The world does not exist in a vacuum. We are susceptible to emotion, time-pressure, and often a lack of information. Translating what you read into action leads you to realize the inevitable role that trial-and-error plays in building experience and perfecting your craft. Especially the error part…
The Importance of Trial and Error
No one likes to fail, which is what makes the error part so difficult. Instead of putting into action what we read on a daily basis, we fall into the trap of collecting a library’s worth of information (I’ve personally promised myself I’ll only check my RSS feed once a day… or twice). That information is perfect to the uninitiated. Untouched, infallible, and full of potential. As long as we continue to collect, we never have to feel pain.
There are millions of people who’ve probably just read a self-help book and are going to put their plan into action “tomorrow.” I’ve been there myself. There’s nothing better than dreaming about how your fantasy will play out. If you never act, you never have to feel pain, embarrassment, rejection, criticism, sweat, tears, uncertainty, or loss. At the same time, you’ll never become who you want to be.
How many people learned to drive perfectly after reading their driver’s manual? I’m guessing just about none. You probably went through stages of frustration as you tried to master what was an entirely new skill. Maybe you had to fail your road test that first time in order to remember when to shoulder check. It’s all part of the process.
Don’t run away from the pain. Embrace it. You’re one step closer to building what matters most. Intuition.
“The only real valuable thing is intuition” – Albert Einstein
There are a few (…well many) definitions of intuition. I refer to intuition as the instinctive ability to recognize patterns in situations and to act accordingly, with little to no time delay. It’s built from a history of experiencing similar situations.
Intuition is the same thing that baseball players rely upon. In less than 0.40 seconds, a Major League Baseball player has to determine the type of pitch, if it’s a strike or ball, the speed of the ball, finish his stride and get his foot down, and make contact with the ball (if he chooses to do so).
Time to Get Emotional
The development of intuition is especially powerful when it’s crafted from a history of emotional intensity. Recall your most explicit memories, you’ll find that the common thread is the emotional events which play out with more detail and clarity than non-emotional events.
So the next time you slip-up on your sales pitch and feel a great sense of regret, just remember that you’re going to remember that mistake. And if you have the tenacity and willpower to learn from it, it’s very unlikely you’ll make that same mistake again (it’ll probably be a different mistake next time). While all this is happening, you’re getting progressively stronger and mentally unshakeable.
Stefan Seah is the Founder and President of Puresweats.com, a loungewear apparel brand operating out of Vancouver, BC specializing in slim-fit quality, locally made sweatpants for men.
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