I have made some horrible decisions in my life. From picking the wrong guy to date to taking the first job that came along, I have sometimes sucked at making good choices. Live and learn though right? I can agree with this casual advice to an extent but when it comes to getting just a slightly differently flavor of the same bad taste from these types of mistakes you start to catch on that you may not exactly be learning something from it.
There is a wealth in the mistakes we make that is deeper than just our lessons learned. Oh I believe we definitely learn a few things but beyond that there is also something else that happens. I call it mistake wealth. This is where you take action in response to something happening or about to happen to protect yourself and sometimes the situations don’t exactly improve with where you went. So, the alternative could have been bad if we had stayed right so anything was better? Mostly yes but mistake wealth takes things a step farther in reminding us it is actually a gap in our true natural self journey that is missing.
Here’s an example, I have several times in my career started looking for a new job when I caught wind something was going to happen where I was at. This was smart right because I was avoiding the inevitable, getting a jump on what was next and protecting my livelihood. This is good to the point that I start to get desperate and take the first thing that comes along because things are really heating up where I am and I need an exit. That is a mistake and the mistake wealth in that situation is I also am not doing what is completely right for myself. I simply replaced one bad situation with one that right now isn’t as bad as that one.
The number of recurring problems we see in our life I blame on our lack of cashing in on our mistake wealth. We make a lot of deposits into that area but we really assess why or what to do about it. We think we need a job and that will serve our needs but when that job goes sour we look for another and then another and one after that. It keeps going until we are burned out and have nothing left except the hope for retirement. That sucks. It means we spent a lot of time stressing and living in survival mode rather than living naturally and to our true spirit.
Mistake wealth is best used when we start honoring what that wealth is showing us. When we finally act on that wealth and use it for helping eliminate or greatly reduce the cyclical events of these recurring mistakes. It isn’t a matter of doing something repeatedly wrong because we’re not technically wrong to want to protect ourselves or protect our income. Where we can do something different though is what represents our mistake wealth that could totally change that scenario from repeating. It is also much more satisfying and fulfilling than just another job that will soon turn into the same steamy pile of what we have right now.
I invested in my own mistake wealth when I started Dragonspit Apothecary. In the middle of a job crisis I started a small business to start reducing the impact of always needing to be in the networking business to find another job. These days I’m in the networking business to build my own path in life that includes a livable income. I chose in that moment to stop repeating that job mistake of just replacing one for another by saying enough and working to find an exit on that ride. It may still be a work in progress to but wow is it liberating to not be so intensely focused on just that up and down swirl of job drama in my life.
The old advice that you learn from your mistakes or you only make a mistake one time is not always that case when we just repeat them over and over again. We owe it to ourselves to not only learn from our mistakes but to do something about them so they don’t happen again. Or if they do happen we are better prepared, equipped and able to manage it differently to the point it stops happening repeatedly. That is very possible when we own our role in changing that scenario and stop letting our lives be victimized by the self-serving needs of others. That is true in relationships of our personal life to our working years in our careers.
The other part of this experience is realizing that it takes time to make these kinds of changes. Most of the time they are not 5 minute things where by the time this mistake happens again we’ll be completely ready for it. Awareness of it becomes more acute though and so does our determination and motivation to keep shoring up the safeguards against it. We have to expect it will take time to have a way of saying it won’t happen ever again. That can be years in the making but the payoff can be very possible to eventually killing that mistake for good.
I think more often than not we are led to be victims at someone else’s mercy because we want to trust others. We want to believe nothing bad will happen to us and that we can be alright in these situations. The truth is specifically with jobs at least there is no such thing as job security. It doesn’t matter your education, income, where you live, how you live or anything else, sooner or later it will happen to you. Someone will make the decision you are no longer needed or they start making all kinds of changes in how you work that it is simply frustrating to go into it every day and see success. Sometimes people are just mean to each other and that causes the pain too.
However, it happens let’s hone in on why it happens but maybe is slightly different each time. Then let’s move into a plan that starts to reduce that recurring by investing in our mistake wealth to change that dependency. This is the core of why so many people have a small business on the side of their primary job or they work multiple jobs or they are spending their time buying lotto tickets. We know we need a better way and we know all of this is true but it is a matter of what we are willing to do about it that lets mistake wealth be a source of answers versus something we ignore and keep repeating.
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