You Should Learn from Other People’s Mistakes

There’s an old Latin proverb that goes, “A wise man learns by the mistakes of others, a fool by his own.”  This probably seems absurd to most people in this society because we are taught from a very young age to learn from our own mistakes.  But is it really all that absurd?

Have you ever really learned anything from your own mistakes?  Now be honest with yourself.  Have you?  Probably not.  Whenever you do or say something you wish you hadn’t, you say, “Well I’ll never do (or say) that again!”  And what do you do?  Yep.  You do it all over again.  Repeatedly.  Unconsciously expecting different results each time.

Insanity:  doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

~Albert Einstein

Einstein was right (as usual), it is insane to keep doing something over and over again and expecting different results.  So why are you doing it?  You are not learning anything.  You are not growing as a person.  You are just continuing a vicious cycle that is not doing you or anyone else any good.

Stop trying to learn from your own mistakes. It ain’t gonna happen, my friend.  We seem to be completely incapable of seeing ourselves for who we truly are anyway.  Most of the time other people tell us who we are and what we really are.  When people come to us and tell us our flaws, we should listen and we should do what they suggest doing to correct it.

Instead, you should learn and grow through other people’s mistakes, just like the Latin proverb says.  When you watch the news and see how foolish people look, you should make a mental note that you never be like that guy (or gal).  When someone is being a real ass to you or to someone else, remember it and vow to have a better attitude than they do.

Other people can teach us a lot more about ourselves than any amount of solitary soul-searching.

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