bound to reflect. Given such recourse, how do we make and fully grasp our own purpose?

We live so as to decide.

 

 

Mistakes..Missed Takes..

Success is our ability to collect and sift through millions of mistakes to find the best outcome.

Our lives have been a culmination of decisions, actions and outcomes. Events we go through defines our experience. The more we encounter in life – sure development comes our way. This may or may not be the case, we need to reflect on this.

Now, our capability to be successful comes in different forms. It may not fit a single mould. There is a million recipes to success. It falls on us to find what works.

Popular to culture, most of us sing hymns of praises to the people and technology which made it. This is without due regard to the pains and pangs of getting there.

Out of the millions of successes examined, one concept is commonly dropped – if not briefly mentioned in most interviews and documentaries. We will have to examine this idea both in broad strokes and granularity.

The idea is “Mistakes“.

By definition, mistake is an error or fault. Whether it intentional or unintentional, we scrutinize it in very bad and biased way. Our culture trained us to conclude something bad came out of the situation.

The merit of error lies within the presumptions and assumptions of the individual or group concluding it. Mistakes happen when something perceived was missed.

Therefore, its essence underpins our criticality. In layman’s, how we react tells others if the product had blunders and to what degree.

Some of us will argue, fallacies are objective enough to merit such correction if not derision. Hmm.. Look at it this way, the heliocentric model was one of our ancestor’s biggest misconceptions. This is aside from mixing lead and mercury in their cough syrups.

This is not how we should label or treat these things. As part of our evolution and knowledge, there are information we do not know at the time and are probably withheld.

How about we rename those inaccuracies to what they really are – “gap in knowledge”?

This notion might be too much for us to handle. Besides, our brains are well-equipped to remember a word with its simple concept rather than a concept in its entirety. For our sake and to make this simple, we should change our attitude towards mistakes. Failures are a big part of who we are and how we came to be. Without them, our lives will be simple chunks of experiences without lessons and realizations.

To add, our refinement tackles the quantity and quality of fails.

Quantity is finding the best avenues to develop from flaws. It will be in our interest to seek the best partner, establishment and organization who is willing to accept us for the numerous mistakes we will be making.

Quality defines the depth of introspection as an individual or group. Gaps in knowledge is a temporary state to which we drill on the underlying cause. It is all up to us to find that bitter-sweet state of mind. Whether we choose to be ignorant or drill on emotions and annals of situation, it is all up to us. Like what we discussed earlier, it is our conclusion.

Mistakes or gaps in knowledge will be part of us – being human. There is no way we can run away from them. Our society is fond of implying beyond its supposed meaning – being a gap. Nevertheless, we take this opportunity to reflect – if we do not make them – do we want to wallow on regrets and missed takes?

 

Having our Flow

Our lives should be a quest of efficiency. Removing personal baggages, improving and self-awareness precedes fortune-seeking. Contrary to belief, our values are reflections of being in our utmost and forbearing. 

We woo people to notice us. Our lives have been the epitome of our achievements. We love to show what we have, do and eat. Social media are influencing us to behave like this. Nabbing the latest and the greatest gadgets, going on luxurious trips and aspiring the highest positions to brag to our friends. If this is our aim, to show and tell people what we have and how great we are – this defeats our purpose of living.

In the great expanse of our persona, there is a section left untapped to most of us. This area has been neglected because of our hedonistic predilections. We opt to do what is easy instead of what is befitting in the long run. Aside from our worldly tendencies, our proneness for excuses impedes our capability to create a flow.

How important is creating our flow?

This is the same with water flowing in a stream. Our lives are big systems of pipes and reservoir that allow experiences and memories to flow.

Whether it is learning a new skill or letting go of bad memories, knowing and mastering our flow defines the outcome.

Therefore, flow is our amalgamation of attitude and aptitude. It clearly defines our propensity to the situation – allowing or hindering certain things from unravelling. It is attributable to character – whether we are or allow smooth flowing.

Often times, it is neglected because of the amount of effort needed to have it. It entails tasks that take a lifetime to master.

Given the long period acquire the trait, required qualities can be tricky to cultivate.

Self-awareness takes a huge chunk of our consciousness. It promotes the art of self question to examine the figments of our character. It is the inward drill to our tendencies.

Most of us misconceive the awareness without duly acting on ourselves. We acknowledge our mishaps but we do not examine and have the inner dialogue. The very essence of “self” is addressing what we are aware of.

Acknowledging our mistakes. Not all of us will take the accountability for our action even our inaction. Most of us will pass the buck and blame someone because it is convenient.

This destroys flow. There is some level of culpability in our watch – even though we have nothing to do with prior outcome. It requires a strong personality to swallow this pill but having a stake increases our vigour to remedy the cause. Acknowledging we have some part to the setback gives us a sense of responsibility to reverse its ripples.

Taking things at face value. We have a strong sense to question everything. However, not everything will have immediate answers. Some questions may be harder to answer. At this point, we need to focus our energy on things that matter.

We have limited time in this world. Getting bogged on certain things is prohibited from having a flow. It is a burden we will have to embrace and let go.

Most of the things mentioned will encompass the deepest reflections we can muster. Having a flow has huge benefits. However, at the end of everything, it all toils to how we live our lives. We are the stewards of our destiny.

 

 

At the Heart of Amelioration

“Sometimes, development is enough reason for us to keep pushing.”

A friend of mine told me, “Andrew, I can pick a certain intensity in you. You never settle.”

He is probably right. There is something in me that is waiting to be unleashed. It is trickling through the gaps of what I see as education.

May it be a learnt skill, a grammar correction or a social pretence I gathered – they all point to the same thing over and over again – which is development.

Development takes so many forms. The moment we pick them, we should scrutinise forces that lie beneath. It is in each acknowledgement of growth we set our character.

Say for instance, understanding office dynamics, we learn who are the major players besides our manager. We find who can influence the boss and the people we can rely on. We take that understanding and apply it to the next employment.

Yet, it takes awareness to keep amelioration. The moment we keep that hunger and sensitivity for learning, it becomes a part of us.

That relentless pursuit of improvement requires a level of openness. It is the calibre that  challenges even our own values and beliefs.

Therefore, it takes so much effort to have a great persona of growth. It may not be worth it for some of us. However, at least, we surely made our lives worthwhile.

 

Our Fundamental Flaw

Some of us who will veer outside the realms of logic.

In the case of the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, during the notorious outbreak of their crime spree, people of the time flock them. For the gruesome crimes they committed, people were drawn to the glamour portrayed by the media. Women dressed up like Bonnie. Men referred Clyde as their macho hero. They were allured by their glitz, they forgot their victims.

The Kardashian Family is another example. For their TV shows to air primetime, it shows the mundanity of some of us daydreaming.

Trump is another prime instance. Republicans whether hardline or progressive do not question the president’s decision. From declaring climate change as a hoax, distrusting the government’s intelligence agencies and making enemies out of long-time allies; they went with all his irrationalities.

Why are these happening?

This is who we are – built and designed to be emotional than logical. Illogicality fills us in our depths. There is no escape from this universal essence.

This explains why we put more emphasis on luxury than utility. We go for ego, pride and biases. The reason we also pay attention to beauty than brains. Some of our executives and managers will ego trip than make sensible decisions. Our past hedonistic rulers burned countries to the ground.

We cannot fight this tendency. Hence, there are ways to minimize its impact.

For one, it takes effort and persistence to be aware of all these. Reflection will be our friend.

An effective reflection prods and lays the understanding to our tendencies. It takes swallowing the bitter pill and admitting we are wrong. Part of reflection is questioning our actions and beliefs.

Of course, this takes a lifetime of practice. Saints and most of our respected religious leaders enact total self awareness. At the sign of mistake, they reflect and make revisions.

For us, ordinary citizens, it takes strides and motivations to go over our character. These flaws are meshed in us by culture and norms. It is tricky to go against society. Hence, it is so easy to go with the flow.

At the end of the day, we ought to live life to the fullest. By acknowledging our flaws and finding ways to improve will give us the best chance of being happy.

Does Ignorance Last?

Sucked into that situation, we feel that helplessness.

I, a couple of times heckled, found my character attacked when committing mistakes. Though the insecurities of the characters are also culpable for my failure, the view is always marred by the emotions at hand.

It is always away from the situation that we get a clearer picture. Take it as an instance, we cannot hold everything personal.

We have to do this – hold to our esteem. Sanity clings when we know who we are.

Keep moving forward! It becomes our nature when we continue learning! Aside from this, people who doubt should be doubting themselves!