Hi all. Blog post below but had to share this super cool testimonial that came in today. Check it and you’ll see how it relates to this week’s post:
Testimonial: All the parts of Small Steppers, from the daily emails to the weekly videos and live Q&As are set up to ease you into finding out who you truly are and then taking small steps to become that person and live a healthier and happier life. In these last 12 weeks not only have I learned, truly, how to be a Small Stepper, but I have already made measurable changes in my internal headspace and even in my physical strength! I’m trying things and having adventures that I would have never thought possible. I expect to continue this ethic of self-care for myself for the rest of my life and it is truly thanks to Sid and his Small Steppers Program. Thank you so so much, Sid! — H.L.
So, speaking of adventure, here we go with this week’s topic. Which is…
Becoming a person who not only asks, but is NOT afraid to ask:
I was recently sent an article on Stephen Hawking, who recently passed away. The title of the article was “Hawking taught us it was right to be wrong” and detailed a list of the multiple times Hawking bet and lost on outcomes. One sentence caught my attention and has stuck with me…Here it is:
“If Hawking’s life can teach anything to scientists, public intellectuals, and social media users, it’s that humility and a willingness to change one’s mind are a sign of not weakness but an adventurous and intellectually engaged mind and polity.” (Press Democrat, March 15, 2018, article: “Hawking taught us it was right to be wrong” by Adam Minter of Bloomberg View)
Look, I’m not going to dwell too much on this reporter’s, and ONLY this reporter’s, use of the word ‘polity.’ That’s for another blog (most likely entitled: “Hey Mr. Smarty Pants ‘polity’ word-using-guy, guy!”).
Point of the quote? When you’re in a “I LOVE new ideas, new knowledge” state of mind, the result is, well, new ideas, new knowledge.
But…the new ideas, new knowledge may not always be correct. To get to correct, or at least to the next, cool, new idea means getting oh so comfortable with mistakes so you can keep on truckin’.
Talk about easier said than done.
I HATE making a mistake, and even worse, HATE admitting that I’ve made a mistake.
Can’t stand it. Have tried to avoid it at all costs. But now, am working hard to not spend so much. (See what I did there? I continued the “at all costs” metaphor. As in, now trying to spend less metaphorical dough on avoiding mistakes. Now, I know what you’re thinking: “Nice one, Sid. You’re a valuable member of the polity.” Hey, Thanks.)
I don’t expect it to ever feel great to make a mistake and admit it, but have realized that once done, I feel much better. In fact, here’s what I know…
- Mistakes are forthcoming. This is why I talk/write so much about the concept of ‘perfection.’ Why? Because when we try to be so-called perfect, often we can’t even actually define what that is for us. This was hugely relevant as I was writing Raising Healthy Parents. If there’s a picture of a perfect parent, it certainly isn’t some robot who never makes mistakes (cuz, you know, that would be frickin’ impossible). Rather it became a parent who, when he/she makes a mistake, shows the child that it’s not only ok to make mistakes, but that it’s something he can admit and do her best to fix.).
- Admitting mistakes means freedom. Every time I admit a mistake and ideally fix whatever I did (or at least try), I have an automatic feeling of ‘lightness.’ A feeling like I’m able to move on from it. Like I’ve just sent all that crap to live where it belongs: in the past. The alternative is true—every mistake we try so hard to justify, spin, and hide stays with us WAY TOO LONG (sometimes forever) and can keep us wrapped up in it.
You know the trite, obvious statement, we all make mistakes?
Yeah, well, it’s true, and maybe it’s time we stop glossing over it and actually embrace it.
The better we get at admitting mistakes, the better we get at moving on from them. The better we get at moving on, the more comfortable and then excited we are to ask this question: